Barcelona weren’t exactly feeling the absence of Lionel Messi on Saturday, as they bounced back from their midweek draw to destroy Sporting Gijon.
With Messi missing, it was up to Suárez and Neymar to produce the goals for Luis Enrique’s side, and they duly obliged as one from the Uruguayan and two from the Brazilian, with strikes from Rafinha and Arda Turan sandwiched in between, sending Barca on their way to a comfortable 5-0 victory.
However, it was not quite as comfortable a day for Real Madrid. They stay top of La Liga, and keep their unbeaten record, but were pegged back by Las Palmas twice to come away with a 2-2 draw.
Marco Asensio put the visitors in front only for Tana to equalise five minutes later, and while Karim Benzema put Real 2-1 up midway through the second half, Sergio Araujo levelled it up once again late on in a game that was talked about more for Cristiano Ronaldo’s furious reaction to being substituted than anything else.
Atlético Madrid moved up to third in the table, after a stubborn Deportivo La Coruna defence was finally breached in the 70th minute thanks to an Antoine Griezmann strike, while managerless Valencia picked up their second win on the bounce with a 2-1 victory at Leganés on Sunday, Nani and Mario Suárez getting the winning goals there.
Elsewhere, Real Betis beat Malaga 1-0, Eibar defeated Real Sociedad 2-0, Athletic Bilbao scored a impressive 3-1 win against Sevilla, Villarreal defeated Osasuna by the same score, and Celta Vigo picked up a 2-0 away win at Espanyol. Alavés take on Granada on Monday night to round of the weekend’s fixtures.
In Serie A, Juventus stay top of the table after a hard-fought 1-0 win at Palermo. An Edoardo Goldaniga own goal was the difference between the two sides as neither Gonzalo Higuaín nor Mario Mandukic in the Juve attack could find the breakthrough.
Hot on their heels at the top are Napoli. If Maurizio Sarri’s side were supposed to be missing Higuaín this season, they certainly aren’t showing it, as goals from Manolo Gabbiadini and Marek Hamsik gave Partenopei a 2-0 win at home to Chievo. As things stand, Napoli remain the only unbeaten team in Serie A.
The rest of the chasing pack continue to falter. Roma lost 3-1 away at Torino on Sunday, Francesco Totti’s 250th Serie A goal, two days before his 40th birthday, was not enough as Roma old boy Iago Falque came back to haunt his old side with two goals, after Andrea Belotti had opened the scoring.
AC Milan and Fiorentina played out a 0-0 draw at the Artemio Franchi, while Frank de Boer’s Inter could only manage a 1-1 draw with Bologna 24 hours earlier, Ivan Perisic cancelling out Mattia Destro’s opener in that game.
Elsewhere, Sassuolo beat Udinese 1-0, Lazio defeated Empoli 2-0 and Genoa and Pescara played out a 1-1 draw. Crotone face Atalanta and Sampdoria travel to Cagliari on Monday night to complete the set of fixtures.
In the Bundesliga, things are already looking pretty ominous at the top. Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich needed a late Joshua Kimmich goal to give them the win at Hamburg, but they have now recorded five wins on the spin (eight in all competitions, a first for any new Bayern manager) with just one goal condeded.
Still giving them a fight, however, are Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Tuchel’s side kept up their frightening goalscoring form with a 3-1 win at home to Freiburg, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lukasz Piszczek and Raphael Guerreiro all scoring for the home side with a Maximilian Philipp effort thrown in for god measure.
Bourussia Mönchengladbach prepared for this week’s Champions League tie with Barcelona with a 2-0 win at home to Inglostadt, while Javier Hernández scored a hat-trick in Bayer Leverkusen’s thrilling 3-2 win at Mainz.
Elsewhere, Schalke lost their fifth game in a row as they went down 2-1 at Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin played out a 3-3 draw, Augsburg defeated Darmstadt 1-0, Werder Bremen finally got their first win of the season as two goals in the last five minutes saw off Wolfsburg in a 2-1 victory, and FC Cologne drew 1-1 at home to RB Leipzig.
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