The Liga focus fell squarely on the Santiago Bernabéu this weekend as Barcelona injected fresh drama into the title race with a 3-1 comeback win at Madrid. Karim Benzema gave the hosts the lead after just 23 seconds against their arch-rivals, but Alexis Sánchez, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas hit back to send the visitors level at the top, although Madrid still have a game in hand over their rivals. Elsewhere, third-place Valencia was stunned at Real Betis Balompié, losing 2-1 to two added-time goals from Rubén Castro. Levante tool advantage of Valencia’s defeat to move within a point of them as they beat Seville 1-0.
Mario Gomez scored twice against his former club as Bayern came from behind to beat ten-man Stuttgart 2-1 and open up a three-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga. Jupp Heynckes’ men took advantage as rivals Borrusia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach both failed to win against lowly opposition. Reigning champions Dortmund were pegged back by Kaiserslautern’s Olcay Sahan in a 1-1 home draw, while Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker’s deflected free-kick gave Augsburg victory against Mönchengladbach. Schalke 04 are level with second-placed Dortmund after defeating Hertha Berlin 2-1 on Friday evening.
Udinese maintained their perfect home record in Serie A as goals from Antonio Di Natale and Dušan Basta gave them a 2-1 win against Chievo, moving the Zebrette a point clear at the top from Juventus, who play Roma on Monday. AC Milan missed their chance to join Udinese as they were held 2-2 at Bologna, Alessandro Diamanti equalising two minutes after Zlatan Ibrahimović’s 71st-minute penalty had put the Rossoneri in front. Lazio are also two points off the summit as they beat bottom of the table Lecce 3-2.
Manchester United bounced back from their midweek hampions League exit in the best possible fashion as Wayne Rooney and Nani struck two goals apiece in a 4-1 defeat of Wolves. Meanwhile, third-placed Spurs lost 2-1 at Stoke, Liverpool beat QPR 1-0 and Robin van Persie made the difference again as Arsenal beat Everton 1-0.