Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is unsurprisingly not winning many popularity contests outside Milan, but his Inter side’s latest 3-0 away victory at Lecce put seven points between himself and second-placed Juventus.
The ‘Old Lady’ is just ahead of AC Milan, who needed a Kaka penalty to arrive at a home draw with Serie A stragglers Reggina, with the chasing Fiorentina, Genoa and AS Rome beaten off at this stage.
In Spain, Real Madrid continued their run of narrow wins with a 1-0 success over Racing Santander, but Barcelona appear to be title certainties, their most recent 3-1 beating of Gijon not only maintaining a 12-point lead but also increasing the Catalan’s huge goal difference advantage. Meanwhile, normality seems to have been restored in Germany’s Bundesliga after the winter break, serial champions Bayern Munich, 3-1 winners against Dortmund, closing to within a point of surprise first-half leaders Hoffenheim who could only draw with bottom team Borussia Monchengladbach. Challenging Berlin and Hamburg both disappointed, the first-named only managing to draw while the latter threw away a two-goal lead to loose 3-2 in Karlsruhe. Lyon still hold the upper hand in France, enjoying a four-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux.