Soccer roundup: Lionel Messi scores No. 500 for Barcelona
With Karim Benzema out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo playing below expectations again, Gareth Bale got the job done for Real Madrid with two goals against Leganes on Sunday. Not to be outdone, Lionel Messi scored his 500th goal for Barcelona as the Catalan club won a thriller against Sevilla.
Reaching that landmark prompted Barcelona to tweet: “Counting official matches and friendlies, Messi reaches the figure of 500 goals for FC Barcelona. Well done Leo!”
Bale scored both his goals shortly before halftime in a 3-0 win over Leganes, securing the Spanish league lead for Madrid ahead of the city derby against Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona stayed two points behind Madrid by coming from behind to defeat gritty Sevilla, 2-1. Luis Suarez got Barcelona’s winner.
Madrid has 27 points after 11 rounds. Atletico, which lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, dropped to fourth place after Villarreal defeated Real Betis, 2-0, to move up the standings.
Speaking of Ronaldo, Madrid has reached a deal to extend his contract until June 2021, when the three-time world player of the year will be 36. The club said the new contract will be signed Monday. Financial details were not released, although the star forward is expected to remain the team’s top-paid player.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: There’s an upside to missing out on the Champions League for Liverpool and Chelsea. They have surged into the EPL’s top two places while England’s participants in Europe’s elite competition failed to win on their return to domestic duties.
With no grueling midweek European games, Chelsea and Liverpool conserved their energy to produce emphatic domestic victories. A day after Chelsea routed Everton, 5-0, Liverpool overwhelmed Watford, 6-1, to move a point ahead of its London title rival.
Manchester City lost top spot after being held by Middlesbrough on Saturday, dropping to third. Arsenal and Tottenham drew 1-1 in the north London derby Sunday before champion Leicester was beaten, 2-1, by West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester United followed up its 4-1 victory at Fenerbahce by winning 3-1 at Swansea to halt a four-match winless run in the Premier League. Southampton, though, came back down to earth after beating Inter Milan by losing 2-1 to a Hull team in the bottom three.
ITALIAN SERIE A: Juventus struggled but eventually beat Chievo Verona, which had won just one of its past six matches, 2-1, and remained four points clear of second-placed Roma and five above AC Milan.
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Leipzig’s fairytale start to the season continued as the club moved even points with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
A fully merited 3-1 home win over visiting Mainz extended Leipzig’s record unbeaten start for a team playing its first-ever season in the league to 10 games.
FRENCH LEAGUE: Striker Edinson Cavani grabbed the back of his right thigh and left the game moments after he scored Paris Saint-Germain’s second goal with a brilliant instinctive lob in a 4-0 win against Rennes in the French league.