London: Real Madrid jumped to the top of La Liga at the weekend after surprise package Levante slipped to their first defeat of the season, while unbeaten Manchester City maintained their five-point lead in the Premier League.
Juventus stayed top in Serie A by inflicting a fifth defeat of the season on Inter Milan and Bayern Munich opened a four-point lead in the Bundesliga by crushing Nuremberg 4-0.
La Liga took on a more familiar look as surprise early pacesetters Levante suffered their first defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss at 10-man Osasuna and relinquished their hold on top spot.
Real Madrid are the new leaders on 25 points from 10 matches thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Real Sociedad, in-form Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain netting the only goal.
Champions Barcelona, bidding for a club record-equalling fourth successive title, were a point back in second after a Lionel Messi-inspired 5-0 demolition of Real Mallorca, with Valencia-based Levante third on 23 points.
Manchester City stayed five points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table after the weekend’s nine Premier League games produced 33 goals.
Eight of those came in an astonishing London derby at Stamford Bridge where Arsenal continued their improvement with a 5-3 win over Chelsea. Gunners captain Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick to make it 28 goals in his last 27 league matches.
City made it nine wins out of 10 league matches with a 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers while United bounced back from last week’s 1-6 defeat by City with a 1-0 win at Everton.
Tottenham Hotspur moved level on points with third-placed Chelsea and fourth-placed Newcastle United with a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, while even more goals could be on their way when Stoke City play Newcastle on Monday.
Leaders Juventus won 2-1 at Inter Milan, a result which piled on the pressure for Claudio Ranieri’s team who are a miserable 17th in the 20-team table after their fifth defeat in nine Serie A games.
Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio scored for Juve with Maicon replying in between for Inter, all the goals coming in the first half. Unbeaten Juve have 19 points.
Udinese and Lazio won to stay one point behind. Antonio Di Natale’s seventh goal of the season gave Udinese a 1-0 win over Palermo and Lazio beat Cagliari 3-0 away.
Champions AC Milan are a further point behind in fourth after their 3-2 win at AS Roma.
Bundesliga leading scorer Mario Gomez scored twice, taking his tally to 12 goals in 10 league games, to propel Bayern Munich to a 4-0 win over Nuremberg.
Bastian Schweinsteigher and Franck Ribery shared the other goals for the Bavarians, who lead with 25 points from 11 games.
Schalke 04 moved into second place, four points behind, after a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Titleholders Borussia Dortmund were held 1-1 at VfB Stuttgart and dropped to third.
Nene netted two penalties as leaders Paris St Germain beat Caen 4-2 at a wet Parc des Princes to stay three clear of Montpellier, who won 2-0 at home to struggling Nancy.
In the two big derbies, third-placed Lille were held 0-0 at north east rivals Valenciennes while Olympique Lyon overcame St Etienne 2-0 to stay level with the champions.
Olympique Marseille continued their mini-revival with a 3-2 win at Dijon where Alou Diarra grabbed the 82nd-minute winner after OM had let an early 2-0 lead slip.
AZ Alkmaar registered a late 1-0 win at Heracles Almelo, with 18-year-old Adam Maher on target in 89th minute, to extend their lead at top to six points.
Second-placed PSV Eindhoven and third-placed Twente Enschede shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw, while Ajax Amsterdam beat Roda JC Kerkrade 4-0.
Goals by Kleber and Joao Moutinho gave Porto a 3-0 home win over Pacos Ferreira that kept the Portuguese champions in command of the league together with Benfica on 23 points from nine matches.
Porto struggled to break Pacos Ferreira until the visitors conceded an own goal just before halftime. Brazilian striker Kleber and Portugal’s Moutinho then came off the bench in a more open second half to score one each and set the final score.
Benfica kept Olhanense at bay in a 2-1 home win thanks to two early strikes by promising youngster Rodrigo.