x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

European football round-up: Messi scores four and Ronaldo three ahead of cup Clasico

The world's two best players warmed up for their midweek Copa Del Rey encounter in imperious fashion, claiming seven goals between them as Barcelona hammered Osasuna and Madrid brushed aside Getafe.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi rounds Osasuna's Miguel Flano and goalkeeper Andres Fernandez on route to goal.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi rounds Osasuna's Miguel Flano and goalkeeper Andres Fernandez on route to goal.

SPAIN

Lionel Messi scored four times for Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo three for Real Madrid as the world's two best players warmed up for midweek's El Clasico in style.

Messi became the first player to score in eleven consecutive La Liga matches, taking his career total past the 200 mark after almost single-handedly destroying ten-man Osasuna as Barcelona ran out 5-1 winners.

Earlier, Ronaldo hit a second-half hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-0 home win over Getafe.

The pair will go head to head on Wednesday in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey semi-final at the Bernabeu, but last night both had things very much their own way.

Messi scored twice in each half, his second a penalty, as runaway Primera Division leaders Barcelona swept aside their 10-man opponents.

Pedro was also on target for the Catalans, while Raoul Loe briefly levelled for Osasuna before Alejandro Arribas' sending-off after 27 minutes made their task an almost impossible one.

Ronaldo's treble added to Sergio Ramos' opener for Madrid.

Barca's closest rivals Atletico Madrid slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao to leave the Catalans 11 points clear at the top of the table.

The win gave the hosts some measure of revenge for last season's Europa League final loss and came courtesy of three second-half efforts.

Athletic went in front within five minutes of the restart as Mikel San Jose nodded home from Markel Susaeta's corner.

Susaeta then finished the game as a contest with a neat finish from Ander Herrera's through-ball 13 minutes from time and Oscar de Marcos rounded off a fine night for the hosts when he stroked home Aritz Aduriz's cross at the end of a flowing counter-attack seven minutes later.

Malaga won 3-2 at Real Mallorca, despite playing the final 18 minutes with 10 men.

Early goals from Javier Saviola and Isco put Malaga in charge and Nacho Monreal restored the visiting side's two-goal lead in the second half after Victor Casadesus had pulled a goal back for the hosts.

Mallorca got another one back through Giovani dos Santos in the 71st minute, though, and their opponents lost Martin Demichelis to a red card 60 seconds later, but Malaga held on for the win.

Rayo Vallecano strengthened their European claims with a 3-0 win at home to Real Betis.

A fourth-minute penalty from Piti got the hosts off to a flying start and Andrija Delibasic doubled the lead, heading home Jose Casado's cross at the end of a wonderful team move midway through the second half.

Jose Carlos rounded off the scoring with a neat finish eight minutes from time.

 

FRANCE

Paris St Germain returned to the top of Ligue 1 with a fortunate 1-0 win over Lille at the Parc des Princes.

Lille defender Aurelien Chedjou's second-half own goal earned Carlo Ancelotti's men their ninth win in 10 games and lifted them back above Lyon on goal difference.

Referee Freddy Fautrel also controversially ruled out a first-half goal for the visitors, who were left languishing in mid-table.

One goal was also all that was required for in-form Bordeaux to beat Nice and leapfrog their hosts into fifth place.

Henri Saivet's second-half strike earned Bordeaux, who have lost just one of their last eight league matches, their first victory at the Stade du Ray since 2005 and consigned Nice to only their second defeat in 12 outings.

St Etienne boosted their hopes of European football next season with a 3-0 victory over Bastia at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Brandao opened the scoring after nine minutes and further goals in the final 11 minutes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Josua Guilavogui sealed Les Verts' first home league win since November.

The result - a repeat score line from the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign - leaves St Etienne in seventh spot, a point behind Nice and Bordeaux.

 

ITALY

Edinson Cavani struck a late winner at Parma as Napoli took full advantage of a slip from Juventus to close back to within three points of the Serie A pacesetters.

It appeared Napoli would have to settle for a draw at the Stadio Ennio Tardini after Paolo Cannavaro's own goal cancelled out Marek Hamsik's first-half opener.

However, Cavani had other ideas and the in-form Uruguayan raced clear five minutes from the end to decide a 2-1 victory and inflict a first home league defeat in 10 months on Parma.

With Juve's management going into meltdown after last night's 1-1 draw with Genoa, and Lazio losing ground due to a 1-0 home defeat to Chievo, Napoli are well-placed to launch an assault on top spot.

In the late game, Inter Milan were lucky to salvage a 2-2 draw at the San Siro after being run ragged by a Torino side inspired by Riccardo Meggiorini.

Cristian Chivu had given the Nerazzurri the lead from a free kick but two goals from ex-Inter man Meggiorini soon turned the game on its head, only for Esteban Cambiasso to find the equaliser to spare the home team's blushes.

A solitary goal from Stephan El Shaarawy had already seen AC Milan climb above Fiorentina, who lost at Catania, following a 1-0 win over Atalanta.

The talented striker's clinical finish earned the visitors all three points in Bergamo, while Atalanta's bid for a first win in six games unravelled when Davide Brivio was sent off in the second half.

Inter's one-point haul means Milan could finally leapfrog their city rivals into fourth with victory over Udinese next week, should their neighbours lose at Siena.

Fiorentina found themselves down in sixth as Catania came from behind to win 2-1 and deny Vincenzo Montella any joy on his return to Sicily.

Giulio Migliaccio put Montella's new club on the road to victory with a header before Nicola Legrottaglie pegged the visitors back shortly after the break.

Alberto Aquilani's late dismissal proved costly, though, as Lucas Castro snatched the winner two minutes from time.

Bologna and Roma shared six goals in an entertaining 3-3 draw at the Renato Dall'Ara.

Alessandro Florenzi gave Roma the early lead but Alberto Gilardino soon levelled. Pablo Osvaldo put Roma back in front only for Manolo Gabbiadini to restore parity before the break.

Cristian Pasquato put Bologna ahead as play resumed but Panagiotis Tachtsidis scored the final goal in the 74th minute.

There were also six goals at the Marassi, with Mauro Icardi scoring four times as Sampdoria claimed an emphatic 6-0 victory over fellow strugglers Pescara.

Eder set Samp on their way from the penalty spot and Icardi doubled their advantage before the interval.

The floodgates opened after the restart, Pedro Obiang making it 3-0 before Icardi took centre stage with three further goals to seal the rout.

Palermo, meanwhile, remain mired in a relegation battle after substitute Thiago Ribeiro salvaged a 1-1 draw for Cagliari.

A remarkable finish from Josip Ilicic set the Rosanero on the road to a rare victory but Ribeiro pounced on the stroke of full-time.

Elsewhere, a solitary goal from Luis Muriel was enough for Udinese to seal a 1-0 win over basement boys Siena.

 

GERMANY

Mario Mandzukic scored one and set up another as runaway leaders Bayern Munich increased their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 11 points with a 2-0 victory at Stuttgart.

Mandzukic gave Bayern the lead in the 50th minute before Thomas Muller (72) made it two.

Stuttgart played the final 10 minutes a man light after Martin Harnik was shown a second yellow card.

Bayern now have 48 points to lead comfortably from second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who could only draw against Freiburg. Stuttgart stay on 25 points, four behind sixth-placed Schalke.

Dennis Aogo scored one and set up another as Hamburg beat nine-man Werder Bremen 3-2 to collect their first victory of 2013.

Assani Lukimya gave Bremen the lead after nine minutes before Heung-Min Son equalised in the 22nd minute.

Aogo pushed Hamburg ahead in the 46th and Artjoms Rudnevs made it 3-1 after 52 minutes.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos pulled a goal back for Bremen in the 54th minute before captain Clemens Fritz was sent off after receiving a second yellow in the 80th minute.

The visitors' numbers were further reduced in injury time as Marko Arnautovic also saw red.

 

HOLLAND

PSV Eindhoven continue to lead the way in the Eredivisie after both of their nearest rivals failed to pick up wins this afternoon.

FC Twente were unable to break down a stubborn Feyenoord defence as the teams played out a goalless draw in Rotterdam.

Ajax, meanwhile, saw an eight-match unbeaten run ended with a 3-2 defeat at Vitesse Arnhem.

The Amsterdam visitors were two goals up after an own goal from Guram Kashia (33) and Christian Eriksen's 65th-minute strike.

But Theo Janssen's reply four minutes later sparked a Vitesse fightback, and two goals in three minutes from Patrick van Aanholt (79) and Renato Ibarra (81) turned the match around.

Defeat leaves Ajax third in the standings, two points behind Twente and three adrift of leaders PSV.

FC Utrecht consolidated their top-six placing with a 3-1 victory over basement side Willem II.

Goals from Anour Kali (48), Edouard Duplan (67) and Bob Schepers (89) put Utrecht in the driving seat before a last-minute consolation from Rob Haemhouts.

Soren Rieks hit a late winner as NEC Nijmegen edged out FC Groningen 2-1.

Rens van Eijden's 11th-minute opener for NEC was cancelled out by Lorenzo Burnet after 67 minutes, but the home side took the lead once more 10 minutes from time through Rieks.

A red card for Mitchell Schet in the dying minutes capped a frustrating afternoon for Groningen.

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