Napoli go top, Sporting and Villarreal stay strong

Napoli are the 'winter champions' in Serie A following a weekend of action for the UEFA Europa League sides that brought fresh wins for Villarreal, Sporting CP and Olympiacos.

How the UEFA Europa League contenders got on ©Getty Images

Napoli lead the way at the halfway point in Serie A after climbing to the top on a weekend that featured notable wins for fellow UEFA Europa League hopefuls including Villarreal, Sporting CP, Olympiacos and Manchester United.

Gonzalo Higuaín struck twice as the Partenopei won 5-1 at Frosinone to leapfrog Internazionale at the Italian summit, while Islam Slimani scored late to keep Sporting four points clear in Portugal as they edged Braga 3-2. As for Villarreal, they dispatched Sporting Gijón 2-0 to post a sixth consecutive Liga victory and remain fourth.

That is nothing compared to Olympiacos's run of results as they made it 17 wins from 17 games in Greece this term, while Manchester United scraped past third-tier Sheffield United in the FA Cup thanks to an added-time Wayne Rooney penalty. In contrast, former Red Devil Gary Neville is still hunting his first Liga success following Valencia's 2-0 loss at Real Sociedad.

All games league unless stated

Real Sociedad 2-0 Valencia
Villarreal 2-0 Sporting Gijón
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Leicester City (FA Cup last 64)
Frosinone 1-5 Napoli
Nantes 2-1 Saint-Étienne
0-0 Guingamp
Sporting CP
3-2 Braga
Boavista 0-5 Porto
Olympiacos 3-1 Levadiakos
Giresunspor 0-2 Fenerbahçe (Turkish Cup group stage)

2-0 Athletic Club
Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United (FA Cup last 64)

Fiorentina 1-3 Lazio
Galatasaray 3-1 Karşıyaka (Turkish Cup group stage)

Exeter City 2-2 Liverpool (FA Cup last 64)

The following sides are on winter breaks or in close season: Augsburg, Basel, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Krasnodar, Lokomotiv Moskva, Midtjylland, Molde, Rapid Wien, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sion, Sparta Praha.