MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi scored a hat trick in Barcelona's record 8-0 rout of Almeria, while Cristiano Ronaldo answered with three goals of his own as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 5-1 to stay top of the Spanish league on Saturday ahead of their upcoming meeting.
Messi continued his impressive recent scoring spree to become only the fourth Barcelona scorer to go over 100 Spanish league goals after starting the triumph with his 17th-minute opener.
He added another in the 37th before pouncing on a loose ball in the 67th for his 13th of the season and 14th goal in eight games in all competitions.
Substitute Bojan Krkic scored twice, while Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez also netted for the Spanish champion. Santiago Acasiete added an own goal as Barcelona matched its — and the league's — best ever away-win from 51 years ago.
Almeria coach Juan Manuel Lillo was fired right after the game at Juegos Mediterraneos Stadium.
With coach Jose Mourinho watching on from the Santiago Bernabeu stands as he served out a two-game ban, Ronaldo led Madrid after Angel Di Maria slid a pass to Gonzalo Higuain to open for the hosts in the 19th minute.
Mesut Oezil tapped a long pass into the path of the Portugal forward to fire past goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz and make it 2-0 after half an hour. Fernando Llorente, who had two chances kept out including an impressive individual effort early on, volleyed a loose ball home from inside the box for the Basque side just before the break. It was the Spain striker's ninth of the season to trail only Ronaldo and Messi.
But Sergio Ramos restored the two-goal lead with a 57th-minute penalty earned by Di Maria then Ronaldo surprised Iraizoz with a dipping free kick from over 30 meters out.
Ronaldo capped Madrid's resounding win with an injury-time penalty for his league-leading 14th goal.
Madrid tops the standings with 32 points and Barcelona has 31 going into their "clasico" at the Camp Nou on Nov. 29, with the pair facing Champions League matches beforehand.
Villarreal rallied for a 1-1 draw against Valencia to stay three points ahead in third place, getting the tying goal in the 73rd minute from Giuseppe Rossi of Clifton, N.J. Aritz Aduritz had put visiting Valencia ahead in the 21st.
LONDON (AP) — Manchester United joined Chelsea at the top of the Premier League on Saturday when the defending champions lost 1-0 at Birmingham.
While Patrice Evra and Javier Hernandez maintained United's unbeaten start with a goal each in a 2-0 win over Wigan, Chelsea conceded a 17th-minute goal to Lee Bowyer to lose consecutive league matches for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.
Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead and a chance to take sole possession of top spot when it lost 3-2 to Tottenham, 17 years after it last lost at home to its fierce north London rival.
Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul ended Spurs' embarrassing 68-match run without an away win against the established powers of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Arsenal dropped to third place but Tottenham remained outside the Champions League qualifying berths in sixth. Bolton took fourth on goal difference from Manchester City and Spurs with a 5-1 hammering of Newcastle.
"If you had said at the start of the day, 'would you take being joint top of the league,' I would have said 'yes,'" United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We know that come the second half of the season we will definitely get better."
Evra headed in a 45th-minute cross for his first goal in 3 1/2 years before Wayne Rooney's appearance as a 57th-minute substitute further lifted United.
Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega were sent off within three minutes of each other — the captain for a second yellow card and Rodallega for a two-footed foul on Rafael da Silva — before Hernandez came on to score his seventh goal of the season with a diving header.
Rooney was greeted mostly by cheers in his first appearance since limping out of an Oct. 16 match against Bolton with an ankle injury. A few fans jeered the England striker following last month's retracted threat to quit United.
Tottenham is four points behind Arsenal, but Bolton has a superior goal difference after two goals by Johan Elmander, two penalties by Kevin Davies and an effort by South Korea midfielder Lee Chung-yong.
Elmander shares the lead in Premier League scoring with eight goals, the same as Andy Carroll — the scorer of Newcastle's lone strike.
Also Saturday, Liverpool beat last-place West Ham 3-0. Wigan and 19th-place Wolverhampton Wanderers, which lost 2-1 at Blackpool, are the other teams in the relegation zone.
Stoke won 3-0 in the day's other game to tie at 19 points with seventh-place Sunderland, which hosts Everton on Monday.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund rallied to win 2-1 at Freiburg for a record seventh straight away victory, while Raul Gonzalez scored a hat trick in Schalke's 4-0 rout of Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Dortmund fell behind to an own goal by its defender Mats Hummels but also won on an own goal, by Mensur Mujdza in the 78th, three minutes after substitute Robert Lewandowski tied the match.
Mike Hanke scored in injury time for Hannover's 3-2 win over Hamburger SV. Hamburg got both goals from South Korean teenager Son Heung-min, who also hit the post late in the match. Hoffenheim blanked Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 away behind two goals from Vedad Ibisevic and ended Frankfurt's seven-game unbeaten run.
Mainz came from behind and snapped a three-game losing streak by winning 3-2 at Borussia Moenchengladbach, with two decisive goals from substitute Sami Allagui late in the match.
Kaiserslautern won 3-1 in Nuremberg, while Bayer Leverkusen hosted Bayern Munich in the late match on Saturday.
In a match between two Champions League teams, Schalke scored against the run of play when defender Christoph Metzelder headed in a corner after 22 minutes. The ball hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced into the net off the back of Werder goalkeeper Tim Wiese.
Raul scored his first with time running out in the first half. Wiese parried a powerful free kick from Edu, but Raul was left unmarked to collect the rebound.
Raul used a bad clearance from Per Mertesacker to make it 3-0 and won the ball and scored easily to complete the rout over Bremen, which was winless in four games and lost defender Philipp Bargfrede to a red card in the 85th.
MILAN (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a spectacular strike for AC Milan to beat Fiorentina 1-0 in the Serie A on Saturday.
With his back to goal, the Swede flicked up the ball and executed an overhead kick past Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc into the bottom corner.
It came a week after his penalty against his former team Inter Milan decided the Milan derby.
Also, AS Roma beat Udinese 2-0 at home with goals from Jeremy Menez and Marco Borriello either side of halftime, but finished the match with 10 men after Nicolas Burdisso was sent off in the 81st.