Thursday 19 October 2017

Messi strike only enough to earn point for Barcelona

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Real Sociedad's Asier Illarramendi and Xabier Prieto. Photo: Getty
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Real Sociedad's Asier Illarramendi and Xabier Prieto. Photo: Getty

Jamie Holland

LIONEL MESSI salvaged a point for Barcelona against Real Sociedad at Anoeta to leave the champions trailing bitter rivals Real Madrid by six points in La Liga's title race.

Trailing to Willian Jose's goal eight minutes into the second half, Luis Enrique's side drew level just four minutes later through Messi when the Argentinian clinically converted a cutback from Neymar to end a run of four successive league defeats in San Sebastian for Barca as they moved above Sevilla on goal difference.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates his goal. Photo: Getty
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates his goal. Photo: Getty

On Saturday, Real earned a sixth consecutive league win as Cristiano Ronaldo's brace proved enough in a nervy 2-1 win over struggling Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu.

Atletico Madrid lie fourth, nine points off the their city rivals ,as Diego Godin and Kevin Gameiro scored within two minutes of each other and substitute Yannick Carrasco grabbed a third in stoppage time.

Comfortable

Diego Simeone's men were defeated 3-0 by Real at home last weekend, seven days after losing against Sociedad, but they got back on track with a comfortable win on the road.

An early penalty save from Jan Oblak prevented them from falling behind, and Godin and Gameiro found the net in the 36th and 37th minute before Carrasco third left Osasuna mired in the relegation zone.

In Italy, Simeone's son, Giovanni, scored twice as Genoa inflicted a 3-1 defeat on reigning champions and Serie A leaders Juventus.

Simeone caught Massimiliano Allegri's Scudetto hopefuls cold with a third-minute opener before cutting through a sleepy back-line to double the Grifone lead.

As the Bianconeri scrambled in their bid to rescue a point, Brazilian full-back Alex Sandro scored an own goal to put a share of the points out of reach, with Miralem Pjanic's late free-kick merely sparing the Turin club from their worst league reverse since January 2011.

Irish Independent

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