Tuesday 21 January 2020

Madrid slip-up revives Barca title hopes as Clasico looms

James Orr

Real Madrid's bid for their first La Liga title in four seasons received another setback last night as they stumbled to a 0-0 home draw with Valencia.

After a third draw in five matches, Real have seen their lead over Barcelona cut from 10 points to just four, with seven games to play -- including a trip to the Nou Camp on Sunday week.

Barcelona piled the pressure on with a 4-1 win at Zaragoza on Saturday, and Madrid failed to respond as Valencia twice hit the woodwork.

Valencia 'keeper Vicente Guaita denied the hosts with a series of superb saves late on.

Lionel Messi scored twice in Barca's victory to become the first player to score 60 goals for a top-flight European club in a season since Gerd Muller's 67 for Bayern Munich in 1972-73. Messi still has at least 10 games left in the campaign.

Unbeaten Juventus leapfrogged Milan to lead Serie A by a point after winning 2-0 at Palermo, Leonardo Bonucci and Fabio Quagliarella scoring.

Champions Milan suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat to struggling Fiorentina, with Carvalho Amauri's winner coming in the 89th minute. The home side had taken the lead when Zlatan Ibrahimovic tucked home his 24th league goal of the campaign from the penalty spot, but the Viola drew level two minutes before the break through Stevan Jovetic.

Lazio held onto the third and final Champions League qualifying spot with a 3-1 win over Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico. Goals from Antonio Candreva, Stefano Mauri and Cristian Ledesma's penalty were enough to secure the victory despite Goran Pandev scoring against his former club.

Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund won 3-1 at Wolfsburg to maintain a three-point lead in the Bundesliga before Wednesday's crucial match with second-placed Bayern, who beat Augsburg 2- 1.

Irish Independent

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