Juventus and FC Bayern München warmed up for their crunch UEFA Champions League meeting on Tuesday by recording confidence-boosting victories on a weekend which saw AZ Alkmaar and VfB Stuttgart part with their coaches.
Claudio Marchisio scored a 58th-minute winner as Juve defeated FC Internazionale Milano to close to within five points of the Italian champions and leaders, while Bayern are four points off the Bundesliga pace following a 2-1 victory against VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday. Louis van Gaal's side need a victory in Turin to wrest second spot in Group A from the Bianconeri.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart's failure to overcome ten-man VfL Bochum 1848 cost Markus Babbel his job, a position which was quickly filled by former FC Basel 1893 coach Christian Gross ahead of Wednesday's must-win game against FC Unirea Urziceni. Having sacked Ronald Koeman, AZ Alkmaar travel to R. Standard de Liège under the temporary guidance of his former assistant Martin Haar.
|Juventus 2-1 FC Internazionale Milano|
(Chiellini 20, Marchisio 58; Eto'o 26)
Ciro Ferrara: "We are extremely happy to have beaten the Italian champions but the first words I said to my players in the dressing room were to start thinking about Bayern because we have another crucial game in just a few days. We were coming off the back of two defeats so we are very pleased with our response."
|FC Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0Paris Saint-Germain FC|
Laurent Blanc: "Each team had their half – Bordeaux the first, Paris the second. We could have been more clinical but a draw would have been fair."
|Maccabi Haifa FC 1-0 Bnei Sakhnin FC |
|FC Bayern München 2-1VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach|
(Gómez 19, Badstuber 75; Brouwers 28)
Louis van Gaal: "I'm very happy but it was very hard work; the luckier team won. Gladbach were the better team in the first half and created many chances. Hans-Jörg Butt played well. We had trouble with the two who played in behind. We solved that with a tactical change in the second half and played much better."
|VfL Wolfsburg 2-2 SC Freiburg|
(Bastians 27og, Johnson 81; Idrissou 19, Banović 51pen)
Armin Veh: "My team played well, but we didn't get a reward because we missed too many of our countless chances."
|PFC CSKA Moskva|
No game - end of Russian season
|Beşiktaş JK 0-0 Diyarbakırspor|
Mustafa Denizli: "We wasted a lot of chances. Diyarbakırspor could even have scored despite launching few attacks. I saw slight signs of tiredness in my players. We made some mistakes in our haste to find a goal which increased their resistance and left us with this result."
|West Ham United FC 0-4 Manchester United FC |
(Scholes 45+1, Gibson 61, Valencia 70, Rooney 72)
Sir Alex Ferguson: "The injuries in defence are becoming a bit of a headache to us. Michael Carrick stepped in and did very, very well. He's got the composure and the pace and it was a good performance in the second half. We used our experience. Evra must be the smallest centre-half in the world, but he's a good reader of the game."
|Grasshopper-Club 1-0 FC Zürich|
Bernard Challandes: "The first half was very mediocre. We started well but there were only a few chances and we lost the ball too often. The second half was better but in such a game it was important to score the first goal."
|Real Madrid CF 4-2 UD Almería |
(Ramos 31, Higuaín 73, Benzema 82, Ronaldo 84; Soriano 58, Uche 62)
Manuel Pellegrini: "When Almería went in front not even they could believe it. Luckily we remained calm and we managed to establish a significant lead. We showed there were no problems on the physical side in the last 20 minutes, although there were issues with concentration earlier."
|OGC Nice 1-3 Olympique de Marseille |
(Coulibaly 33; Niang 19, Lucho 77, Koné 86)
Didier Deschamps: "We expected a difficult, hard-fought game, but Nice having ten men made things easier after their good first-half performance. We were patient and weren't hurried. It was very important to prevail after our defeat in Lens."
|AC Milan 3-0 UC Sampdoria|
(Borriello 2, Seedorf 21, Pato 23)
Leonardo: "Our approach was perfect. We wanted to start well in order to immediately find the right tempo in midfield and we managed to do so. The team did everything I asked them to, the performance was extraordinary and our second goal was absolutely perfect."
|Manchester City FC 2-1 Chelsea FC|
(Adebayor 37, Tévez 56; Adebayor 8og)
Carlo Ancelotti: "We are disappointed; it was a tough game. We lost but that can happen. We don't have any reason to be worried. We are doing well at the moment but today it was difficult because Manchester City played very well."
|Vitória SC 1-4 FC Porto|
(Andrézinho 45+1; Varela 12, Falcao 34, Bruno Alves 66, Rodríguez 88)
Jesualdo Ferreira: "This win will bring us much more confidence for the future. We were warriors and we were very good tactically. At 3-1 we had control of the match and we won fairly in a tough stadium against a good adversary. We had a bad period but it is gone now. I have more time to work with the players now. It was a fair result."
|Xerez CD 0-2 Club Atlético de Madrid|
(Forlán 29, Agüero 65)
Quique Sánchez Flores: "With this performance and result the players have demonstrated their true value, which is very high. We played a wonderful opening 30 minutes but we complicated the issue a little when we forgot the importance of good passing. In terms of our tactics, [playing a 4-4-2] means we can push high up the pitch and create many chances. We're going to work with this system more as it suits the talent we have in midfield and up front."
|APOEL FC 1-1 Apollon Limassol FC|
(Charalampidis 81; Bangura 20)
Ivan Jovanović: "This was not the result that we were hoping for. Apollon played very well, especially in the first half, so judging from what we saw from the game, we are pleased that we actually managed to get a draw. We need to put this result behind us because we have a very busy week ahead."
|Blackburn Rovers FC 0-0 Liverpool FC |
Rafael Benítez: "We didn't play well in the first half, but after the break we were much better. We were certainly better in possession than we had been in the last game when we won at Everton. We need to win, though, in these situations. We are getting better but we know we have to do better."
|Debreceni VSC 2-0MTK Budapest|
(Coulibaly 33pen, Szakály 36)
András Herczeg: "We had a weak spell in the season but having won our last four matches in the league we've shown that we're still contenders. We always try to prepare for a match as well as we can and we're well aware that we have a match against Lyon and two cup games before the winter break."
|LOSC Lille Métropole4-3 Olympique Lyonnais|
(Frau 24, Gervinho 53 90+2, Cabaye 70pen; Lisandro 2 22pen 35)
Claude Puel: "It's a game we should have won easily which we ended up losing. We threw it away when we had everything to gain and should not allow ourselves to lose such games. It hurts."
|ACF Fiorentina 2-0 Atalanta BC|
(Vargas 26, Gilardino 89)
Cesare Prandelli: "Our pressing did not allow Atalanta to play the way they wanted. We showed from the first minute that we were eager to earn the three points and we were rewarded for this approach."
|Juventus 2-1 FC Internazionale Milano|
(Chiellini 20, Eto'o' 26, Marchisio 58)
Júlio César, Inter goalkeeper: "We are disappointed because we wanted to win the big game against Juventus. However, we still have a four-point advantage in the league and now we have to think about the UEFA Champions League game on Wednesday. It's like a final for us and we are ready for it."
|RC Deportivo La Coruña 1-3 FC Barcelona|
(Adrián 39; Messi 39 77, Ibrahimović 88)
Josep Guardiola: "We returned to being what we were and what we are all about but unfortunately that didn't serve us well in the first half. We now go into our most important game of the season so far [against Dynamo] and one that will shape our season but I feel very confident."
|FC Chornomorets Odesa 0-1 FC Dynamo Kyiv|
Valeri Gazzaev: "Our last two league games were very difficult and today, perhaps, we were a bit lucky in the end. We didn't try to save energy before Barcelona. We need points in the Premier League, but understand that our next Champions League fixture is the match of the year for the club."
|FC Rubin Kazan |
No game - end of Russian season
|Group G |
|VfB Stuttgart 1-1VfL Bochum 1848|
(Tasci 63; Fuchs 89)
Markus Babbel: "It was a very difficult game. The atmosphere in the stadium made for uncertainty in my team, especially in the first half. In the second half we gave a neat performance and deserved the lead. We then carelessly wasted our chances and that's why we were punished."
|Falkirk FC 1-3 Rangers FC|
(Pedro Moutinho 41; Boyd 17 36, Miller 74pen)
Walter Smith: "We were excellent in the first half; it's the best start we have had for a long time, although we had one or two bits of slackness. In the second half Falkirk played very well for the first 20 minutes and they pushed us back for the first time. We were getting a bit concerned, but when we got the penalty I felt we took the wind out of Falkirk's sails."
|Sevilla FC 1-1Real Valladolid CF|
(Fabiano 45+2pen; Manucho 33)
Manuel Jiménez: "We have to play better than we did in the first half and be more efficient than we were in the second. These are the types of games where, if you have aspirations of winning the title, you need to be winning even if you don't play well."
|FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 2-3 FC Unirea Urziceni|
(Ibrahim 30, Fabbron 36; Semedo 31, Onofraş 55, Brandán 86pen)
|Skoda Xanthi FC 0-1Olympiacos FC|
Zico: "The most important thing is that we managed to get the three points. In the first half we were better, while in the second we let ourselves come under pressure in our own half. However, that's normal. When you're leading 1-0 and haven't secured the victory, the stress mounts and we retreated instinctively."
|AZ Alkmaar 1-2 BV Vitesse|
(Dembélé 9; Nilsson 50, Stevanović 59)
Ronald Koeman: "We deserved to lose as we played badly. We didn't apply pressure the right way and opted to play the long ball too early on. After the break Vitesse were the better team. It's a painful experience but deserved."
|R. Standard de Liège 2-2 KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen|
(Jovanović 58, De Camargo 70; Goor 39, Dosunmu 62)
László Bölöni: "We fought our way back into the match twice after falling behind. At half-time the team showed they were eager to change things in the second half – that is something that pleases me."
|Arsenal FC 2-0 Stoke City FC |
(Arshavin 26, Ramsey 79)
Arsène Wenger: "The win was needed. If we had not won you could question that we have been touched mentally, but the fact that we won today was very important. We had a good first half. We should have been two or three up. You can tell that recent defeats played on our mind in the second half. We played more restricted but we didn't give any more chances away and secured the second goal that got us the win."