Sevilla

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La Liga wrap: Benzema stars, Real Madrid routs Leganes

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Real Madrid answered the performance of title rivals Barcelona by climbing back into second place via a five-star performance at the Bernabeu, while Athletic Bilbao also posted a comfortable win and Nabil Fekir played last-minute hero for Real Betis.

All of the above is in La Liga’s wrap-up of action from Wednesday.

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla

Ruben Subrino’s goal in the 81st minute sent the home crowd home a bit happier than it would’ve been had Lucas Ocampos’ late first half goal been the only marker, but a drab match will have both sides well aware of what it left on, or off of, the table.

Real Madrid 5-0 Leganes

Zinedine Zidane’s men got the feel-good, straight-forward win it wanted when Rodrygo and Toni Kroos scored a minute apart to make it 2-0 within eight minutes of kickoff, and Luka Jovic scored his first Real goal in stoppage time to hopefully signal a return to the form the left at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Karim Benzema had a goal and two assists for Madrid, who also got one from a Sergio Ramos penalty in their move back into second place.

Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Espanyol

Iker Munian is not having the career many expected, but he was the man on Wednesday. Munian scored his second and third goals of the season as the Basque side denied its Catalan visitors the chance to climb out of the drop zone.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Levante

Goals from Enis Bardhi and Borja Mayoral held up to boost the hosts into sixth.

Real Betis 2-1 Celta Vigo

Nabil Fekir scored in the 90th minute as Real Betis overcame a blown lead to claim all three points for what, at least for the moment, was a relegation six-pointer.

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 10 7 1 2 28 11 17 5-0-0 2-1-2 22
 Real Madrid 10 6 3 1 21 9 12 4-1-0 2-2-1 21
 Granada 10 6 2 2 17 10 7 4-0-1 2-2-1 20
 Atlético Madrid 11 5 5 1 11 6 5 3-3-0 2-2-1 20
 Sevilla 11 6 2 3 14 12 2 3-1-1 3-1-2 20
 Real Sociedad 11 6 1 4 18 12 6 3-0-2 3-1-2 19
 Villarreal 10 5 2 3 24 14 10 3-2-0 2-0-3 17
 Athletic Club 11 4 4 3 11 7 4 4-1-1 0-3-2 16
 Osasuna 10 3 5 2 10 9 1 2-3-0 1-2-2 14
 Levante 11 4 2 5 12 13 -1 2-2-1 2-0-4 14
 València 11 3 5 3 15 17 -2 2-4-0 1-1-3 14
 Valladolid 11 3 5 3 11 14 -3 1-3-0 2-2-3 14
 Getafe 10 3 4 3 14 14 0 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 Alavés 11 3 3 5 9 14 -5 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Betis 11 3 3 5 14 21 -7 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Mallorca 10 3 1 6 7 13 -6 3-1-2 0-0-4 10
 Eibar 10 2 3 5 10 15 -5 2-0-2 0-3-3 9
 Celta Vigo 11 2 3 6 6 14 -8 2-1-3 0-2-3 9
 Espanyol 11 2 2 7 5 18 -13 0-0-5 2-2-2 8
 Leganés 11 1 2 8 5 19 -14 1-1-4 0-1-4 5

LIVE La Liga, Serie A: Real Madrid, Juventus, Napoli all in action

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There are 12 games across Serie A and La Liga on Wednesday, with plenty of big hitters in midweek league action.

Juventus have the chance to go back to the top of Serie A as Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. host Genoa, while Napoli host Atalanta in what should be a cracking game. Roma travel to Udinese and Lazio host Torino as Italy’s top-flight continues to stay tight early in the season.

[ LIVE: La Liga scoresSerie A scores ]

Over in Spain, things are very congested at the top of the table as Real Sociedad can move joint-top with a victory against Levante, so too can Sevilla with a win at Valencia and Real Madrid move into second with a win over Leganes and other results going their way.

Click on the links above to follow the scores from both leagues


La Liga schedule
Valencia v. Sevilla – 2 p.m. ET
Real Sociedad v. Levante – 2 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao v. Espanyol – 2 p.m. ET
Real Betis v. Celta Vigo – 4 p.m. ET
Real Madrid v. Leganes – 4:15 p.m. ET

Serie A schedule
Napoli v. Atalanta – 2 p.m. ET
Sassuolo v. Fiorentina – 4 p.m. ET
Sampdoria v. Lecce – 4 p.m. ET
Udinese v. Roma – 4 p.m. ET
Cagliari v. Bologna – 4 p.m. ET
Juventus v. Genoa – 4 p.m. ET
Lazio v. Torino – 4 p.m. ET

Messi scores 1st goal of season as Barca beats Sevilla 4-0

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BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi has ended his mini-scoring drought as Barcelona finds its winning stride.

Messi curled a left-footed free kick over the wall and into the net for his first goal of the season to wrap up Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Sevilla in the Spanish league on Sunday.

The soccer great thrust his finger in the air before pumping his fist in celebration after scoring in the 78th minute. Messi had gone scoreless in his previous four appearances after being sidelined for five games with injuries.

Messi’s 37th goal in 38 career meetings with Sevilla was also his first since he won his record sixth FIFA player of the year award last month.

“We know how important Leo is for this team and what he means to us,” Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal said. “If he is playing well it helps us a lot.”

Luis Suarez put Barcelona on the winning path for a second time this week after netting with a bicycle kick in the 27th despite Sevilla having dominated the game before then. On Wednesday, the Uruguay striker had sparked a 2-1 comeback over Inter Milan in the Champions League with a superb volley before he added a fine second goal.

Vidal and Ousmane Dembele added two more goals against Sevilla in the next 10 minutes to turn what had been a tightly contested start into a demolition.

After a stuttering start to the season while Messi was out injured, Barcelona’s fourth straight victory in all competitions lifted it into second place and two points behind leader Real Madrid. Barcelona will host Madrid on Oct. 26.

Atletico Madrid slipped to third – one point behind Barcelona – after being held 0-0 at Valladolid, its third scoreless draw in four rounds.

“It was a complicated match and the score by halftime was a bit exaggerated,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We had more firepower than they did. After scoring the first goal we created danger practically every time we reached their area.”

Barcelona finished with nine men after referee Mateu Lahoz sent off Ronald Araujo on his debut after making contact with Sevilla’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez with only the Barcelona goalkeeper to beat. Replays showed minor contact between the two players.

Demebele was then shown a direct red, for criticizing Lahoz’s decision by saying he was “very bad.”

NIGHT TO FORGET

The last time Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui came to Camp Nou, his Real Madrid team had been routed 5-1. He was fired a day later.

One year later, Lopetegui must have been at a loss to see his team trailing 3-0 at halftime after it had outplayed Barcelona in the first 25 minutes, largely thanks to Lucas Ocampos’ powerful runs down the right flank and on-target passes.

Sevilla’s Luuk De Jong, however, had a night to forget. After goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an excellent save against his point-blank shot off a pass by Ocampos, the striker had three glaring misses.

Lopetegui looked on in disbelief when De Jong’s header off another Ocampos cross failed to go in – a minute before Suarez whipped in Nelson Semedo’s cross at the other end.

De Jong’s bad Fortune continued after halftime when he stole the ball to leave himself in a perfect position, only to hit the post. He has yet to score since joining Sevilla in the offseason.

“It was a painful and undeserved loss,” Lopetegui said. “We were missing our finishing touch. De Jong did a lot of things very well, just as the team did, but to win at Camp Nou you have to play well and have a bit of luck.”

TOOTHLESS ATTACK

Atletico’s three-prong attack of Joao Felix, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata wasn’t able to unsettle the modest Valladolid.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone sent on Angel Correa and Thomas Lemar for Felix and Morata, but they only slightly improved the attack. Atletico’s best scoring chance came in the 82nd when substitute Correa hit the upright.

Valladolid striker Sandor Ramirez squandered his side’s only good opportunity in the first half when he sent a penalty kick, that he had earned, high over the crossbar.

“It was very hard game, they play very well as a tight unit,” Simeone said. “(It was) a game that ended in a draw that we didn’t want, but we gave it our all.”

OTHER GAMES

Getafe fought back once Real Sociedad was reduced to 10 men to win 2-1 in San Sebastian, leaving Sociedad in fifth place just ahead of Sevilla.

Iago Aspas broke his seven-game scoring drought and gave Celta Vigo a 1-0 win over Athletic Bibao.

Espanyol fell second to last after losing 2-0 at Mallorca.

La Liga Roundup: Real Madrid secure huge road victory

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For all the talk of a crisis at Real Madrid through the summer and early portion of the season, Los Blancos sit in second place in the La Liga table after a huge road win at Sevilla. That match highlights Sunday’s La Liga action from Spain.

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Sevilla 0-1 Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has been overlooked at times, partially because he always played in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow and because Didier Deschamps refuses to select him for the France National Team. But on Sunday, he came through big, as he often does, for his club side Real Madrid.

Los Blancos secured a big 1-0 victory at Sevilla, with the hosts – Sergio Ramos’ former club – failing to register a shot on target. Early on Sevilla floated balls into the box and had a shout for a penalty kick when a header clanged off Raphael Varane before going out of play. However, it wasn’t ruled a handball.

In the 65th minute, Benzema found himself in space in the box and off a great feed from right back Dani Carvajal, the Frenchman headed back across goal to put Real Madrid up 1-0.

The partnership of Ramos and Varane kept Mexican international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez quiet after entering in the 69th minute. The match was also the first for Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui against his former employers since they sacked him just a few months into the season.

With the win, Real Madrid moves into a tie for first in the table, though they sit in second place behind Athletic Bilbao on goal differential.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 1-1 Valencia

Getafe 4-2 Mallorca

Espanyol 1-3 Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Alaves

La Liga roundup: Sevilla edges Alaves, takes lead of league

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Sevilla becoming league leaders headlines Sunday’s La Liga action.

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Alaves 0-1 Sevilla

As far as the standings go, there is no better team in Spain’s top-flight than Sevilla. 

With a free-kick goal from Joan Jordan in the 37th minute, Julen Lopetegui’s side earned a 1-0 victory against Alaves, climbing to the summit of La Liga with 10 points, one ahead of Atletico Madrid. 

The visiting side controlled the majority of the match, dominating control of the ball and putting seven shots on frame. In the late stages of the game, off of a counter-attack, Lucas Ocampos’ rifling shot struck the post.

Alaves, who lost their first match of the season, only recording no shots on target on seven total shots. But nearly shocked everyone in attendance when Manu Garcia’s diving header went inches wide of Tomáš Vaclík goal.

Mexico international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandezmade his Sevilla debut, coming on in the 70th minute for Luuk De Jong.

The league leaders host Real Madrid next, while Alaves look to bounce back against red-hot Athletic Bilbao.

Celta Vigo 0-2 Granada

The reflectors aren’t not on them, but Granda are off to a formidable start.

To be exact, following a 2-0 win against an in-theory superior Celta Vigo, the recently-promoted side sits seventh in the table, tied with Barcelona with seven points.

The visiting side did get a big boost: a numerical advantage on the field. By the 29th minute, Celta were playing with nine players, following the direct red cards to midfielder Fran Beltran and defender Jorge Saenz. It was a one-sided game from there on out.

Right before heading into the dressing room, German Sanchez headed one home for Granada. In the 54th minute, former NYCFC midfielder Yangel Herrera’s a rocket of a shot was impossible for Ruben Blanco to save.

Granada host Barcelona next. Elsewhere, Celta Vigo hope to not look half as bad as they travel to nation’s capital to take on Atletico Madrid.

Eibar 1-2 Espanyol

Valladolid 1-1 Osasuna

Real Betis 1-1 Getafe