The major leagues in Europe played their last round of matches before the final International break of the calendar year. There was some high profile wins this weekend, with results impacting greatly on both the top and bottom halves of the various league tables.
Who were the top performers and who were the underperformers this weekend?
The Reds took advantage of slip-ups by Arsenal and Manchester City to surge to the top of the Premier League table, thrashing Watford 6-1 on Sunday.
Liverpool was out of sight by half-time, as they raced to a 3-0 lead. Sadio Mane scored a brace, while there were goals for Coutinho, Emre Can, Firmino and Wijnaldum.
The Reds now have 26 points; a point ahead of 2nd placed Chelsea. The goal rush also means they are now the division’s top scorers, with 30.
The Toffees were abysmally poor in their game against Chelsea and were out of the match as early as the 42nd minute. The Blues laid down a marker to other title challengers, winning the game 5-0.
The decision of Ronald Koeman to start with a back three to match Chelsea backfired in a big way, as the defence were unable to cope with the movement of the Chelsea front three.
Romelu Lukaku barely had a sniff of goal against his former club, as the Belgian striker only managed one touch in the opposition’s box.
Top: Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo compounded Valencia’s woes, coming from behind to secure a 2-1 home victory on Sunday, to leave Valencia just outside the relegation zone.
Dani Parejo had put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot, but Facundo Roncaglia scored 11 minutes later to draw the hosts’ level.
John Guidetti scored the winner with his head, with 13 minutes left on the clock to seal all three points for Celta Vigo. The Sky Blues head to the International break in 8th place.
Flop: Atletico Madrid
The Rojiblancos were the architects of their own downfall on Saturday, conceding two penalties to hand their hosts a 2-0 victory.
Carlos Vela was the hero of the day, converting one penalty and winning the other which was converted by Willian Jose.
The result leaves Atletico Madrid in 3rd place, 3 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.
Top: RB Leipzig
Newcomers RB Leipzig continues to punch above their weight this season, going level with leaders Bayern Munich courtesy of a 3-1 win over Mainz 05.
The Leipzig-based club ran riot in the first half, as a brace from Timo Werner and a goal from Emil Forsberg saw them go 3-0 up at halftime.
The visitors scored a consolation goal in the second half, but the points were already secure. RB Leipzig is only second on the table with an inferior goal difference.
Flop: Bayern Munich
The league leaders were almost embarrassed by high-flying Hoffenheim, only managing to secure a 1-1 draw at home.
The visitors had taken the lead through Kerem Demirbay, whose unstoppable shot flew past Manuel Neuer. The title favourites drew level courtesy of an own goal from Steven Zuber.
The results mean the Bavarians are now level on points with 2nd placed RB Leipzig, but ahead due to their superior goal difference.
Top: Inter Milan
Managerless Internazionale, had to fight till the very end to secure a last minute victory against bottom of the league Crotone. The game ended 3-0, but the breakthrough didn’t come until the 84th minute of the match.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw before a goal from Ivan Perisic and a brace from Mauro Icardi in the dying minutes secured the points for Inter Milan.
The win stopped a run of two consecutive defeats for Inter Milan, who head into the International break in 9th place.
Pescara was humiliated on their patch on Sunday, as Empoli delivered a commanding performance to run away 4-0 winners.
Massimo Maccarone helped himself to a brace, while Riccardo Saponara and Manuel Pucciarelli got a goal each as Empoli secured their first win away from home this season.
The result sees Empoli leapfrog Pescara into 17th place, while Pescara drops into the relegation zone.
Relegation threatened FC Caen defied the form books with a resilient performance, to defeat league leaders Nice 1-0 on Sunday.
Caen came into this game on the back of three successive defeats but created the better chances during the match. Ivan Santini scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute.
The defeat ended Nice’s unbeaten start to the season and lifted Caen to 15th place in the standings.
Flop: AS Nancy
AS Nancy continued their dismal start to the season, conceding two first-half goals on the way to an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of AS Monaco.
Radamel Falcao scored twice in five first-half minutes to give the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead. Kylian Mbappe-Lottin and Fabinho added a goal each in the second half, while Guiddo Carrillo grabbed a brace to complete the humiliation.
The result means that Nancy are very much in a relegation battle, as they lie in 19th place, with a paltry return of 9 points in 12 games.