AC Milan had the perfect weekend as they beat city rivals Internazionale FC and claimed first place in Serie A, as FC Barcelona drew their eagerly-awaited encounter with Real Madrid CF and English Premiership top two Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC suffered rare defeats.
In front of a capacity 78,000 crowd at San Siro, Milan - who began the match in third place - claimed victory against Inter and top spot thanks to a 12th-minute goal from Brazilian wing-back Serginho, Juventus FC having been held 1-1 by Bologna FC. S.S. Lazio moved into third, ahead of Inter, by beating Modena FC in Sunday's late game.
No goals at Camp Nou
Barcelona and Madrid drew 0-0 at Camp Nou, but the night was marred when the second half was halted for nearly 15 minutes after home fans pelted ex-Barça player Luis Figo with bottles. Elsewhere in the Spanish Primera División, Real Sociedad stayed top despite being held 0-0 at Rayo Vallecano as RCD Mallorca's club-record seven-game winning run ended in a 1-1 draw with Villarreal CF.
Beattie set-piece double
Arsenal still lead the Premiership, but found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline at Southampton FC, James Beattie making the decisive intervention with a free-kick and a penalty, the spot-kick coming after Sol Campbell was sent off for the visitors. Liverpool could not take advantage, though, as they suffered a 3-2 loss at Fulham FC, while Everton FC claimed third place with their sixth straight win, beating West Bromwich Albion FC 1-0. Manchester United FC beat fellow UEFA Champions League contenders Newcastle United FC 5-3 thanks to a Ruud van Nistelrooij hat-trick.
FC Bayern München are six points clear in the German 1. Bundesliga after Michael Ballack and Roque Santa Cruz scored to beat bottom-placed 1. FC Kaiserslautern 2-0. BV Borussia Dortmund conceded second spot as they lost 2-0 to VfL Wolfsburg in their last game at the VfL-Stadion before their move to the Volkswagen Arena. SV Werder Bremen took Dortmund's place by beating Hertha BSC Berlin 1-0.
SL Benfica's bid to win a 24th Portuguese Cup ended in the fourth round with a shock 1-0 defeat by second division Gondomar SC. Cilio Souza's tenth-minute free kick was enough for Gondomar, whose divisional rivals Leixões SC reached last season's final and qualified for the UEFA Cup.
OGC Nice remain at the summit of France's Ligue 1 despite behind held 0-0 at home by bottom club Stade Rennais FC. Olympique Lyonnais could have gone top, but lost 2-1 at Lille OSC. Olympique de Marseille are third after beating RC Lens 1-0.
Ajax and Basel win
Among other sides in Champions League second group stage action this week, AFC Ajax stayed unbeaten and top of the Dutch first division with a 3-0 win at SC Heerenveen, while FC Basel beat FC Thun by the same score but are a point behind Grasshopper-Club in the Swiss National League A. FC Lokomotiv Moskva's season ended on Thursday as they clinched their first Russian title.
KRC Genk's Wesley Sonck produced the individual perofrmance of the weekend, scoring six goals as the Belgian champions overcame KV Mechelen 9-0.
No place like home
Home advantage was certainly made to count in the Romanian Divizia A as all eight games ended in home wins for the only time in the league's history. None of the away teams were even able to score, as FC Rapid Bucuresti stayed top with a 2-0 derby win against FC National Bucuresti - at home, naturally.
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