Andrei Shevchenko and Raul hit two apiece as AC Milan, who shrugged off a shock midweek Champions League defeat, and Real Madrid both won to stamp their class on their respective leagues in weekend action.
Shevchenko scored twice in the second half to give Milan a 3-0 victory at Sampdoria on Sunday, following Jan Dahl Tomasson's 38th-minute opener, to keep the European champions ahead of Juventus on goal difference at the top of Serie A.
Juventus beat Brescia 2-0 at home with first half goals from Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet after their keeper Gianluigi Buffon had saved a fourth-minute Roberto Baggio penalty.
Ukrainian Shevchenko raised his tally as Serie A top scorer to eight and will be looking to take his form into Europe after Milan were shocked 1-0 at home by Club Bruges on Tuesday.
Dino Fava Passaro hit a hat-trick for Udinese in their 3-3 draw at Perugia.
Raul struck twice in the last 12 minutes to hand Real a 3-1 win over a fine Racing Santander side who had the better of their Primera Liga match at the Bernabeu on Sunday until they tired in the latter stages.
Zinedine Zidane equalized close to the half hour mark for the Spanish champions after Israeli international Yossi Benayoun's early goal for Racing.
Real have moved up to second place two points behind Deportivo Coruna, who knocked Valencia off the top of the standings by beating them 2-1 at home with goals by Juan Carlos Valeron and Diego Tristan. Mista scored for Valencia.
Brazilian Sonny Anderson scored twice for Villarreal in their 3-3 home draw with Sevilla.
Bayer Leverkusen stayed top in Germany with a 1-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach, while two-goal Iranian Vahid Hashemian spurred VfL Bochum to a surprise 3-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr Valley derby.
Leverkusen, who staved off relegation on the final day of last season, are one point ahead of VFB Stuttgart, who beat Wolfsburg 1-0.
Brazilian Ailton is the Bundesliga's top scorer with nine after his double for third-placed Werder Bremen in their 4-2 win at SC Freiburg.
Champions Bayern Munich, who are fourth, beat Kaiserslautern 4-1.
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Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
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Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen