Barca, Lazio and Bayern enjoy memorable weekends
Last Updated: October 17, 2011 2:37pm
Barcelona turned on the style once again in Spain, while Lazio claimed the Rome bragging rights and Bayern Munich's excellent form continued.
Celtic dropped more points in the SPL but this time so did Rangers, while it is Paris St Germain setting the pace in France and FC Twente's winning run came to an end in Holland.
Lionel Messi was again at his mesmeric best as his double helped Barcelona sweep aside Racing Santander 3-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday night, with his 195th and 196th goals taking him ahead of Laszlo Kubala into second on the club's all-time list
It is not often that Messi is outshone, but his Argentine compatriot Gonzalo Higuain achieved a remarkable feat for Real Madrid with a hat-trick in their 4-1 victory over Real Madrid, making it nine goals in the space of a fortnight after also hitting a treble against Espanyol and repeating the trick on international duty.
The result kept Real within a point of Barca but, surprisingly, there is a third team in the mix at this early stage of the season after Levante cruised to a 3-1 win against Malaga on Sunday.
Lazio's dramatic 2-1 derby victory over 10-man Roma concluded an otherwise quiet Sunday in Serie A, when there were just five goals in total and five goalless draws in seven matches.
Juventus were one of the teams involved in a stalemate at Chievo but remain top, after Napoli missed the chance to move to the summit on Saturday following a shock 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Parma.
Inter Milan have now officially made their worst start to a Serie A season in 28 years after losing 2-1 to Catania to remain just above the relegation zone on four points from six games, increasing the pressure on Claudio Ranieri.
Bayern Munich have still not conceded a goal since the opening day of the season on 7th August and were in devastating form up front as well on Saturday as Mario Gomez scored twice in a 4-0 victory over Hertha Berlin that left them five points clear at the top.
Hannover squandered their chance to go second in the Bundesliga after slipping to a 2-0 away defeat to Cologne on Sunday, while Hamburg picked up a valuable away win against Freiburg.
The weekend's action started on Friday as high-flying Borussia Dortmund claimed a 2-0 win at Werder Bremen despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
Rangers were denied a 10th consecutive win in the SPL after being held to a last-gasp 1-1 draw by St Mirren at Ibrox.
While Rangers' overriding emotion at the final whistle may have been disappointment at not getting all three points, Celtic were left feeling relieved with their 3-3 draw against Kilmarnock following a fantastic fightback at Rugby Park.
Motherwell therefore remain second and are now seven points adrift of Rangers after beating Hibernian 1-0 away from home, while fourth-placed Hearts beat Dunfermline 2-0.
Kevin Gameiro struck a hat-trick as Paris St Germain maintained their three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 with an impressive 3-1 win at struggling Ajaccio on Sunday, when Valenciennes and Rennes enjoyed home victories.
Montpellier prevailed 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller against Dijon on Saturday and remain level in second place with Lyon, who beat Nancy 3-1.
PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente narrowed the gap at the top of the table to two points on Saturday, as leaders AZ Alkmaar's six-match winning streak came to an end with a 2-2 draw against Ajax.
24 hours later, Feyenoord and Roda JC Kerkrade both enjoyed home wins as Vitesse Arnhem won a stormy encounter away to NEC Nijmegen.
Best of the rest
Otelul Galati warmed up for their UEFA Champions League clash against Manchester United with a 1-1 draw against Astra that leaves them ninth in the Romanian standings.
Chelsea's midweek opponents Genk lost 3-1 to Lokeren and are also ninth in Belgium, where Anderlecht lead the way after a 5-0 thumping of Standard Liege.
Istanbul BB are second in Turkey after beating Samsunspor 3-0, with leaders Fenerbahce not in action until Monday night.
AEK Athens drew 1-1 with Olympiakos in a top-of-the-table battle in Greece, while Porto and Benfica are neck-and-neck at the summit in Portugal after convincing weekend victories.
Zenit St Petersburg are two points clear of the chasing pack as the domestic Russian season draws towards a conclusion, with Rubin Kazan back in sixth ahead of their trip to Tottenham in the Europa League despite winning 3-0 against Spartak Moscow.