Thursday 29 September 2016

Hernandez-inspired Real maintain pressure after Barca Derby victory

Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30

Neymar followed his two goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday by slotting home after 17 minutes in Barcelona's 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday
Neymar followed his two goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday by slotting home after 17 minutes in Barcelona's 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday

Javier Hernandez fired a brace as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Celta Vigo 4-2 away and keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga last night.

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The Mexican forward is only in the side due to a Real injury crisis but followed up the goal that knocked Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League last Wednesday with a strike in both halves.

Toni Kroos slotted in the equaliser after 16 minutes following the opener by Celta winger Nolito and then Hernandez finished clinically after 24 minutes.

In a pulsating game, Celta's Santi Mina then knocked the ball home after his initial effort hit a post.

Cristiano Ronaldo also struck the woodwork before a James Rodriguez drive from the edge of the area flicked off Andreu Fontas and past keeper Sergio Alvarez before half-time.

Neymar scored the opener to continue his rich vein of form as 10-man Barcelona won a one-sided La Liga derby against Espanyol 2-0 on Saturday while Antoine Griezmann's double helped Atletico Madrid beat Elche 3-0.

Neymar followed his two goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday by slotting home after Luis Suarez dummied a cross after 17 minutes.

Barca picked holes in Espanyol's defence, with Lionel Messi doubling the lead from a tight angle after 25 minutes before Jordi Alba was sent off early in the second half.

The defender was shown two yellow cards after 53 minutes for a lengthy protest with the referee but Espanyol failed to apply any concerted pressure on Barca in the remainder of the match.

Griezmann's two goals helped Atletico put their Champions League exit behind them in order to concentrate on winning third place in La Liga.

The Frenchman now has 22 league goals in an impressive debut season at the Calderon after heading Atletico into the lead 10 minutes into the second half and then slotting home from close range 14 minutes from the end.

In between, a Raul Garcia shot from distance sneaked past the dive of 'keeper Przemyslaw Tyton and into the corner after 63 minutes.

In Germany, Bayern Munich secured the Bundesliga title after Borussia Monchengladbach beat second-placed Wolfsburg 1-0 yesterday.

Bayern had done their part in securing the title on Saturday thanks to their 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin in which Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time.

Meanwhile, Torino came from behind to beat Serie A leaders Juventus 2-1 in the Turin derby yesterday and prevail over their more glamorous neighbours for the first time in 20 years.

Juventus looked set to continue their 17-match unbeaten run in the fixture when Andrea Pirlo put the visitors ahead with a typically majestic free-kick in the 35th minute.

But Matteo Darmian levelled for Torino on the stroke of half-time and Fabio Quagliarella scored the winner against his former club in the 57th minute, just after Pirlo had struck the post from another free-kick.

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