La Liga and Serie A roundup: Chicharito scores twice in Real Madrid victory, Napoli downs Sampdoria


The season’s end of club soccer in Europe is drawing to a close with many sides still inging for better standing in their league tables.

In Spain and Italy, several matches occurred on Sunday in each country’s top-flight, and some had implications in the quest for late-year excellence.

Real Madrid 4-2 Celta Vigo: Cristiano Ronaldo was on the pitch for Real Madrid and was never substituted off, but he wasn’t necessarily the focal point of Los Blancos‘ third consecutive win. It was Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez who started the game and scored half of Real’s total to give him a four goals in the past four games. Hernandez’s first arrived as the consequence of some crafty interplay with young Colombian star James Rodriguez (also a scorer in this one), and the next one was a fine finish from Sergio Ramos’ assist. Toni Kroos’ long-range effort in the 16th minute leveled the score following Nolito’s game-opener. To make the score 2-2, Santi Mina netted an equalizer from his strike that rebounded off the post in the 28th minute.

[RELATED: Saturday’s roundup]

Sevilla 2-0 Rayo: Sevilla is doing their best to qualify for the Champions League next season, and this win over 11th place Rayo has ushered them closer to that goal. Defensive midfielder Vicente Iborra buried the first goal of the contest in the 16th minute when Diogo Figueiras set him up, and two minutes prior to the half, Daniel Carrico headed Denis Suarez’s cross into the net’s corner for the 2-0 advantage. Rayo pushed hard to generate some threatening offensive possession in the second half, and Gael Kakuta and Alejandro Pozuelo had endeavors that could’ve changed the game. Still, it was clear that Sevilla, now one point ahead of fifth-place Valencia and six points behind third-place Atletico Madrid, had more to fight for.

Other La Liga results from today

Malaga 1-1 Deportivo

Almeria 2-0 Eibar


Results from Saturday

Espanyol 0-2 Barcelona

Getafe CF 0-1 Levante

Real Sociedad 0-0 Villarreal

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Elche


Napoli 4-2 Sampdoria: An own-goal from Napoli center back Raúl Albiol gave Sampdoria the early 12th-minute lead and stunned the home supporters at the Stadio San Paolo. But the Little Donkeys, who are vying for the best finish possible with several other squads in Serie A’s top five, turned the tide rapidly. In the 31st minute, Il Doria goalkeeper Manolo Gabbiadini regretfully let in Napoli’s opener from Manolo Gabbiadini, and three minutes later, Gabbiadini fed Gonzalo Higuaín for the 2-1 lead. Lorenzo Insigne’s goal, a late effort from Sampdoria’s Luis Muriel and a penalty-kick conversion from Higuaín wrapped up the scoring, as Napoli is currently three points away from Lazio in second place.

Parma 1-0 Palermo: Parma had braved a season of financial doubt, amid reports that the club, having transportation issues and a short supply of hot water, declared bankruptcy in March. Situated deep in the table at last place, holding 16 total points on the season, little has been expected of the Crusaders. Nonetheless, based on a 1-0 victory over mid-table Palermo, it appears the Italian bottom dwellers are not calling it quits quite yet. When Antonio Nocerino buried the penalty kick after Massimo Gobbi was hauled down in the box, Parma had grabbed the key advantage needed to walk away with a confidence boosting victory, but the outfit is fifteen points away from escaping demotion with just six games left.

Other Serie A results from today

Atalanta 2-2 Empoli

Torino 2-1 Juventus (first derby win in 20 years)

Fiorentina 1-3 Cagliari

Lazio 1-1 Chievo

Verona 3-2 Sassuolo

Genoa 3-1 Cesena


Results from Saturday

Udinese 2-1 Milan

Inter Milan 2-1 Roma

La Liga Saturday roundup: Barcelona beats Rayo, Atletico falls to Valencia

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La Liga Saturday had five games take place, and while it’s assumed Barcelona would defeat Rayo, Valencia came away with a win that made a statement, defeating incumbent title holders Atletico Madrid, 3-1.

Here are quick roundups of each match.

Valencia 3-1 Atletico Madrid: Miranda’s own-goal in the sixth minute started Atletico on the wrong foot, and a quick succession of scores, Andre Gomes finish in the seventh minute and Nicolas Otamendi’s header in the 13th minute, put Diego Simeone’s side in a hole far too deep. Mario Mandzukic’s conversion in the 29th minute was all the Red and Whites could muster, as Valencia jumped them in the league table at second place.

Rayo 0-2 Barcelona: The Neymar-Messi duo ultimately provided Barcelona with victory, but overall, it wasn’t the typical astounding win some may have come to expect out of Luis Enrique and Co. Messi’s chipped score in the 35th minute has drawn him within two goals of the Spanish league goal scoring record, while Neymar’s one-timed strike has the young Brazilian in fine form. Barca remains at the top of the La Liga table with 19 points. Rayo sits in 11th place.

[RELATED: La Liga Standings]

Eibar 3-3 Levante: Levante let themselves go in the second half, relinquishing a two-goal lead. And then, when they established a 3-2 advantage off Victor Casadesus’ goal in the 79th minute, a 90th minute score from Federico Piovaccari finalized the 3-3 draw in what was a high-scoring, thrilling affair. Eibar exists in the seventh spot of the league table. Levante is nearing relegation in 17th place.

Almeria 2-2 Elche: Elche rushed out to an early lead, with Victor Rodriquez netting a goal in the sixth minute, but Verza’s penalty kick conversion in the 37th minute drew the two sides even, 1-1, before halftime. Elche could’ve preserved the victorious result following Jonathas score in the 57th minute. However, late-game magic from Tomer Hamid tied the game at 2-2. Almeria is situated in the 8th position of the league rankings. Elche moved up to 16th place with a point gained from this match.

Malaga 2-1 Granada: Only one minute had passed, and Youssef El Arabi had fired a strike into the back of the net off a block near the outskirts of the penalty area. Granada looked dull to start this competition, but eventually, they strengthened their performance, and substitute Roque Santa Cruz tallied an equalizer in the 60th minute. Twenty minutes later, Granada would fully loose their once-firm grip on the match’s scoreline, a controversial call leading to a simple PK score from Antunes. With this victory, Malaga went one point ahead of Granada in the league table.