La Liga & Serie A roundup: Barcelona drop points, title race tightens up; Juventus lose

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:

Sevilla 2-2 Barcelona

Barcelona jumped out to an early lead on the back of goals scored by Lionel Messi (14th minute) and Neymar (31st), but failed to secure all three points and blew the La Liga title race wide open, as Ever Banega (38th) and Kevin Gameiro (84th) hit the current league leaders back for a 2-2 draw. Messi’s goal was the 399th of his Barcelona career.

With two points dropped in Seville, Barca’s lead was cut in half on Saturday, from four points to two, thanks to results elsewhere in the league.

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Real Madrid 3-0 Eibar

Do you remember the scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker says the Batman, “I don’t want to kill you. What would I do without you?” That’s Barca and Madrid. Real’s real struggles left the door wide open for Barca to take total control of the league title with barely two months of the regular season remaining. Barca slip up on Saturday, and Real rediscover their form to make the race close again.

Cristiano Ronaldo (21st minute), Javier Hernandez (31st) and Jese Rodriguez (83rd) were the goalscorers as Los Blancos won their third-straight league game, by a combined score of 14-1, since they tasted El Clasico defeat on March 22.

Malaga 2-2 Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann bagged his 17th and 18th league goals of the season to cancel out goals scored by Fernando Torres (own goal) and Samuel. After rescuing a point, Diego Simeone’s side currently sits in third, four points clear of Valencia and Sevilla, the final automatic UEFA Champions League qualification place in Spain.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Almeria 3-0 Granada
Celta Vigo 6-1 Rayo Vallecano

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Getafe vs. Villarreal (6 am ET)
Espanyol vs. Athletic Bilbao (11 pm ET)
Real Sociedad vs. Deportivo La Coruna (1 pm ET)
Cordoba vs. Elche (3 pm ET)



source: APParma 1-0 Juventus

If the current league leaders lose the very bottom team in the league and there’s no other team within 14 miles (points) to see it, did it really happen? Based on video evidence, it did indeed happen on Saturday, as Serie A champions-to-be Juventus fell to relegation-certain Parma, 1-0.

Massimiliano Allegri elected to rest a number of key starters with his side facing Monaco in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday. 18-year-old Jose Mauri scored the only goal of the game, a placed finish from the top of the penalty area, giving Parma just their 16th point of the season (minus-three points deduction for failing to pay players’ wages). Roma (56 points) and Lazio (55) now hold a game in hand over Juventus (70) in the not-so-hot title race.

Hellas Verona 0-3 Inter Milan

It’s time to break up Inter Milan. Roberto Mancini’s side got their first win in eight tries (all competitions) on Saturday when they beat up on 15th-placed Verona.

Mauro Icardi (11th minute) and Rodrigo Palacio (48th) scored for the visitors before Luca Toni missed a penalty for Verona and defender Vangelis Moras put the ball into his own net (92nd) to complete the humiliation of losing to one of Serie A’s middling Milan sides. Inter move up to 8th with the victory, ahead of AC Milan on goal differential.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Genoa 2-0 Cagliari

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Cesena vs. Lazio (6:30 am ET)
Lazio vs. Empoly (9 am ET)
Napoli vs. Fiorentina (9 am ET)
Udinese vs. Palermo (9 am ET)
Torino vs. Roma (9 am ET)
Atalanta vs. Sassuolo (9 am ET)
AC Milan vs. Sampdoria (2:45 pm ET)

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Mexico needs a win to have hope of reaching the World Cup knockout rounds, while Saudi Arabia’s hopes of the final 16 may require the same at Stadium 974 in Doha on Wednesday.

The Saudis stunned Argentina 2-1 In Lusail to open the tournament but could not repeat the feat against Poland at Education City in Al Rayyan on Saturday to leave themselves with three points through two matches.

STREAM LIVE SAUDI ARABIA vs MEXICO

Mexico remains without a win after their scoreless draw versus Poland led to a Lionel Messi-inspired loss to Argentina In Lusail.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Saudi Arabia vs Mexico.


How to watch Saudi Arabia vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday Nov. 30
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The Saudis have arguably been the most fun team at the tournament amongst non-powers, always running and getting exceptional goalkeeping. Salem Al-Dawsari was very good in both games but his missed penalty before halftime against Poland looms large of a match that could’ve been 1-1 going to the break and instead ended 2-0.

Mexico has not scored at the tournament so far, and Raul Jimenez has only been used as a super sub. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega combined for just three shot attempts before being subbed out of the Poland loss, while Lozano and Henry Martin combined for two versus Poland (Vega attempted five). They need better up top to keep up their streak of making Round of 16 appearances at the World Cup.


Saudi Arabia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

Poland vs Argentina: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Poland and Argentina surely didn’t plan to reach the marquee match of World Cup Group C with their knockout round status in doubt, but it’s been that kind of tournament in Qatar.

Poland remains unbeaten in Qatar after beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in Al Rayyan, adding to the point it earned from a scoreless draw with Mexico In Doha to give it top billing in the group heading into Wednesday’s match.

STREAM LIVE POLAND vs ARGENTINA

Argentina, meanwhile, rebounded from a 2-1 tournament-opening loss to Saudi Arabia In Lusail to bear Mexico 2-0 behind a goal and an assist from Lionel Messi.

Saudi Arabia’s three points means it can still advance with a win over Mexico, who itself can add to its one point. So everyone’s alive in Group C.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Poland vs Argentina.


How to watch Poland vs Argentina live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday, Nov. 30
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The storyline for every Argentina game this tournament from this point forward — and really since the lead-up to the Mexico match — is that any loss means the end of Lionel Messi’s World Cup career (at least according to the living legend). The Albiceleste would be thrilled to get something more out of Lautaro Martinez, while Paulo Dybala’s yet to make his tournament debut.

Robert Lewandowski finally has a World Cup goal on his resume, while Piotr Zielinski has been very good for Poland. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sensational in the win over Saudi Arabia.


Poland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 26
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz
Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski

Argentina quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

Portugal vs Uruguay: How to watch, live stream link, team news

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Portugal looks to seal its fate in the World Cup Round of 16 by piling pressure on Uruguay when two titans of the sport meet in Lusail on Monday.

Portugal outlasted Ghana 3-2 in Doha to open its tournament with a big win that featured a controversial penalty for Cristiano Ronaldo, while Uruguay staged a scoreless draw with South Korea.

STREAM LIVE PORTUGAL vs URUGUAY

It’s a group that never looked easy and is looking more and more like a “Group of Death” as the World Cup rolls through Qatar in its typically tense fashion this month and next.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Portugal vs Uruguay.


How to watch Portugal vs Uruguay live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Everyone’s going to keep looking at Cristiano Ronaldo — it’s difficult not to turn your head with all the “Look at me” nonsense — but Bruno Fernandes is the real string-puller here. He’s playing well with Ruben Neves, while Ruben Dias and the back line will look to tighten things up after letting Ghana stay in the game.

Uruguay hero Luis Suarez has been here before, but his supporting cast is as good as ever. Rodrigo Betancur and Jose Maria Gimenez give La Celeste a chance at clean sheet every time they take the pitch.


Portugal quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 9
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Fernando Santos
Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo

Uruguay quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 14
World Cup titles: 2 (1930, 1950)
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified from CONMEBOL
Coach: Diego Alonso
Key players: Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Betancur

Brazil vs Switzerland: How to watch, live stream link, team news

Brazil vs Switzerland live
Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
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Opening match winners Brazil and Switzerland meet Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.

FIFA world No. 1 Brazil broke through pesky Serbia for a 2-0 win In Lusail to start the tournament as Richarlison scored two goals — one a ridiculous bit of technique — to get the Brazilians off on the right (and left) foot.

STREAM LIVE BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND

Switzerland meanwhile used a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon to claim three points and set up Monday’s win-and-in match.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Can Neymar-less Brazil take the next step toward a sixth World Cup? Here is everything you need for Brazil vs Switzerland.


How to watch Brazil vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Brazil will not have Neymar for this one and likely the rest of the group stage as the oft-fouled magician felt the sting of Serbian tackles in the opener. The Brazilians have had to play without their captain before and have a wealth of attacking options, but who will join Richarlison in providing the goals in a Ney-less attack.

The Swiss have all the tools to hang with Brazil, but how physical will they want to make it for the favorites? Granit Xhaka will be one to watch as the underdogs try to balance a desire to get forward with the danger of doing so against a potent Brazil.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Switzerland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 15
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Murat Yakin
Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler