Catch up on all of Sunday’s action from Spain and Italy’s top flights.
Barcelona 5-0 Levante
It was all Barcelona as Lionel Messi bagged his 23rd La Liga hat-trick, tying the record set earlier this season by Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar and Luis Suarez joined Messi on the scoresheet as Barcelona dismantled a Levante side that sits second-to-last in La Liga. With the win, Barcelona stay a point behind Real Madrid for the top spot on the table.
Coming off of a massive win in the Madrid derby, Atletico were shutout by Celta Vigo today and now trail Barcelona by six points. Agudo Duran put the hosts ahead from the spot in the 59th minute before Fabian Orellana sealed the game just over ten minutes later. Atletico was dominated all match long, as Celta Vigo enjoyed nearly 70 percent possession.
Valencia 1-0 Getafe
Valencia moves back into the top four with a close win over a less-than-stellar Getafe side. The visitors parked the bus and rarely went on the attack, but remained strong as Valencia tried to break them down. Deadlocked at zero, Alvaro Negredo got three points for the hosts when he drew a foul in the box and converted the penalty himself in the 71st minute.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Rayo 2-0 Villarreal
Eibar vs. Elche (Monday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Parma is glued to the bottom of the table in Serie A but got a massive result as they left Rome with a point. Roma sit second in the league but failed to score against a Parma side that has conceded a Serie A-high 47 goals this season. Roma welcomed back Gervinho and Seydou Doumbia from the Africa Cup of Nations, but neither player made an impact as the team was booed off the pitch by the home fans.
Juventus had the chance to go nine points clear at the top of the table, but squandered that opportunity as they drew Cesena 2-2. Cesena sit 19th on the table but took the lead on the league leaders inside 20 minutes when Milan Djuric found the back of the net. Juventus quickly went ahead with two goals in six minutes from Alvaro Morata and Claudio Marchisio, going into the break up 2-1. Cesena tied it in the second half, but with less than ten minutes to play, Juventus was awarded a penalty kick after a handball in the box. Arturo Vidal stepped up to win three points for Juve, but the Chilean sent his shot wide left as they settled for a draw.
Atalanta 1-4 Inter Milan
Xherdan Shaquiri put the visitors ahead in the second minute and Inter didn’t look back as they defeated Atalanta 4-1. Atalanta were forced to ten men when Yohan Benalouane picked up his second yellow card right after the break, leaving the Atalanta defense open for Fredy Guarin to pick up his second goal of the match in the 63rd minute. With the win, Inter sit in tenth place on the table as Atalanta remain 17th.
Elsewhere in Serie A
AC Milan 1-1 Empoli
Udinese 0-1 Lazio
Genoa 5-2 Verona
Torino 1-1 Cagliari
Chievo 2-1 Sampdoria
La Liga & Serie A roundup: Real Madrid back on track; AC Milan squander points again
A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:
Real Madrid 3-0 Espanyol
For 24 hours, Real Madrid are back level on games played and four points ahead of both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who play each other on Sunday (3 pm ET), atop the La Liga standings. Cristiano Ronaldo shared the goals exceedingly nicely with his teammates in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Espanyol.
James Rodriguez (6th La Liga goal of the 2014-15 season) and Gareth Bale (8th goal, 2014-15) put the game out of reach early as they netted goals in the 12th and 28th minutes, respectively, before Nacho Fernandez scored his first league goal of the season to complete the scoring.
Celta Vigo 1-1 Valencia
Valencia’s Champions League quest took a bit of a hit on Saturday as Los Che (35 points) gave up a second-half lead away to Celta Vigo and dropped two points which would have seen Nuno Espirito Santo’s side go four points clear of Sevilla (33), who now have two games in hand, in the race for fourth.
Rodrigo put Valencia ahead with a low, powerful effort from 22 yards out which slipped underneath the goalkeeper after 43 minutes, but Fabian Orellana equalized for Os Célticos just past the hour mark and the 1-1 scoreline held despite the hosts’ greatest efforts otherwise.
Malaga 1-1 Villarreal
Villarreal (32 points) were unable to capitalize on Valencia’s in their own chase for Champions League qualification. Likewise, El Submarino Amarillo were a goal ahead away from home, only to concede the equalizer on the hour mark and drop two points in a game in which they out-possessed their opponents but failed to create more than a couple clear goalscoring opportunities.
Jonathan dos Santos, younger brother of teammate Giovani, put Villarreal up 1-0 with an extremely tight-angled finish during first-half stoppage time, but Nordin Amrabat lifted the ball over an onrushing Sergio Asenjo well outside the 18-yard box and found the back of the net to keep Malaga (31) alive in their own quest for European qualification.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Eibar 2-1 Getafe
Sunday’s La Liga schedule
Almeria vs. Sevilla (6 am ET)
Athletic Bilbao vs. Elche (11 am ET)
Granada vs. Real Sociedad (1 pm ET)
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid (3 pm ET)
Torino 1-1 AC Milan
Jeremy Menez’s strong season for AC Milan continued on Saturday as the Frenchman netted his ninth Serie A goal of the season, a third-minute penalty to give the Rossoneri a dream start. The game’s next big moments would come in the 30th and 45th minutes as Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio picked up a pair of first-half yellow cards and left his team a man down for the entirety of the second half.
Milan soaked up the pressure well for 35 minutes, holding dearly onto their slim 1-0 lead before Kamil Glik finally broke through and gave Torino a deserved equalizing goal in the 81st minute. The Polish defender rose above everyone else to put his head on Bruno Peres corner kick. Milan (26 points) currently occupy Serie A’s seventh-place spot, while Torino (19) are seven points clear of the relegation zone in 13th.
Sassuolo 1-1 Udinese
A place in Serie A’s top half was on the line as Sassuolo (24 points, 10th) hosted Udinese (23, 11th) on Saturday. Goals from Sassuolo’s Simone Zaza (15h minute) and Udinese’s Cyril Thereau (26th) canceled each other out and saw the sides end the day in the exact same place they started.
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Inter Milan vs. Genoa (6:30 am ET)
Roma vs. Lazio (9 am ET)
Sampdoria vs. Empoli (9 am ET)
Atalanta vs. Chievo (9 am ET)
Cagliari vs. Cesena (9 am ET)
Fiorentina vs. Palermo (9 am ET)
Hellas Verona vs. Parma (9 am ET)
Napoli vs. Juventus (2:45 pm ET)