Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Celta Vigo held on to their top league spots this weekend, while Real Madrid and Barcelona both registered comfortable home victories to keep pace.
Bayern scraped a 2-1 win at lowly Cologne and United dropped their first home points in a thrilling 3-3 draw against a Chelsea team trying to impress new head coach Claudio Ranieri.
Celta Vigo opened a two-point lead over Deportivo Coruna and Real Madrid after a 1-0 win at home to Espanyol.
Real enjoyed a convincing 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao, but Barcelona looked edgy before wrapping up a 3-1 win over Racing Santander with a last minute Marc Overmars goal — his first since arriving from Arsenal. Germany
Bayern struggled to an uninspired win at Cologne with goals from Elber and Roque Santa Cruz, but it was enough to keep them top of the Bundesliga.
Undefeated Schalke snatched second spot from opponents Borussia Dortmund with an impressive 4-0 away win and stand just a point behind. Dortmund dropped to third. England Manchester United threw away a 3-1 lead at Old Trafford against Chelsea who showed Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri their fighting spirit during his first match in charge.
Unfashionable Leicester City could have moved top for the first time since 1963 if they had won at home to Everton on Sunday, but they could only manage a draw and remained second.
Arsenal and Liverpool were third and fourth after being held by Ipswich Town and Sunderland respectively. Spain Celta Vigo opened a two-point lead after a Catanha strike on 20 minutes secured a 1-0 home win against Espanyol on Sunday.
Espanyol’s Pablo Rotchen was sent off in the 90th minute.
Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 4-1 at home. Two goals from Guti, a 25 meter Roberto Carlos free-kick and a solo run from Pedro Munitis lit up a convincing display.
Barcelona kept pace with a 3-1 win over Racing Santander after a Patrick Kluivert double and Overmars’ late strike.
Champions Deportivo recovered after conceding an early goal to force a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad thanks to an equalizer from Walter Pandiani just before the hour mark. France Paris St Germain moved top of the French league with a 2-1 win over Nantes on Saturday. Nicolas Anelka and Laurent Robert were on target for PSG who moved one point ahead of Bastia.
Bastia scraped a 3-3 draw at Sedan with an injury time header from Yann Lachuer.
Champions Monaco bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat against Rangers to beat Metz 3-1 away.