Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continued their extraordinary double act, both scoring hat-tricks.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continued their extraordinary double act, both scoring hat-tricks as Barcelona and Real Madrid maintained their battle for supremacy at the top of La Liga over the weekend.
Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season ended with a dramatic 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday but no-one can get the better of Bayern Munich, who marched on in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Lionel Messi scored yet another hat-trick and surpassed 400 club goals as Barcelona came from behind to win the Catalan derby 5-1 against Espanyol in La Liga.
The Argentine, who holds the La Liga and Champions League scoring records, produced a familiar devastating performance to take his record to 402 goals for Barca in all competitions, including 28 in friendlies.
Messi produced his tour de force a day after Cristiano Ronaldo, his rival for title of world’s best player, scored a La Liga record 23rd hat-trick in league leaders Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu.
European champions Real extended their club record winning streak to 18 matches in all competitions, staying two points clear of Barca while champions Atletico Madrid are a further two behind after their 2-0 victory at Elche.
The Premier League race was given a new complexion after Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season ended with a dramatic 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday and led to champions Manchester City closing the gap at the top to just three points.
Papiss Cisse struck twice for Newcastle to stun Chelsea, who had been unbeaten for 23 matches in all competitions under Jose Mourinho, before City took full advantage of the slip with Yaya Toure’s penalty earning a 1-0 home victory over Everton.
City’s delight, though, was tempered by bad news regarding the league’s top scorer Sergio Aguero, who was left close to tears after suffering knee ligament trouble — another in a long list of injury setbacks — which will keep him out of their Champions League group decider against Roma.
Arsenal’s hopes of a third successive win were dashed by a 3-2 defeat at Stoke City, after trailing 3-0 at halftime, while West Ham went third with a headed double from rejuvenated Andy Carroll helping them to a 3-1 win over Swanse.
Bayern Munich’s relentless progress towards a third successive Bundesliga title continued when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 to maintain their 100 percent home record in the Bundesliga.
Frank Ribery scored the only goal to leave unbeaten Bayern with 36 points from 14 games, seven ahead of VfL Wolfsburg who won 3-1 at Hanover 96 with goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Bas Dost and Maximilian Arnold.
Surprise package Augsburg moved into third by beating Cologne 2-1, their fourth win on the trot. Borussia Dortmund, runners-up in the previous two seasons, moved off the bottom with a 1-0 win at home to Hoffenheim.
Olympique de Marseille stayed top of the Ligue 1 standings thanks to a 3-1 home victory against Metz on Sunday with goals by Andre-Pierre Gignac, Andre Ayew and Dimitri Payet.
OM have 38 points from 17 games and lead Paris St Germain by one point after the French champions geared up in style for their Champions League clash at Barcelona with a 2-1 win against Nantes on Saturday.
Both goals were scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is back to his best after a lengthy injury layoff.
Monaco also prepared for their make-or-break Champions League game against ZEnit St Petersburg with a win, beating Toulouse 2-0 away on Friday with a Dimitar Berbatov double.
Juventus stayed three points clear of AS Roma at the top after both teams drew while third-placed Genoa closed the gap with a 1-0 win over AC Milan.
Titleholders Juventus (35 points) failed to win for only the third time in 14 games this season when they were held 0-0 by Fiorentina.
Roma’s match was more dramatic as they fell behind to two early Simone Zaza goals at home to Sassuolo and then had Daniele De Rossi sent off early in the second half. But two late goals from Adem Ljajic, the first a penalty, earned them a 2-2 draw.
Luca Antonelli’s first-half header gave Genoa (26 points) a win over Milan, leaving them six points behind Roma. Fourth-placed Napoli (24) also came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 at home to Empoli.
Ajax Amsterdam romped to a 5-0 victory over Willem II Tilburg on Saturday while PSV Eindhoven captain Georginio Wijnaldum led from the front with two goals as the leaders won 3-1 at Dordrecht.
PSV have 34 points from 14 matches, one point ahead of second-placed Ajax with a game in hand.
Ajax, who put on one of their best performances of the season with a high-tempo passing game that sunk 10th-placed Willem at the Amsterdam Arena, also reached a milestone when defender Veltman scored their 3,000th home goal in the league.
PSV went behind when Mart Lieder struck in the sixth minute for bottom of the table Dordrecht but the leaders rallied thanks to Wijnaldum’s double and a goal from Luuk de Jong.
Leaders PAOK Salonika were stunned 4-2 by mid-table Skoda Xanthi in the Greek Super League but their closest rivals missed the chance to take advantage of the upset.
With Olympiakos Piraeus held 2-2 at home by PAS Giannina, Panathinaikos missed the chance to go second when they were held to a 1-1 draw at fourth-placed Asteras Tripolis.
Panathinaikos, who have been improving after a stuttering start to the season, failed to take advantage of a 30th minute goal from Anastasios Lagos with Asteras equalising through Senegalese defender Khalifa Sankare six minutes later.
The results left PAOK four points clear of Olympiakos with 28 points from 12 matches. Panathinaikos stayed third, a point behind Olympiakos.