Inter Milan consolidated their position at the top of Serie A courtesy of a scrappy 1-0 home win over Torino in their final match of 2021.
It has been a year to remember for the Nerazzurri, ending an 11-year wait for the title under Antonio Conte, but Simone Inzaghi’s team could be on the way to repeating the feat.
Denzel Dumfries scored for the third time in four league matches and it was enough to secure another three points – a seventh straight Serie A success.
City rivals AC Milan are up to second and four points behind after winning 4-2 at Empoli.
Franck Kessie netted twice either side of Nedim Bajrami’s equaliser for the hosts, before second-half strikes from Alessandro Florenzi and Theo Hernandez sealed the win, despite Andrea Pinamonti’s late penalty.
Napoli continue to stutter after losing 1-0 at home to struggling Spezia. Juan Jesus’ 37th-minute own goal settled the game and inflicted a third loss in four league games on Luciano Spalletti’s side.
Napoli will begin the new year third in the table and seven points behind Inter.
Dusan Vlahovic ended tied with Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the most league goals in a single calendar year as he failed to add to his 33 strikes in Fiorentina’s 1-1 draw at Verona.
Gaetano Castrovilli’s strike in the final 10 minutes earned the Viola a point, cancelling out Kevin Lasagna’s early opener.
Roma had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Stadio Olimpico after Eldor Shomurodov’s opening goal was cancelled out by Manolo Gabbiadini late on to earn Sampdoria a point.
Goals from Pedro, Francesco Acerbi and Luis Alberto saw Lazio win 3-1 at Venezia, who went into half-time level after Francesco Forte’s equaliser. The hosts finished the match with 10 men after Tanner Tessmann was sent off in stoppage time.
Sassuolo suffered a first defeat in seven league games as they lost 3-0 at home to neighbours Bologna. Riccardo Orsolini, Aaron Hickey and Federico Santander were on the scoresheet for the visitors.
It was the first time Sassuolo had failed to score in 15 games since mid-September.
Real Madrid got back to winning ways to extend their lead at the top of LaLiga to eight points as Karim Benzema’s double sealed a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao.
The French striker curled the visitors in front after four minutes and with just seven minutes on the clock doubled the lead, finishing off a smart counter-attack.
All of the goals were scored in the opening 10 minutes, with Oihan Sancet getting Bilbao back in the match courtesy of a long-range effort that clipped the post on the way in.
Atletico Madrid’s title hopes continue to fade away after they suffered a fourth straight LaLiga loss – this time 2-1 at Granada.
Joao Felix scored with only two minutes on the clock but that was as good as it got for Diego Simeone’s stuttering side as goals from Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina turned the game on its head and saw Granada edge clear of the relegation zone.
Paris St Germain finished the year 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after drawing 1-1 at Lorient.
A hugely useful point in the hosts’ battle against relegation looked like being three after Thomas Monconduit gave them the lead just before half-time. However, Mauro Icardi levelled things up in stoppage time shortly after Sergio Ramos’ red card.
Second-half goals from Mario Lemina and Justin Kluivert saw Nice come from behind to beat Lens 2-1 and go second in the standings.
Marseille are down to third following their 1-1 home draw with Reims. Dimitri Payet’s penalty at the death rescued the hosts a point.
Teji Savanier, Nicolas Cozza, Mihailo Ristic and Stephy Mavididi were on target as Montpellier recorded a fourth successive league win, defeating Angers 4-1.
St Etienne stay bottom after losing 1-0 at home to Nantes, while Metz drew 1-1 at Lyon and Troyes and Brest also shared the points in a 1-1 draw.
Goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland saw Monaco come from behind to beat Rennes 2-1 while late goals from Burak Yilmaz and Jonathan David gave Lille a 3-2 success at Bordeaux.