The champions of Italy and England, Juventus FC and Manchester United FC were humbled this weekend.
The defeats meant more good news for AC Milan and Arsenal FC who remain on course for the Serie A and Premiership crowns respectively. Meanwhile, in Germany, leaders SV Werder Bremen furthered their chances of deposing FC Bayern München as the Bundesliga title-holders. Over in Spain, the Spanish champions and leaders Real Madrid CF saw Valencia CF close the gap to four points. In fact, of Europe's five major leagues, the only reigning champion to win this weekend were Olympique Lyonnais in France, who have moved to within two points of leaders AS Monaco FC.
Milan won 3-1 at injury ravaged Juventus on Sunday night with two goals from Dutch international Clarence Seedorf. The Rossoneri are now seven-points clear at the top, after second-placed AS Roma were held 0-0 at Reggina Calcio. Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said: "Compared to last season, we're defending much better and we're quicker at breaking forward in attack."
Parma AC missed out on fourth place as they drew 2-2 with Brescia Calcio. Brescia's hero was Roberto Baggio, who scored his 200th Serie A goal. S.S. Lazio remain fourth, after they too drew 2-2, at home against Udinese Calcio.
Arsenal are still nine points clear of Chelsea FC in the Premiership, after both won 2-0 on Saturday. Arsenal, have now gone 28 league games without defeat since the start of the season, after winning at Blackburn Rovers FC, while Chelsea won on the road at Bolton Wanderers FC.
In Sunday's Manchester derby, lowly Manchester City FC were 4-1 winners at home against third-placed United, Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the pick of the goals to stun Sir Alex Ferguson's side. "The most important thing is to get our form back," said Sir Alex. "That's the most important issue for us."
Like Arsenal, Bremen can afford to relax a little after opening up a nine-point cushion in Germany. They were 3-2 winners at home against last-placed 1. FC Köln on Saturday. Despite racing into a three-goal lead including two more goals from Ailton, Köln battled back after half-time.
Bayern also enjoyed a comfortable interval score on the same day, with a 2-0 advantage over FC Hansa Rostock. However, Hansa forced their way into a 3-2 lead in the second half and only a late Roy Makaay penalty, his second goal of the match, ensured Bayern a point. Third-placed VfB Stuttgart won 2-0 home against TSV 1860 München on Sunday. Stuttgart are now just three points behind Bayern.
Madrid had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza on Saturday, who they play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday. Valencia took full advantage with two goals from Francisco Rufete secuting a 2-0 win at RC Celta de Vigo on Sunday night. FC Barcelona leapfrogged RC Deportivo La Coruña into third with a 2-0 win at Real Murcia CF, their eighth victory in a row, as Depor went down 4-2 at RCD Mallorca.
Monaco dropped points on Sunday night, playing out a goalless draw with fourth-placed AJ Auxerre, meaning Lyon are just two points behind after their 2-1 success against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard the previous day. Brazilian duo Edmílson and Giovane Elber were Lyon's goalscorers. Monaco are also just five points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain FC, after the capital club won 1-0 at Le Mans UC 72.