Wednesday 17 January 2018

Ronaldo brace sees Real six clear of Barca

BARCELONA suffered their first defeat of the season, falling 1-0 at Getafe, to slip further behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who thrashed Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the city derby on Saturday evening.

European and Spanish champions Barca dominated the match at the Coliseum, but could not beat 'keeper Miguel Angel Moya. Juan Valera stunned the visitors with a goal in the 67th minute.

The defender headed in from a corner and then the rest of his team manned the barricades for a desperate siege in the closing minutes.

Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid side came back from a goal down at the Bernabeu to beat their long-suffering neighbours, who had goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off in the 22nd minute.

Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain also scored as Atletico, who had taken the lead through Adrian Lopez, finished with nine men after defender Diego Godin also saw red near the end.

Real's 13th consecutive win in all competitions put them on 34 points from 13 games and moved them six ahead of Barca, who have to visit the Bernabeu in two weeks time.

elsewhere, a first-half goal from Simone Pepe sent Juventus back to the top of Serie A on Saturday as they edged third-placed Lazio 1-0 in an entertaining encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.

Pepe stroked home the winner after 34 minutes to take unbeaten Juve, who have played one game less than most of their rivals, a point clear of Udinese and three ahead of Lazio.

Bayern Munich finished the weekend third in the Bundesliga after suffering a shock 3-2 loss at Mainz 05 yesterday, their second successive league defeat.

Andreas Ivanschitz gave Mainz an early lead and, although Daniel van Buyten headed Bayern level after half-time, further goals from Marco Caligiuri and Niko Bungert put the hosts 3-1 up. Van Buyten then pulled another goal back with 11 minutes left, which like the Belgian defender's first effort, came from a floated Toni Kroos free-kick.

Bayern, who looked unstoppable earlier in the season when they won 10 games in a row -- have now lost twice in the Bundesliga.

Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has been sidelined following surgery on a broken collar bone earlier this month.

Brazilian international Hulk notched two goals and set up another as Portuguese champions Porto beat Braga 3-2 yesterday to go back to the top of the league and relieve the pressure on coach Vitor Pereira.

Irish Independent

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