A roundup of all the weekend’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:
Real Madrid 3-0 Celta Vigo
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his record-setting 23rd La Liga hat trick and his 200th goal for Real Madrid (178 games) since joining the Spanish giants in 2009. The Portuguese superstar opened the scoring after winning a penalty with a blatant dive 10 minutes before halftime. He was then the beneficiary of a poorly headed clearance, which fell to him inside the Celta Vigo penalty area and was rifled into the back of the net on a full volley. Marcelo set up Los Blancos‘ third of the game with a cross from the left which Ronaldo easily redirected into an open net.
Barcelona 5-1 Espanyol
Lionel Messi saw what Ronaldo had done the day before and refusing to be outdone this weekend, went ahead and netted a hat trick of his own. The first was a low, hard-hit curler through traffic that snuck inside the left post. For his second, Messi nutmegged a defender outside the 18-yard box before again firing a perfectly placed shot into the bottom corner. To complete Barcelona‘s scoring on the day, he redirected a low, near-post cross past the goalkeeper just inside the far post. Gerard Pique and Pedro were the other Barca scorers.
Elche 0-2 Atletico Madrid
The defending La Liga champions kept pace with this year’s frontrunners, thanks to goals from Jose Gimenez (16th minute) and Mario Mandzukic (53rd). Of Atletico Madrid‘s mere eight shots in the game, three were on target and two found the back of the net.
Real Madrid (36 points) stay top of La Liga, two points clear of Barcelona and four above Atletico.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Cordoba
Deportivo La Coruna 0-1 Malaga
Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Sevilla
Villarreal 4-0 Real Sociedad
Granada 1-1 Valencia
Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus
League-leaders Juventus failed to turn 52 percent of the game’s possession and 10 shots (three on goal) into three points. Luckily for them, someone else at the top of the Serie A table had an even more adventurous outing this weekend.
Roma 2-2 Sassuolo
The Giallorossi couldn’t capitalize on Juve’s slip-up and dropped two points of their own, though they’ll not think of it that was after going two goals and a man down after 50 minutes. Simone Zaza scored a quick double in the 15th and 18th minutes before Daniele De Rossi earned his second yellow card of the game just after halftime. Adem Ljajic scored once from the penalty spot (78th minute) once from open play (third minute of stoppage time) to rescue a point and keep the Romans three behind the league leaders.
Genoa 1-0 AC Milan
Luca Antonelli headed home a corner kick in the 32nd minute to give Genoa all three points and push the Rossoblu into 3rd place, Serie A’s final Champions League place. Meanwhile, AC Milan slipped to 7th after Lazio‘s 2-1 victory over Parma catapulted them all the way into 5th.
Inter 1-2 Udinese
Misery loves company, doesn’t it? There’s plenty to go around in the city of Milan these days. Inter slipped to 12th place in Serie A after Bruno Fernandes (60th minute) and Cyril Thereau (71st) completed a second-half comeback following Mauro Icardi‘s 44th-minute opener.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Torino 2-2 Palermo
Napoli 2-2 Empoli
Atalanta 3-2 Cesena