Barcelona took the lead in the The Spanish Primera Division although they are partnered by surprise leaders Levante at the head of the table.

The Catalans were 1-0 victors away at Sporting Gijon although it was a scrappy performance by their high standards. Adriano's early goal proved to be enough, even though Sporting gave the champions a run for their money on some occasions.

Levante, on the other hand, secured their fourth successive victory with a 1-0 win at Real Betis. Juanlu's first-half goal proved to be enough to earn 14 points in six games, leaving them level on points with Barcelona who are ahead on goal difference.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid followed close behind in third after arresting their recent away slum with a 4-0 thumping of Espanyol.

Argentine Gonzalo Higuain took his opportunity to impress, having been left on the bench previously, to score a hat-trick and prove his worth to Jose Mourinho.

He opened the scoring on 17 minutes before adding to the tally twice in the second half. Summer signing Jose Callejon scored the other against his old club.