Early goals were the order of day as FC Internazionale Milano and Real Madrid CF stolled to comfortable victories but Club Atlético de Madrid's travails continue after they conceded a late equaliser.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine form with a goal inside two minutes at Villarreal CF as Real Madrid continue to go toe to toe with FC Barcelona, victors on Tuesday. It was the Portuguese's sixth strike in four matches and a 73rd-minute penalty from Kaká – his first for the club – sealed the points. City rivals Atlético also looked on course for a welcome first win of the season against UD Almería but Pablo Daniel Piatti, who had earlier broken the deadlock, grabbed a last-gasp 2-2 draw for the hosts. The result leaves Abel Resino's side second from bottom in the Liga.
It was a mixed night for Italy's UEFA Champions League representatives too as AC Milan lost ground on the likes of Inter and ACF Fiorentina after a surprise 1-0 defeat at Udinese Calcio. Antonio Di Natale's seventh goal of the season midway through the first half ultimately did the damage. By that time Inter were pretty much home and hosed at the Giuseppe Meazza as goals in the opening five minutes from Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito set José Mourinho's men on course for a 3-1 victory over struggling SSC Napoli. Fiorentina had to work harder against a UC Sampdoria side that began the day at the Serie A summit, goals from Stevan Jovetić (25) and Alberto Gilardino (66) earning a 2-0 win.
Manchester United FC were also at their driven best as they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1-0 in the last 32 of the English League Cup, despite playing with ten men for an hour following Fabio's dismissal. Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC were among the other sides to progress, but the Bundesliga's élite toiled in the second round of the German Cup. Hertha BSC Berlin and Hamburger SV were knocked out on penalties by second and third-tier sides, respectively, while VfL Wolfsburg were defeated 3-2 at 1. FC Köln.
In the French League Cup Valenciennes FC and AJ Auxerre both lost to lower-league opposition, though there were no such problems for Rangers FC and Celtic FC in Scotland as they breezed through in their own League Cup. Elsewhere, Vassilis Torosidis struck twice as Olympiacos FC won 2-1 at AEK Athens FC but UEFA Champions League Group H rivals R. Standard de Liège, and FC Shakhtar Donetsk were left frustrated as they were held 1-1 after squandering leads. Their problems pale by comparison to FC Zürich, however, as Bernard Challandes's side lost 3-0 at runaway Swiss Super League leaders BSC Young Boys.