Leo Messi scored the first, set up Cesc Fabregas for the second before Thiago Alcantara netted the last for Los Cules. They have yet to lose a game or fail to win an away match this season. Atletico Madrid beat Real Zaragoza 2-0, stretching a succession of home victories which goes back to last season and now numbers 16. Meanwhile Real Madrid drew 0-0 at Osasuna to continue their miserable run of form. Levante lost 2-0 to Real Betis in the battle of two outside Champions League hopefuls, whilst Valencia continue their upturn in form with a win by the same scoreline against Sevilla.
Athletic Bilbao were beaten 2-1 at home by Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid beat Real Mallorca 3-1, Espanyol defeated Celta Vigo 1-0, Real Sociedad drew 1-1 with Deportivo la Coruna and Getafe meet Granada on Monday.
In Italy Juventus were held 1-1 by Parma in a match which saw their lead cut to five points, as Lazio claimed a 2-0 win at home to Atalanta. Inter Milan won by the same score against Pescara to keep pace, and Napoli cruised to a 3-0 win over Palermo. Roma lost 1-0 at Catania, Fiorentina were beaten 3-1 by Udinese and AC Milan drew 0-0 with Sampdoria.
There was change again at the top in France as Paris St Germain were held 0-0 by lowly AJ Ajaccio. That meant Lyon’s 2-1 win over Troyes moves them top of the table. Sochaux beat the other title contender, Marseille, 3-1. Lille were held 2-2 by bottom club Nancy, and champions Montpellier beat Lorient 2-0. Nice crushed Valenciennes 5-0, whilst Rennes lost 2-0 at home to Bordeaux and St Etienne drew 2-2 with Toulouse.
In England Manchester United kept their seven point lead after beating Liverpool 2-1 in a hard fought clash at Old Trafford. Manchester City were gifted a victory at the Emirates Stadium by a howler from referee Mike Dean, who sent off Arsenal defender Lorient Koscielny in controversial circumstances early on. Chelsea surprisingly won 4-0 at Stoke to cement their grip on third spot, whilst QPR held Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 in a game which saw Harry Redknapp take on his former team. Everton and Swansea City drew 0-0.
Olympiakos beat Levadiakos 1-0 in Greece, whilst Panathinaikos continued their miserable season with a 0-0 draw at PAS Giannena. In Portugal the big game saw joint leaders Benfica and Porto draw 2-2 at the Estadio do Luz.