Barcelona geared up for their visit to Bayern Munich with an unconvincing win over Levante, Cesc Fabregas scoring the winner late on in a 1-0 win.
Real Madrid were indebted to the virtuoso brilliance of Mesut Ozil to wrap up a 3-1 win over Real Betis.
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.