Italian champions AC Milan climbed to the top of Serie A for the first time this season on Friday with a 2-0 win over 10-man Genoa that was delayed for 10 minutes due to supporters fighting outside the stadium.
There were contrasting fortunes for the two superstars of La Liga as Lionel Messi missed an injury time penalty for Barcelona in the Nou Camp to allow Real Madrid to go top as Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a quickfire hat-trick.
Diego Milito's goal against Roma last week gave Internazionale a 1-0 victory and its first title of the season, the Copa Italia, and put the club on track to challenge for the triple that also includes the Italian League and Champions League trophies. But the final destination Milito is really gunning for is actually in South Africa with Argentina.
Where have all the wonder teams gone? There was a time -- perhaps there still is that time -- when the Serie A championship was totally dominated by the three superpowers: Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. Not only has this trio won 26 of the last 33 league titles, it has also tended (at least one has) to utterly dominate the season, home and away.
What do the following have in common: keeper Vincenzo Fiorillo (Sampdoria), fullback Francesco Renzetti (Genoa), center-half Giuseppe Bellusci (Catania), midfielders Fabio Sciacca (Catania) and Andrea Poli (Sampdoria), and strikers Abel Hernández (Palermo), Guido Marilungo (Sampdoria) and Alberto Paloschi (Parma)?
It seemed the 2008-09 season was barely seconds over before AC Milan turned just about everything on its head. Bad enough Captain Courageous, Paolo Maldini, has finally (at the age of almost 41) opted to retire, but next season, the Rossoneri will also be without two key figures of recent seasons: coach Carlo Ancelotti and Brazilian ace Kaká, who have left for Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively.