- Mario Balotelli struck an injury-time penalty as Manchester City overcame Tottenham to win 3-2 and maintain their lead.
Substitute Balotelli blasted in his spot-kick after the Italian striker had been bundled over by Ledley King.
But the City forward's winner was tinged with controversy after television replays suggested he was lucky not to be sent off in an earlier tangle with Scott Parker where he appeared to kick out at the Spurs midfielder's head.
The finale capped a remarkable game which had seen Spurs recover from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 with goals from Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale after City had taken the lead through Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott.
The victory helped preserve City's three-point lead after second-placed Manchester United kept up the pressure with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Arsenal.
United striker Danny Welbeck struck the winner nine minutes from time after Arsenal captain Robin van Persie had cancelled out Antonio Valencia's first-half opener for the champions.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was subjected to angry chants from the home fans towards the end of the game for his controversial substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shortly after the young winger set up van Persie's equaliser.
Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered a fresh blow as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at struggling Bolton while Chelsea drew 0-0 at Norwich.
- Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Real Madrid restored their five-point with a 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao as the club reeled from allegations of a player revolt.
Ronaldo took his season's league tally to 23, just hours after Lionel Messi had hit a fifth hat-trick of the season in Barcelona's 4-1 triumph at Malaga.
Marca sports daily claimed coach Jose Mourinho had accused some Real stars of betraying him in the aftermath of the midweek King's Cup defeat to Barca.
Things got worse when Fernando Llorente gave Athletic a shock lead after 12 minutes before Real drew level with a well-worked team move which was finished by Marcelo.
Immediately after the restart Kaka was pulled back in the box by Ander Iturraspe and Ronaldo scored from the spot.
As Real continued to push forward they won a second penalty when Mesut Ozil was felled by De Marcos, who received a red card, and Ronaldo converted from 12 yards. Jose Callejon scored the fourth with five minutes to go.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho scored the goals as AC Milan emerged with a 3-0 victory from their trip to Novara and remained one point behind leaders Juventus.
Juve won 2-0 at Atalanta with goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Emanuele Giaccherini.
Francesco Totti set a new single-club scoring record in Serie A as Roma thrashed Cesena 5-1.
Totti scored twice inside the opening eight minutes and it means the 35-year-old reached 211 top-flight league goals for the club, surpassing the 210 that Gunnar Nordahl managed for AC Milan more than 50 years ago.
- Defending champions Borussia Dortmund hammered Hamburg 5-1 to join Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 at the top.
All three sides have 37 points, but Bayern, who slipped to a shock 3-1 defeat at fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, stayed top by virtue of a superior goal difference. Schalke enjoyed a 3-1 win over Stuttgart.
- Leaders Alkmaar were held to a 1-1 draw by Ajax to stay one point ahead of PSV Eindhoven who also drew, 1-1 with FC Utrecht.
FC Twente are third, three points off the lead, after a 5-0 mauling of RKC Waalwijk in Steve McClaren's first match back in charge.
- Extra-time goals from Morgan Amalfitano and Loic Remy brought Marseille a hard-earned 3-1 victory over Le Havre, sending them into the French Cup last 16.
Late goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Lisandro Lopez earned Lyon a 2-0 win against fourth-division Vendee Lucon while holders Lille required an extra-time header from substitute Gianni Bruno to overcome fourth-tier side Compiegne 1-0.
Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed a 4-0 victory at fifth-tier Sable-sur-Sarthe.
- Benfica stayed two points clear of Porto after a 3-1 win over Gil Vicente. Porto were also 3-1 victors over Vitoria Guimaraes as both Portuguese giants remain undefeated after 16 matches.