S.S. Lazio and Olympique Lyonnais took control of Serie A and Ligue 1 while Manchester United FC won at Anfield.
A thrilling day of football in Italy on Sunday saw S.S. Lazio claim the Serie A leadership for the first time this season, while the weekend saw Manchester United FC win at Liverpool FC in England and Olympique Lyonnais move to the summit of Ligue 1.
Lazio came from two goals behind to beat Piacenza FC 3-2, before discovering other results had gone their way to leave the Roman club at the top of the table. Enzo Maresca and Nicola Caccia had put Piacenza ahead in the fog, but Argentinian duo Diego Simeone and Claudio López both scored in the last minute of the first half and Bernardo Corradi headed the winning goal in added time.
Juventus FC conceded first place, although Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved's goals gave the Turin side a 2-2 draw at AS Roma after falling two down in a game that saw three players sent off, including two from Roma. AC Milan could have regained Serie A supremacy, but were held 1-1 by Empoli FC, while Christian Vieri scored all four goals as Internazionale FC overcame Brescia Calcio 4-0. Milan, Inter and Juventus are all just a point behind Lazio.
French players on target
Arsenal FC ended Saturday four points clear at the top of the English Premiership as they beat Aston Villa FC 3-1 with a goal from Robert Pires and two from the in-form Thierry Henry. Two more French internationals, William Gallas and Marcel Desailly, were also on target as Chelsea FC defeated Sunderland AFC 3-0.
Arsenal's cushion remained intact 24 hours later as Liverpool suffered their first home league defeat of 2002 as Diego Forlán scored his first domestic away goals for United in their 2-1 win. Everton FC's winning streak ended as two late goals gave Newcastle United FC a 2-1 victory.
French champions Lyon claimed first place in Ligue 1 on Sunday after a 2-1 win against RC Strasbourg. Brazilian Juninho created goals for Péguy Luyindula and Mahamadou Diarra after Ulrich Le Pen's penalty put Strasbourg ahead. OGC Nice had left the way open to Lyon with a 3-0 defeat at CS Sedan-Ardennes, while En Avant Guingamp inflicted a first home defeat of the season on RC Lens to move into third place with a 3-1 win. Stade Rennais FC, the bottom club, hit form by beating Lille OSC 5-1.
No stopping Real
Real Sociedad remain the pacesetters in Spain's Primera División after coming from behind to beat FC Barcelona 2-1. The Catalan side's misery was compounded by the late dismissals of Thiago Motta and Marc Overmars. Second-placed RCD Mallorca are now three points behind as they were reduced to ten men but still drew 2-2 at RC Deportivo La Coruña. Goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares was injured as Valencia CF were held to a 0-0 draw by Deportivo Alavés.
In Germany, FC Bayern München remain six points clear as Michael Ballack scored both goals in a 2-0 success against Hertha BSC Berlin. SV Werder Bremen stayed second by beating VfB Stuttgart 3-1, while champions BV Borussia Dortmund are third thanks to a 2-1 win at 1. FC Nürnberg.