LONDON (Reuters) – Barcelona crushed rivals Real Madrid 4-0 in their own backyard to underline their La Liga title credentials but there is a less familiar name leading the Premier League with Leicester City at the top of the tree.
Barca continue to rule the roost in Spain and had the added bonus of talisman Lionel Messi returning to action off the bench in the second half after a two-month injury absence.
Jamie Vardy extended his remarkable scoring run for Leicester, netting for a record-equalling 10th successive game in a 3-0 win at Newcastle United that left the Foxes a point ahead of Manchester United.
A blistering Barcelona attack led by Luis Suarez and Neymar helped crush Real Madrid 4-0 in El Clasico and struck an important blow in the La Liga title race.
Suarez grabbed a double for an imperious Barca with Neymar and Andres Iniesta getting the other goals, while Real offered little threat in return at the Bernabeu.
The pressure has been turned up on Real coach Rafa Benitez after a second consecutive defeat that leaves them six points off leaders Barca with the fans’ whistles ringing in his ears.
An early Koke strike gave a typically hard-working Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory at Real Betis that sees them leapfrog Real into second place and keeps them four points off Barca.
Leicester City’s England striker Jamie Vardy equalled a Premier League record by scoring for the 10th straight match as they went top with a convincing 3-0 win at Newcastle United.
Former leaders Manchester City were crushed 4-1 by Liverpool after conceding three goals inside the first 32 minutes in the visitors’ most impressive win under new coach Juergen Klopp.
Manchester United snatched a 2-1 win at Watford to go second a point off the pace and one above City and Arsenal, who blew a chance to top the table with a 2-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion.
Champions Chelsea ended their slump with a 1-0 home win over lowly Norwich City thanks to a second-half goal by Diego Costa to ease some of the pressure on coach Jose Mourinho.
Bayern Munich, with 12 wins and a draw in 13 matches, moved eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at Schalke 04. David Alaba, Javier Martinez and Thomas Mueller shared the goals for the titleholders.
Borussia Dortmund, in second place, lost 3-1 at Hamburg SV. VfL Wolfsburg are a further five points behind in third after thrashing Werder Bremen 6-0.
Inter Milan went two points clear at the top of Serie A by beating newcomers Frosinone 4-0, with Jonathan Biabiany, Mauro Icardi, Jeison Murillo and Marcelo Brozovic sharing the goals.
Roberto Mancini’s team have 30 points from 12 games, two ahead of Fiorentina, who were held 2-2 at home by Empoli, and Napoli, who won 2-0 at Verona.
Paris St Germain took another step towards a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title when they beat Lorient 2-1 away thanks to first-half goals from Hervin Ongenda and Blaise Matuidi.
There was a release of doves and a minute’s silence before kickoff to honour the 130 victims of last week’s Paris attacks.
The capital side have 38 points from 14 games and lead second-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Nice, by a massive 13 points.
Davy Klaassen scored twice as Ajax Amsterdam trounced SC Cambuur 5-1 to sit three points clear at the top.
Ajax, who have 10 wins in 13 games, were 4-1 up at halftime with Joel Veltman and Arek Milik scoring the first two before the double contribution from Dutch international Klaassen.
Feyenoord also hit five, putting Twente Enschede to the sword with Simon Gustafson netting a double at De Kuip.
PSV Eindhoven coach Phillip Cocu criticised their lack of concentration and motivation after they let slip another lead in drawing 2-2 with struggling Willem II Tilburg.
PSV are third, a point behind Feyenoord.
The Athens derby between Panathinaikos and league leaders Olympiakos Piraeus was called off before kick-off on Saturday following violent scenes with flares thrown on to the pitch.
Scuffles between riot police and fans outside the Apostolos Nikolaidis ground made for a hostile atmosphere and, after a flare exploded at the feet of Alfred Finnbogason, the striker and his Olympiakos’ team mates fled to the dressing rooms.
After an hour-long delay the match was called off by referee Andreas Pappas with the announcement sparking a pitch invasion by home fans who then fought running battles with riot police.
Greece’s Super League are likely to award Olympiakos a 3-0 victory and second-placed Panathinaikos, who trail by eight points, are set to get a stadium ban, fine and points deduction.
(Compiled by Justin Palmer; Editing by Ken Ferris)