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Sunday European Rewind: Messi lifts Barcelona over Real Madrid, Arsenal advance to FA Cup final, and more

Following a midweek Champions League exit to Juventus, Barcelona bounced back in the biggest way possible on Sunday.

A 92nd-minute winner from Lionel Messi lifted Luis Enrique’s side past 10-man Real Madrid in a 3-2 El Clasico win. Most importantly, the victory propelled Barcelona to the top spot in the La Liga table, holding an edge on Los Blancos due to goal-difference.

However, it was the hosts that opened the scoring, as Casemiro’s left-footed finish in the 28th-minute made it 1-0 to Real Madrid. Messi’s first goal of the afternoon, five minutes later, drew Barcelona level at 1-1 which would be the score heading into halftime.

Ivan Rakitic’s seventh goal of the season put Barcelona ahead 2-1 after 73 minutes. Things got worse for Real Madrid as defender Sergio Ramos saw a straight red card for a foul on Messi just four minutes later.

Despite going down to 10 men, Real Madrid looked to have earned a point after James Rodriguez’s left-footed strike in the 85th minute made it 2-2. Messi then sealed the win for Barcelona, getting on the end of Jordi Alba’s cross and slotting home from inside the box.

Sunday marked the first defeat for Zinedine Zidane’s side since Feb. 22, while Barcelona made it three consecutive matches unbeaten.

Elsewhere, Arsenal needed extra time to defeat Manchester City in the second F.A. Cup semifinal, joining Chelsea in May’s final. In EPL action, Manchester United defeated Burnley on the road, while Crystal Palace shocked Liverpool at Anfield. In Serie A play, Napoli earned a point at Sassuolo, while Juventus routed Genoa at home. SC Freiburg defeated Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, while Lyon and Monaco squared off in Ligue 1 action.

Here is a rundown of all Sunday’s action across Europe:

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

In England’s late fixture of the day, Crystal Palace defeated Liverpool, 2-1, at Anfield thanks to a brace from former Reds striker Christian Benteke. Benteke’s 74th-minute header capped a superb comeback for Sam Allardyce’s side, as the coach earned his first career win at Anfield. Benteke’s equalizing goal came three minutes to halftime, as the Belgian international finished off Yohan Cabaye’s cross. Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool ahead 1-0 after 24 minutes, scoring from a free-kick. The Coutinho goal was Jurgen Klopp’s side’s only shot on goal in the match. Palace is unbeaten in its last three matches, while Liverpool suffers its first defeat since Feb. 27.

Manchester United moved to within a point of the top four after a 2-0 road win at Turf Moor against Burnley. Jose Mourinho’s side received a 21st-minute winner from Anthony Martial, after the Frenchman finished off a deadly counter-attack. Wayne Rooney doubled the visitors lead in the 39th minute, tapping home a rebound spilled by Clarets keeper Tom Heaton. Sean Dyche’s side failed to record a shot on goal, losing their second match in a row. Manchester United know a derby win over Manchester City this Thursday could see them jump to fourth place.

Burnley 0 – Manchester United 2

Liverpool 1 – Crystal Palace 2

ENGLISH F.A. CUP

Arsenal booked an FA Cup final date with EPL leaders Chelsea after a 2-1 Wembley victory over Manchester City. A winning goal from Alexis Sanchez in the 101st minute gave Arsene Wenger’s side a much-needed win.

Following a scoreless first-half, Manchester City opened the scoring in the 62nd minute. Sergio Aguero chipped Petr Cech following a City counter-attack for his fifth goal of the competition. Nacho Monreal drew Arsenal level in the 71st minute, volleying home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s assist past Claudio Bravo. Fernandinho’s 82nd-minute header struck the crossbar just after Yaya Toure’s previous effort was saved by Cech off the left post.

Sanchez bundled home the winner from inside the box after Manchester City were beaten on a free-kick. The Citizens didn’t have a reply, as Arsenal now search for their 13th FA Cup title. The FA Cup final will take place on May 27 at Wembley Stadium.

Arsenal 2 – Manchester City 1 – A.E.T.

SPANISH LA LIGA

Real Sociedad bounced back from a defeat against Barcelona last weekend by edging Deportivo, 1-0, at home. A 28th-minute header from striker Jose was all the hosts to move up to sixth in the league table. Deportivo recorded only one shot on goal, suffering their third loss of the month. Deportivo sits in 16th, eight points clear of the relegation zone. Sociedad holds the final European qualification spot with a two point advantage over Athletic Bilbao.

Alaves fought back for a point in a 1-1 draw at Las Palmas on Sunday. It was the hosts who went ahead before halftime as Kevin-Prince Boateng scored his 10th goal of the season, this from long-range. Alaves drew level in the 61st-minute as Ibai Gomez scored from long-range himself. It was the 27-year-old’s fifth league goal of the campaign. Las Palmas was reduced to 10-men in the 86th minute as Marko Livaja saw a straight red for a foul on Marcos Llorente.

Here are all of Sunday’s La Liga results:

Real Sociedad 1 – Deportivo 0

Celta Vigo 0 – Real Betis 1

Las Palmas 1 – Alaves 1

Real Madrid 2 – Barcelona 3

Eibar hosts Athletic Bilbao in the final match of Round 33 on Monday.

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

SC Freiburg earned its third league win in April, defeating Bayer Leverkusen, 2-1, at home on Sunday. An 88th-minute finish from Pascal Stenzel earned the hosts all three points after the visitors pegged them back earlier in the second half. Nils Petersen’s ninth goal of the season, put Freiburg ahead, 1-0, after 11 minutes. Kevin Volland’s successful penalty kick at the hour mark drew Leverkusen level after the forward drew a foul inside the box. Four minutes later, Volland struck the left post with a long-range effort. Stenzel played hero in the dying moments, scoring from a right-footed effort inside the box. Leverkusen remains in 12th place, while Freiburg stays in sixth.

Following their dramatic Europa League exit midweek, Schalke fought back for a point against RB Leipzig on Sunday. Klass-Jan Huntelaar’s 46th-minute header earned the hosts a point against a tough Leipzig side at home. Timo Werner’s 14th-minute header put the visitors ahead, with their only effort on goal in the match. Huntelaar’s second goal of the season kept Schalke in 11th place in the standings. Leipzig fails to capitalize on Bayern Munich’s dropped points at home, but remains in second place now eight points back of the leaders.

SC Freiburg 2 – Bayer Leverkusen 1

Schalke 04 1 – RB Leipzig 1

ITALIAN SERIE A

Third-place Napoli fought back for a point in a 2-2 road draw at Sassuolo in Sunday’s early match. An 84th-minute equalizer from Arkadiusz Milik salvaged a point for Maurizio Sarri’s side against a surprising Sassuolo side. After a scoreless first half, Napoli took a 1-0 lead after Dries Mertens headed home after 52 minutes. Domenico Berardi’s fourth goal of the season drew Sassuolo level just before the hour mark before Luca Mazzitelli put the hosts ahead in the 80th minute. Milik’s fifth goal of the season, helped Napoli remain unbeaten in the month of April and remain in third place. Sassuolo move to 16th with the draw.

Italian leaders Juventus extended their lead over second-place Roma to 11 points with a 4-0 home win over Genoa. The hosts held a 3-0 lead at halftime before adding a fourth in the second-half. An own-goal off of Genoa’s Ezequiel Munoz after 17 minutes made it 1-0 to Juventus before Paulo Dybala doubled the hosts’ lead a minute later. Mario Mandzukic’s right-footed finish extended Juventus’ lead to 3-0 just before halftime. Leonardo Bonucci’s long-range finish stamped the final score at 4-0 just after the hour mark. Genoa were held to two shots on goal, dropping their third result of the month.

Here are all of Sunday’s Serie A results:

Sassuolo 2 – Napoli 2

Chievo Verona 1 – Torino 3

Lazio 6 – Palermo 2

A.C. Milan 1 – Empoli 2

Sampdoria 1 – Crotone 2

Udinese 2 – Cagliari 1

Juventus 4 – Genoa 0

Roma travels to Pescara in the final match of the round on Monday.

FRENCH LIGUE 1

In the top match of Round 34 in France, league leaders Monaco defeated Lyon, 2-1, at the Parc OL. The visitors led 2-0 at halftime, thanks to goals from both of their forwards. Radamel Falcao’s 36th-minute header made it 1-0 before Kylian Mbappe doubled their lead in the 44th minute. It was Mbappe’s 13th league goal of the season, and his 18th across all competitions. Lyon cut the deficit to 2-1 as Lucas Tousart headed them to within one in the 51st minute. Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes made five saves in the loss, while Monaco jumped back to top spot. Lyon drops to fifth-place after suffering back-to-back league defeats.

Here are all of Sunday’s Ligue 1 results:

Toulouse 1 – Nice 1

Saint-Etienne 1 – Rennes 1

Lyon 1 – AS Monaco 2

1 comment
  • Turkmenbashy

    That Clasico was perhaps one of the 3/4 best matches I have ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

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