Monday 23 July 2018

Alba's late leveller keeps Barcelona in driving seat

Jordi Alba of FC Barcelona celebrates his goal Photo: Getty
Jordi Alba of FC Barcelona celebrates his goal Photo: Getty

Jamie Holland

Jordi Alba salvaged a point for Barcelona as the La Liga leaders drew 1-1 at second-placed Valencia to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the table.

Valencia took the lead through Rodrigo on the hour mark but full-back Alba ghosted in unmarked eight minutes from time to score a fine volley against his former club.

On Saturday, Real Madrid completed an unconvincing 3-2 win over Malaga thanks to a late Cristiano Ronaldo goal. Ronaldo scored the rebound after his 76th-minute penalty was saved.

However, Zinedine Zidane's side dropped to fourth on goal difference after Atletico Madrid beat Levante 5-0. Both Madrid clubs trail Barca by eight points.

Ever Banega scored the winner from the penalty spot as Sevilla produced another sensational comeback to win 3-2 at 10-man Villarreal to follow on from their Champions league draw with Liverpool. Sevilla had trailed 2-0.

Napoli returned to the top of Serie A by beating Udinese to maintain their unbeaten start in the league. Jorginho scored the only goal from a penalty rebound after his initial strike was saved by Simone Scuffet.

Napoli are two points ahead of Inter Milan, who won 3-1 at Cagliari.

Roma were denied their 13th away league win on the bounce as Daniele de Rossi gave away a penalty and was sent off in a 1-1 draw at Genoa.

PSG defeated Ligue 1 champions Monaco 2-1 thanks to Edinson Cavani's opener and a Neymar penalty which saw the Parisians move nine points ahead of both Lyon and Monaco.

Pressure

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund threw away a four-goal lead against their local rivals Schalke to heap even more pressure on manager Peter Bosz.

Dortmund were four goals up after 25 minutes against Schalke before the visitors hit back, eventually equalising in the 94th minute.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored the hosts' opener before being sent off in the second half.

Dortmund have taken just one point from their last four Bundesliga games and have fallen to fifth in the table after having a five-point lead at the top at the start of October.

They led the Ruhr derby through goals from Aubameyang, Mario Gotze and Raphael Guerreiro, and a Benjamin Stambouli own goal before Schalke scored four of their own in the final 30 minutes.

Daniel Caligiuri scored the visitors' third with four minutes remaining before Naldo headed in the equaliser in added time.

Leaders Bayern Munich lost 2-1 to Borussia Monchengladbach, ending Jupp Heynckes' 30-game unbeaten run in the league.

Irish Independent

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