By JOHN BOSCHINI
The FA Cup has lost some of its prestige with the rise of the Premier League but Sunday's clash between Manchester United and Manchester City was a glimpse at the drama knockout competitions can provide in a 3-2 win for United.
United were up by three goals before halftime thanks to two goals from Wayne Rooney and a stunning strike from Danny Welbeck. The main talking point of the opening period was the controversial sending off of Vincent Kompany. The City captain lunged in two-footed and mostly avoided contact with Nani but Chris Foy brandished a red card anyway.
Despite being down a man, City scored two goals with a free kick from Aleksander Kolarov and Sergio Aguero's clinical finish but couldn't find the elusive equalizer.
Barcelona lost more ground to Real Madrid in the chase for the La Liga title after a 1-1 draw with Espanyol. Alvaro Vasquez scored with four minutes left to cancel out Cesc Fabregas' first-half equalizer. Real Madrid rolled over Granada 5-1 to move five points clear at the top of the table.
Here is a look back at all the results from Europe's top leagues.
It's something of a tradition that the third round of the FA Cup features a side far down the English pyramid knocking off a side from the Premier League. This year, the dubious honor went to Wigan, who were knocked off by League Two side Swindon Town. Bolton almost fell to the same fate but scored late to force a replay with Macclesfield. Andy Carroll also scored in Liverpool's third-round win. The fourth round draw contained more drama as Liverpool and Manchester United will face off in three weeks time.
FA CUP THIRD ROUND
Liverpool 5, Oldham Athletic 1
Bristol Rovers 1, Aston Villa 3
West Bromwich Albion 4, Cardiff City 2
Watford 4, Bradford City 2
Tottenham Hotspur 3, Cheltenham Town 0
Swindon 2, Wigan Athletic 1
Sheffield United 3, Salisbury City 1
Reading 0, Stevenage 1
Nottingham Forest 0, Leicester City 0
Norwich City 4, Burnley 1
Newcastle United 2, Blackburn Rovers 1
MK Dons 1, Queens Park Rangers 1
Middlesbrough 1, Shrewsbury Town 1
Macclesfield Town 2, Bolton Wanderers 2
Hull City 3, Ipswich Town 1
Gillingham 1, Stoke City 3
Fulham 4, Charlton Athletic 0
Fleetwood Town 1, Blackpool 5
Everton 2, Tamworth 0
Doncaster Rovers 0, Notts County 2
Derby County 1, Crystal Palace 0
Crawley Town 1, Bristol City 0
Coventry City 1, Southampton 2
Brighton 1, Wrexham 1
Barnsley 2, Swansea City 4
Dagenham & Redbridge 0, Milwall 0
Birmingham 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Peterborough United 0, Sunderland 2
Sheffield Wednesday 1, West Ham United 0
Chelsea 4, Portsmouth 0
Manchester City 2, Manchester United 3
Real Madrid refocused their sights on the league title with a dominating win over Granada. Karim Benzema scored two and Sergio Ramos, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo added goals of their own. Things are getting worse and worse for the Yellow Submarines of Villareal. The injury-ravaged side dropped down into the relegation zone after a 2-2 draw with Valencia.
Malaga 0, Athletico Madrid 0
Real Madrid 5, Granada 1
Real Sociedad 0, Osasuna 0
Racing Santander 1, Real Zaragoza 0
Levante 0, Mallorca 0
Espanyol 1, Barcelona 1
Real Betis 2, Sporting Gijon 0
Villareal 2, Valencia 2
Getafe 0, Athletic Bilbao 0
Rayo Vallecano 2, Sevilla 1
There were no real surprises at the top of the table as Serie A kicked off 2012. AC Milan are still on top with a victory over Atalanta with Juventus right behind them after beating Lecce. Inter Milan also started with a bang after a 5-0 thrashing of Parma on Saturday.
Inter Milan 5, Parma 0
Siena 4, Lazio 0
Palermo 1, Napoli 3
Novara 0, Fiorentina 3
Lecce 0, Juventus 1
Cagliari 3, Genoa 0
Bologna 2, Catania 0
Atalanta 0, AC Milan 2
AS Roma 2, Chievo Verona 0
Udinese 4, Cesena 1
What did you think of this weekend's results? Was the Manchester Derby exciting? Surprised to see Barcelona drop points? Surprised at the lack of surprises in Serie A?
Share your thoughts below.