Barca finally regain top spot, Napoli end Ranieri’s brief honeymoon and Pastore downs Lyon

    Normal service resumed in Spain at the weekend as Barcelona moved to the top of La Liga for the first time this season, after a 1-0 win against Sporting Gijon, whilst Real Madrid beat Espanyol 4-0 to move up to third.

    Sandwiched in between the two giants is Levante, one of the teams with the smallest budget in the division, who beat former leaders Real Betis 1-0 away. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla drew 0-0 at the Vicente Calderon and Athletic Bilbao won the Basque derby 2-1 at Real Sociedad thanks to a brace from Fernando Llorente.

    A superb goal from Julio Baptista had moved Malaga temporarily top of the league after they beat Getafe 3-2, Villarreal were held by Real Zaragoza 2-2 and Sergio Canales won the match for Valencia at home to Granada.

    In Italy, Juventus moved top of the league with a 2-0 win over AC Milan. Claudio Marchisio was the hero with two goals late on for the Old Lady, who under Antonio Conte look to be getting back towards a position to fight for top honours again. Milan find themselves in 15th after their worst start for years, whilst Inter Milan are stuck in 17th place after a 3-0 home loss to Napoli, who move up to third.

    Udinese remain second after a 2-0 win at home to Bologna, while Palermo and Cagliari are up at the top too after 2-0 wins against Siena and Lecce respectively. Lazio beat Fiorentina 2-1.

    In France, Paris St. Germain won the top of the table clash with Lyon 2-0, with Javier Pastore opening the scoring with a superb strike. Cristophe Jella tapped home the second late on. Montpellier’s 2-2 draw at Bordeaux means they end the weekend in second spot, and Lille got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win at home to Rennes. Toulouse stay fourth despite a 3-0 loss at Sochaux, whilst Lorient continue to fly high after a 2-0 win at home to Valenciennes.

    In the Premier League, Manchester United remain top but they had to work hard to overcome Norwich 2-0. Manchester City won 4-0 at Blackburn to keep up the pressure, whilst Chelsea crushed Bolton 5-1 to leave their hosts bottom of the pile. Tottenham won the North London derby 2-1 after a wonder strike from Kyle Naughton and Fulham crushed QPR 6-0.

    Newcastle also keep up their excellent start with a 2-1 win at Wolves, but Aston Villa’s luck continues after a fortuitous win over Wigan. Stoke also came crashing to earth with a 2-0 defeat to a vastly superior Swansea.

    In Germany, Bayern Munich were held 0-0 at Hoffenheim whilst second place Werder Bremen lost 3-2 at Hannover. Borussia Moenchengladbach went down to a 1-0 defeat to Freiburg, and Schalke claimed a 2-1 win at Hamburg. Stuttgart won 2-0 win at Kaiserslautern and Borussia Dortmund returned to winning ways with a 4-0 win over Augsburg. Bayer Leverkusen claimed a 3-1 win at home to Wolfsburg.

    Fenerbahce won the top of the table clash with Istanbul BB 4-2 to go top in Turkey, and in Portugal Benfica and Porto continue to dominate with 4-1 and 3-0 wins over Pacos Ferreira and Academica respectively.

    In Holland champions Ajax lost 1-0 at Gronigen, whilst AZ Alkmaar won 3-1 at VVV Venlo to stretch their lead at the top to four points ahead of PSV, who beat NEC 2-0. Twente could only draw 2-2 at home to Excelsior.

    A 1-0 win at Panionos meant AEK Athens leapt to the top of the table, with Olympiakos beating PAOK Salonika 2-1 to join them on nine points.

    Across the Atlantic in the MLS, Portland Timbers ruined Vancouver Whitecaps opening of their new ground with a 1-0 win, whilst Chivas USA drew 1-1 with Philadelphia Union. LA Galaxy extend their lead in the western conference with a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake, with David Beckham setting up another goal for his side in their win. New York Red Bulls could only draw 1-1 with Toronto thanks to a late equaliser from Thierry Henry to remain in contention for an Eastern League play off place.

    In Brazil, there was a thrilling 2-2 draw between the top two as Vasco de Gama remain two points clear of Corinthians. Corinthians’ city rivals Sao Paulo lost 2-1 at home to Flamengo, and Botafogo could not take advantage as they lost 2-0 at Atletico Goainense.

    In Argentina, Boca Juniors increased their lead at the top to five points with a narrow 1-0 win over Tigre. Newly promoted Rafaela kept up an impressive start with a 2-1 win at home to Lanus, with Racing keeping touch despite a 1-1 draw with Independiente.