Saturday 18 November 2017

Messi brace returns Barca to top spot

Fernando Torres acknowledges the home supporters as he takes his seat in the Vicente Calderon stadium before yesterday's game against Valencia. The striker was discharged from hospital last week after suffering a head injury against Deportivo in Atletico's previous game Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Fernando Torres acknowledges the home supporters as he takes his seat in the Vicente Calderon stadium before yesterday's game against Valencia. The striker was discharged from hospital last week after suffering a head injury against Deportivo in Atletico's previous game Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Barcelona quickly reclaimed top spot in La Liga on Saturday night with a 5-0 rout of Celta Vigo, having briefly been usurped by Real Madrid.

Real had stormed to a 4-1 win at Eibar in the afternoon kick-off to move two points clear at the summit, but Barca, whose boss Luis Enrique announced earlier this week that he would leave his post at the end of the season, responded with a scintillating display featuring a brace from Lionel Messi as well as goals from Neymar, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti.

Barca face an uphill task as they look to overturn a 4-0 deficit against Paris St Germain in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday - PSG claimed a 1-0 win over Nancy in the Ligue 1.

Earlier, Real overcame the absence of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo with a Karim Benzema brace leading them to victory; James Rodríguez and Marco Asensio also scored.

Meanwhile, Spaniards Javi Martinez and Juan Bernat scored their first league goals of the season to give Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory at Cologne on Saturday, to move seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Bavarians travel to Arsenal for their Champions League round of 16 second leg tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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