| David Beckham prevents any breach in the ‘wall’ following a free-kick as Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo look on during Real Madrid’s match against Espanyol on Sunday. (AP)
London: European champions AC Milan joined Juventus on 13 points at the top of Serie A as Valencia stayed ahead in the Primera Liga with a 1-0 win at Barcelona.
Goals from Filippo Inzaghi, Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko helped Milan to a comfortable victory over city rivals Inter at the San Siro, while Juve needed an 80th-minute penalty by David Trezeguet to seal a 2-1 home win over Bologna.
Lazio returned to winning ways when a deflected Sinisa Mihajlovic free-kick secured a 1-0 win over Chievo at the Olympic Stadium, and Parma’s good start continued with a 1-0 victory over Sampdoria that took them up to fourth place.
AS Roma are third after being held to a 0-0 draw at Siena with Lazio moving above Inter to fifth after five matches.
In Spain, Valencia stayed a point ahead of Deportivo La Coruna and three clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Ricardo Oliveira scored with a stunning volley in the 15th minute to give Valencia their second major scalp in succession following last week’s victory over Real Madrid.
Deportivo crushed Atletico Madrid 5-1, striker Walter Pandiani scoring for the sixth straight match, while a second-half double from Ronaldo earned below-par Real a 2-1 home win over Espanyol.
The Spanish champions took the lead in the 53rd minute when Raul turned and crossed for Ronaldo to finish from close range. Luis Figo missed a penalty but Real doubled their lead eight minutes from time when David Beckham chipped over a cross for the unmarked Ronaldo to head home.
England’s big three all won to move five points clear of the chasing pack, Arsenal remaining top following a battling 2-1 victory at Liverpool.
Australian forward Harry Kewell put Liverpool ahead but Brazilian Edu equalised and French midfielder Robert Pires sealed Arsenal’s win with a superb curling shot from 25 m.
Manchester United climbed into second place, a point behind Arsenal, following a routine 3-0 home victory over 10-man Birmingham City, while Chelsea needed a late header by Argentine striker Hernan Crespo to secure a 2-1 win at Middlesbrough.
The big-spending London club are level on 19 points with champions United, whose goals against Birmingham were scored by Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy from a penalty, England midfielder Paul Scholes and Wales winger Ryan Giggs.
Werder Bremen leapt to the top of the Bundesliga standings with a spectacular 5-3 home victory over VfL Wolfsburg. Brazilian striker Ailton paved the way for the win with two first-half strikes as French midfielder Johan Micoud provided the creative inspiration.
Werder moved a point ahead of VfB Stuttgart, who remained undefeated eight games into the season without conceding a goal after being held to a 0-0 home draw by bottom club Cologne.
Bayer Leverkusen climbed to second, level on points with Werder, after scoring three times in the last 20 minutes to beat lowly Hansa Rostock 3-0 to the delight of the home fans.
Dutch striker Roy Makaay scored one goal and set up another to help Bayern crush strugglers Hertha Berlin 4-1 in Munich. The champions are in fourth place, two points off the pace.
In France, striker Didier Drogba hit his sixth goal in three matches to set up Olympique Marseille's 3-1 victory over Bastia to keep them just a point behind Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.
Monaco have 22 points and Olympique Marseille 21. Champions Olympique Lyon are on 17 points, with Nantes and Paris St Germain on 16.
Italian international midfielder Gianluca Zambrotta brought new shame to European football when he admitted he conned the referee into awarding a penalty which helped Juventus to a 2-1 win over Bologna.
On Sunday, with the scores level and Bologna continuing to frustrate Juventus, Zambrotta went charging into the box and fell under the innocuous challenge of Cristian Zaccardo and referee Gianluca Paparesta pointed to the spot.
Trezeguet stepped up to put the spot-kick away and clinch the three points, but Zambrotta admitted that he had made the tackle seem worse than it was in order to win the penalty. “I exaggerated my fall a little and Paparesta could have even booked me for acting,” he said.