A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…
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Villareal 0-2 Barcelona
The visitors struggled to break down Villareal’s back line throughout the opening 45 minutes, but the Blaugrana were aided by Raba’s second-half dismissal on Sunday. From there, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez helped Barca pick up its 12th win of the season and restore the club’s five-point lead over Valencia.
Messi’s goal — his 525th for the club — matched Gerd Muller’s Barca record on Sunday, while the finish was his 18th in all competitions this season.
Real Betis 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Saul Niguez scored his second goal of the La Liga season to help give Atletico an important road victory against Real Betis. Atleti now sits third in Spain’s top flight, but remains six points behind league leaders Barcelona.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Real Sociedad 0-2 Malaga
Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
AC Milan 2-1 Bologna
Giacomo Bonaventura scored twice on Sunday to give AC Milan a victory at the San Siro. The midfielder opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, before Simone Verdi’s finish in the 23rd minute leveled the match for Bologna. Bonaventura tabbed his second goal of the day in the 76th minute to give the Rossoneri a win and keep the team inside the top seven. Milan currently sits on 24 points through 16 matches.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Chievo Verona 0-0 Roma
Napoli 0-0 Fiorentina
SPAL 2-2 Hellas Verona
Udinese 2-0 Benevento
Sassuolo 2-1 Crotone