European review

Real and Barca win; Bayern back at the top; AZ lose unbeaten run

Barcelona: Thrashed Levante 5-0 to keep the pressure on Real Madrid at the top of the table

Juventus: Still unbeaten in Serie A and stay at the top of the table after beating Cesena 2-0

There were more wins for the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, while Juventus kept their unbeaten record alive in Italy.

Bayern Munich managed to take advantage of a top-of-the-table meeting in the Bundesliga between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Montpellier have maintained their place at the top of Ligue 1, but AZ Alkmaar have lost their unbeaten record with a 5-1 defeat at Heerenveen in Holland.

AEK Athens are the new leaders of the Greek Super League as they leapfrogged Panathinaikos in the table.

Primera Liga

Barcelona and Real Madrid maintained the pressure at the top of the table as both sides eased to comfortable victories.

Barcelona swept aside fourth-placed Levante with a 5-0 hammering at Camp Nou, while Real made it 14 wins in a row at strugglers Sporting Gijon.

Their run will be put to the ultimate test in their next league fixture which is against rivals Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Saturday evening.

Racing Santander dragged Villarreal into the relegation dog-fight with a 1-0 win on Saturday evening and moved off the foot of the table with the much-needed win.

Serie A

Italy's top-flight remains a three-way scrap for the top spot, although Lazio can make it a four-way battle with a win on Monday evening.

Juventus maintained their unbeaten record in the league with a 2-0 victory over Cesena while Milan beat mid-table Genoa 2-0.

Udinese became the latest side to take three points away at Inter Milan as they won 1-0 due to a 73rd-minute strike from Mauricio Isla, while both sides had a player sent off.

Bundesliga

The Bundesliga continues to be one of the most competitive divisions across Europe, with six teams separated by just six points.

Manchester City's UEFA Champions League opponents Bayern Munich returned to the top of the table with an emphatic 4-1 win over fifth-placed Werder Bremen.

They managed to leapfrog Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach, who drew 1-1 at Borussia Park on Saturday.

It is as tight at the bottom as it is at the top and Augsburg failed to lift themselves off the foot of the table after a 3-1 defeat to fourth-placed Schalke.

Ligue 1

Montpellier reaffirmed their standing at the top of the table with their fourth home win in a row.

They beat mid-table Lorient 4-0 to keep a three-point gap over Paris Saint Germain, who left it late to beat struggling Auxerre in the capital.

The scores were goalless at half time, but efforts from Christophe Jallet, Jeremy Menez and Nene ensured a 3-2 win.

Ajaccio remain cut adrift at the bottom after another defeat - this time at home to Lille, who won 3-2 with a winner 10 minutes from time.

Eredivisie

There were defeats for the top two in Holland's top division, giving the sides below them the chance to turn up the heat.

AZ Alkmaar were hammered 5-1 at Heerenveen, ending an unbeaten run that stretched back to August.

PSV's 2-0 defeat at Feyenoord meant that Twente and Ajax closed the gap with wins over Utrecht and Excelsior, respectively.

SPL

After two games without a win, Rangers returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Dunfermline at Ibrox, temporarily increasing their lead over Celtic to seven points.

But the Hoops reduced that back to four points with a 1-0 win at Dundee 24 hours later.

Best of the rest

Fenerbahce and Galatasaray managed to pull away from the chasing pack at the top of Turkey's top flight with wins on Saturday afternoon, while those immediately below them failed to claim three points.

Panathinaikos fell to a surprise defeat at Aris, meaning AEK Athens' 1-0 win over Kerkyra lifted them back to the summit of the table in Greece.

In Northern Ireland, Linfield increased the gap at the top of the table to four points with a narrow win over Ballymena United.

RankingPlayerTeamCompetitionRating (10)Key stats
1YakubuBlackburn RoversPremier League10Scored four goals against Swansea
2Lionel MessiBarcelonaLa Liga10Scored a goal and assisted another, completed 69 out of 73 passes vs Levante (94.5%)
3Arturo VidalJuventusSerie A10Scored a goal and made an assist
4Robin van PersieArsenalPremier League10Scored his 13th goal in his last nine PL appearances
5Klaas-Jan HuntelaarSchalke 04Bundesliga9Scored his 13th goal in Bundesliga, a joint-most alongside Mario Gomez
6Franck RibéryBayern MinuchBundesliga9Attempted three shots, scored a brace
7Olivier GiroudMontpellierLigue 19Scored a goal and made three assists
8Stevan JoveticFiorentinaSerie A9Attempted five shots, scored a goal
9Zlatan IbrahimovicAC MilanSerie A9Attempted six shots, scored a goal
10FalcaoAtletico MadridLa Liga9Scored a goal and assisted another