The weekend brought a fresh dose of drama to some of Europe's most thrilling title races, as Liverpool FC moved to the head of the Premier League and the top three in Spain all maintained their push with wins. It was a good round of matches for Paris Saint-Germain as well, as they further increased their Ligue 1 cushion, although Serie A leaders Juventus lost in Italy and FC Bayern München's winning run was halted. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Liverpool took control at the top of the Premier League with a barnstorming 4-0 success against Tottenham Hotspur FC, the win lifting the Reds two points clear of Chelsea FC, who suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace FC. "The dream is for our supporters, they want to win the title, but it is not in my thinking," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. "My thinking is to prepare the team and perform well, and if we do that we can continue to win games and then we can see where that takes it." His side's prospects were nonetheless aided by a 1-1 draw for third-placed Manchester City FC at Arsenal FC in fourth, though City possess two games in hand.
Club Atlético de Madrid remain a point clear in the Spanish title race after digging deep to edge Athletic Club 2-1 on Saturday. "It was one of our best performances this season," said Diego Simeone. "We recovered the ball well and took advantage of gaps in their defence. We showed great intensity and commitment to win the game." Earlier, Lionel Messi's 77th-minute penalty had earned FC Barcelona a 1-0 success at RCD Espanyol and top spot, before Real Madrid CF – three points off the pace in third – sent five unanswered goals past Rayo Vallecano de Madrid in the late kick-off.
Bayern's 19-game league winning streak came to an end after the champions let slip a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at home to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Elsewhere, Marco Reus's hat-trick ensured that Borussia Dortmund beat VfB Stuttgart 3-2 to consolidate second spot in the Bundesliga. "Their second goal was like a wake-up call for us as we played a lot better after it and in the end picked up a deserved win," said the German international. As for FC Schalke 04, they dispatched Hertha BSC Berlin 2-0 to stride six points clear of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, held 1-1 by TSV Eintracht Braunschweig.
Juventus suffered just their second loss in Serie A this term as they succumbed 2-0 at third-placed SSC Napoli, allowing AS Roma, who have a game in hand, to cut the Bianconeri's sizeable gap to 11 points by prevailing 2-0 at US Sassuolo Calcio. "The fans gave us great support and we repaid their faith by beating the champions of Italy," said Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne. "Winning helps us to consolidate third place, but we haven't given up on second either." The Partenopei's triumph lifted them 12 points ahead of ACF Fiorentina in fourth, as the Viola drew 0-0 at UC Sampdoria, while AC Milan posted a second consecutive league victory by sweeping aside AC Chievo Verona 3-0.
Paris secured a club-record seventh straight league success as Timothée Kolodziejczak's own goal proved enough to see off OGC Nice 1-0 and lift the title holders 13 points clear of AS Monaco FC, who succumbed 1-0 at Évian Thonon Gaillard FC 24 hours later. "It wasn't our best game, but you have to know how to win games like this," said Paris coach Laurent Blanc. In third, LOSC Lille increased the pressure on Monaco by downing EA Guingamp 1-0, while in the Rhone derby AS Saint-Étienne won 2-1 at Olympique Lyonnais.
In Russia, FC Zenit moved to within a point of leaders FC Lokomotiv Moskva, defeating FC Amkar Perm 2-1 while the capital club were held 0-0 by city rivals FC Spartak Moskva. Meanwhile, AFC Ajax moved closer to the Dutch title by stretching their lead at the top of the Eredivisie to eight points with a 3-0 win against FC Twente, with their previous nearest challengers PSV Eindhoven falling 3-2 at home to FC Groningen. SL Benfica remain seven points clear in Portugal after both they and second-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal recorded 1-0 wins, while FC Shakhtar Donetsk are three ahead in Ukraine following a 4-2 victory at FC Metalist Kharkiv.
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