Pique injury blow sours Messi's latest Barca feat
BARCELONA'S latest La Liga victory was soured by the news that Gerard Pique will be out for the next 15 days after suffering a hamstring strain that will keep him out of this week's Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen.
Lionel Messi reached another Barcelona landmark with two more brilliant goals to inspire his side to a 3-0 victory over Racing Santander.
The Argentinean added the finish following a slick one-two with Andres Iniesta to move clear in second on the Catalan club's list of all-time top goalscorers. And he rounded off the scoring with a simple finish after Iniesta had produced an outrageous piece of skill and shot against a post.
Levante beat Malaga 3-0 to stay in second, while Gonzalo Higuain's third hat-trick in four games steered Real Madrid to an emphatic home 4-1 win over Real Betis.
Villarreal's poor form continued with a scoreless draw at Getafe ahead of their Champions League tie with Manchester City tomorrow.
In Italy, Inter Milan's season hit a new low with a shock defeat to lowly Catania on Saturday, leaving Claudio Ranieri's men sitting perilously above the bottom three. Five of yesterday's six Serie A games ended scoreless, with Juventus slipping up against Chievo.
Bayern Munich won again to go five points clear at top of the Bundesliga, with Mario Gomez book-ending goals from Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger in a 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
Arsenal's Champions League opponents Marseille continued their stuttering start to the Ligue 1 season, drawing 0-0 at Toulouse, though Andre-Pierre Gignac returned following a month out.
Paris Saint-Germain continued their flying start, with a Kevin Gameiro hat-trick enough to beat Ajaccio.
Genk's preparations for their tough trip to Stamford Bridge were hardly ideal as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Lokeren in the Belgian First Division.