Keeping you up to date with news around the continent...
Spain: Real Madrid may well already be out of the title race in Spain, suffering a 1-0 defeat at Real Betis that leaves them 11 points behind Barcelona, and also 8 points behind local rivals Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid's loss came on Sunday courtesy of a free kick from Spain international Benat in the 17 minute. Having seen Real Madrid lose, Barcelona and Atletico played on Sunday looking to extend their lead at the top, and each recorded 4-0 wins. Atletico won 4-0 at home to Sevilla, who received three red cards in the match, and Barcelona won 4-0 at Levante, with Messi picking up a brace, and Iniesta assisting three goals and scoring the other one. Barcelona have now equalled the best start in La Liga history, having dropped only two points from their opening 13 matches. Malaga returned to form with a 4-0 hammering of Valencia to go back into fourth place.
Italy: With Inter and Napoli both playing their matches on Monday night this week, the only members of the top four in the league in action were Fiorentina and Juventus. Both of those sides dropped points to boost their rivals heading into their matches this evening. Juventus lost 1-0 at AC Milan, with a controversial 31st minute penalty from Robinho proving decisive as Juve failed to find a way through Milan’s defences. Fiorentina drew 2-2 away at Torino earlier in the day. If Inter beat Parma tonight they will close the gap on Juventus to one point, and Napoli can move only two points behind the champions if they beat Cagliari.
Germany: Mario Gomez returned from injury for Bayern Munich this weekend, and picked up a goal within a minute of coming on, with his side running out 5-0 winners over Hannover. Dortmund climbed into second behind Bayern with a Lewandowski brace ensuring a 2-1 win at Mainz. Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt both drop down the tale behind Dortmund, after drawing 1-1 with each other at Schalke. Only one point separates 2nd from 5th in the Bundesliga, with Bayern 9 points ahead of the pack. Further down the table, Hamburg lost Rafael van de Vaart to injury early in their 2-0 loss at Dusseldorf, with the former Spurs man out for a few weeks.
France: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to league action inspired PSG to a 4-0 win over Troyes, with the Swedish striker picking up two goals and an assist. PSG returned to the top of the table as a result of Lyon's 3-0 loss at Toulouse, with Marseilles and St Etienne also climbing above Lyon into 2nd and 3rd respectively. Joey Barton made his first league appearance for Marseille, with his monster ban finally coming to an end. The league remains incredibly tight, with five points between 1st and 9th places.
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