European football roundup: Atletico Madrid suffer rare loss, Manchester United down Liverpool
Real Madrid were the big winners in Spain as their success at Almeria was followed by a Barcelona draw and a surprise Atletico Madrid defeat.sports Updated: Dec 15, 2014 12:19 IST
Real Madrid were the big winners in Spain as their success at Almeria was followed by a Barcelona draw and a surprise Atletico Madrid defeat.
Nothing is surprising about Liverpool's poor form anymore and a 3-0 defeat at rivals Manchester United piled more pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.
Leaders Real Madrid were much the happier after the 15th round of matches as they beat Almeria 4-1 on Friday, extending their Spanish-record winning streak to 20 matches, and the three teams below them in the standings dropped points.
Second-placed Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw at rainy Getafe on Saturday, before Atletico Madrid crashed to a 1-0 reverse at home to Villarreal on Sunday, the champions' first La Liga reverse at the Calderon since May 2013.
Real lead on 39 points, with Barca on 35. Atletico have 32, two ahead of Sevilla after the Europa League champions were held to a goalless draw at home to top-flight debutants Eibar on Sunday.
Valencia are two points behind Sevilla in fifth thanks to a 3-0 home win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, while David Moyes was denied a win in his first Basque derby when his Real Sociedad side let slip an early lead and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
The Premier League's top three - Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United - all won to pull away from surprise challengers West Ham United and Southampton, who both dropped points.
Chelsea maintained their perfect home record with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Hull City to stay three points clear of champions City, 1-0 winners at bottom club Leicester City.
Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie scored but goalkeeper David de Gea was the star as United won 3-0 against beleaguered old rivals Liverpool, who dropped to 10th.
Arsenal remained in contention for the four Champions League places by beating Newcastle United 4-1 to stay sixth.
Unbeaten leaders Bayern Munich went nine points clear at the top with an emphatic 4-0 win at fifth-placed Augsburg whose run of four successive wins came to an abrupt end.
Bayern's goals came in a devastating 13-minute second-half spell after Mehdi Benatia headed them in front before Arjen Robben scored twice with Robert Lewandowski netting in between.
Bayern have 39 points, from 12 wins and three draws, with 37 goals for and only three against.
Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg, who drew 1-1 at home to Paderborn, have 30 points while Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach have 24 after their 1-1 draw, alongside Augsburg.
An early goal by Guingamp's Jeremy Pied was enough to hand Paris St Germain their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season and keep Olympique de Marseille on top in France.
OM failed to take advantage of PSG's slip however, and went down 1-0 at improving Monaco.
Juventus saw their lead cut to one point after their run of 25 consecutive Serie A home wins was halted in a 1-1 draw by Sampdoria.
Patrice Evra headed Juve in front with his first Serie A goal but Manolo Gabbiadini levelled for the visitors early in the second half.
Juventus have 36 points, one ahead of AS Roma who won 1-0 at 10-man Genoa with a Radja Nainggolan goal five minutes before half-time.
PSV Eindhoven grabbed a deserved 2-0 home win over Twente Enschede on as the Dutch leaders' superior attacking force helped them extend their unbeaten run to eight league matches.
PSV are on 37 points from 15 games, having won seven of their last eight matches, with Ajax Amsterdam in second on 36 from 16 games.
Champions Ajax recorded their 1,300th Eredivisie victory by beating FC Utrecht 3-1.
Brazilian forward Lima scored two opportunist goals to give leaders and defending champions Benfica a 2-0 win at Porto in the first Portuguese Classico of the season.
The Eagles claimed their first away win over their great rivals in the league for seven years in a match which featured only one Portuguese player, Benfica's Andre Almeida, at kick-off.
PAOK Salonika bounced back from their Europa League exit in midweek with a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Kerkyra to maintain their four-point Super League lead over Olympiakos Piraeus, who also won against Levadiakos.