Wednesday 22 November 2017

Quickfire Pedro treble puts Barca back on top

Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their third goal
Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their third goal

Jamie Holland

AN inspired Pedro fired a first-half hat-trick in the space of eight minutes as an injury-plagued Barcelona came from two goals down to beat Getafe 5-2 and go top of La Liga on goal difference.

The signs looked ominous for the Catalans as they went 2-0 down within the first 15 minutes after Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez both found the net for Getafe.

With top guns Lionel Messi and Neymar missing through injury and suspension, Pedro took it upon himself to rescue Barcelona. The Canary Islander chipped Miguel Moya to open his account and added two clinical finishes before the break.

Pedro then crossed the ball for Cesc Fabregas to volley in the fourth midway through the second half and also won the penalty from which the former Arsenal player added the fifth.

Elsewhere, a late strike from Jese helped Real Madrid escape with a 3-2 victory over Valencia.

VITAL

Madrid twice led with goals from Vicente Guaita and Cristiano Ronaldo and twice Valencia hit back, but it was third time lucky for Real Madrid as Jese's goal in the 82nd minute helped Carlo Ancelotti's side to a vital three points.

European champions Bayern Munich added the Club World Cup to their collection when they comfortably beat Raja Casablanca 2-0 in the final.

Defender Dante and Thiago Alcantara scored the goals in the first 22 minutes. Morocco's Raja offered only the occasional threat.

Two minutes later, Jerome Boateng headed on a corner to Dante and the Brazilian defender scored emphatically.

Khalid Askri was tested by Thomas Mueller and David Alaba before Thiago Alcantara added Bayern's second.

A brilliant back-heel finish from Rodrigo Palacio with five minutes left gave Inter the spoils with a 1-0 win over arch rivals AC Milan in Serie A.

Palacio's 10th goal of the season lifts Inter to fifth place on 31 points. Milan's Sulley Muntari was sent off in stoppage-time following a late scuffle.

In Holland, teenager Jairo Riedewald made a dream league debut for Ajax with two late goals as his side fought back to beat Roda JC 2-1 and return to the top of the Eredivisie.

 

Irish Independent

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