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Sunday European Rewind: Barca beat Valencia late; Soldado strike downs Everton; and more



Barcelona may have left it late, but they also kept themselves as La Liga’s closest challenger to Real Madrid with a victory on Sunday.

Right as the clock hit 93 minutes, Sergio Busquets knocked in a goal off a rebound to give them a hard fought 1-0 win over Valencia. Lionel Messi, who had spent the evening shackled by a stern Valencia defense, provided the perfect cross that was headed at goal by Neymar and saved by Diego Alves before Busquets fired home from six yards.

Having created their share of chances, it was no surprise that Valencia fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths after Busquets’ unlikely winner with virtually the last kick of the game. Some went a step further, with video clearly showing an object striking Messi in the head while Barcelona players celebrated. There was no visible injury, but it’s something officials will certainly be looking into.

The drama was not confined to just Spain, though a Spaniard did provide some in North London. Former Valencia man Roberto Soldado scored his first Premier League goal since March to give Tottenham a 2-1 win over Everton. Despite heavy pressure from Everton in the second half, Tottenham brought their run of eight games without a loss to an abrupt end. It was also controversial, however, as an apparent hand ball by Spurs’ Federico Fazio in the box was ignored by the referee.

In Italy, Juventus also needed a stoppage time winner against city-rivals Torino courtesy of Andrea Pirlo, while former German champions and once Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund are currently bottom of the Bundesliga table after a 0-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Here’s more on all the Sunday action across Europe’s top leagues:


When Messi played in the cross that eventually led to Barcelona’s winner against Valencia, it was the freest he had been so close to goal in the entire game.

That’s how hard Valencia had worked up to that point to, at the very least, preserve a shutout against the always dangerous Catalans. Nicolas Otamendi had just a few minutes before blocked his fellow Argentine’s shot out for one of eight Barcelona corners.

Yet 11 attempts of their own shows Valencia, themselves fighting to stay in the race for Europe, weren’t opposed to the gambles of committing bodies forward for a goal. Eight minutes from the end, leading scorer Paco Alcacer was brought off the bench to relieve a determined Negredo.

Even on the Barcelona goal, goalkeeper Alves made a brilliant, point-blank save to stop Neymar from heading in Messi’s cross. Neither he nor the two or three Valencia players in the goal area could stop Busquets from keeping Barcelona just two points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

Also keeping pace is Atletico Madrid who defeated Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 in unsavory circumstances. Fighting between fans ahead of the match reportedly resulted in the death of one supporter and injuries to 11 others.

Plans were launched to suspend the game out of respect, but the message was not relayed to Spain’s soccer officials in time.

On the field it was a fairly straight forward day for Atletico. Saul Niguez gave them the lead just before halftime before Arda Turan doubled things in the 55th minute. They sit third, four points behind rivals Real.

Two goals each from Carlos Bacca and one from three different goal scorers took Sevilla to a 5-1 demolition of relegation-threatened Granada.

Here’s a full list of La Liga results:

Atletico Madrid 2, Deportivo 0

Sevilla 5, Granada 1

Cordoba 0, Villareal 2

Valencia 0, Barcelona 1


Questions about the seriousness of Southampton’s challenge near the top of the Barclays Premier League were answered in a 3-0 loss to Manchester City Sunday.

Southampton succumbed to a well-placed goal from Yaya Toure before Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy struck on City counter-attacks late in the game. Saints had been pushing forward after a second yellow card to Eliaquim Mangala left them with a man advantage.

Despite this and a wonderful chance for Graziano Pelle right in front of the City goal, they were replaced in second place by the victors on the day. It was Southampton’s biggest loss this season and their first in seven games. City, meanwhile, now sit six points behind leaders Chelsea.

Everton also suffered their first loss in almost two months, 2-1, to a Tottenham comeback effort. The Toffees had gone ahead through Kevin Mirallas, who chested down a defensive clearance, shifted to his right foot and blasted one into the top left corner on 15 minutes.

Tottenham were level six minutes later. Harry Kane cut through the Everton defense before his low shot was parried away by American Tim Howard. Christian Eriksen bounced the rebound into the right side of the net.

In first half stoppage time, the winner came from an unlikely place. Kane was involved again, winning the ball from midfielder Gareth Barry before it was carried into the area by Aaron Lennon. He dished to Soldado, who applied the finish as if he never had suffered a goal drought in the first place.

Everton might have reason to felt hard done by, however, after an apparent penalty was not awarded. A free kick near the end line in the dying minutes was headed on goal by Romelu Lukaku and hit the raised arm of Spurs defender Federico Fazio. It might have also been a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity, but referee Mike Oliver ignored appeals for a foul.


Juventus weren’t supposed to struggle to another Turin Derby win, but they were saved by a player as timeless as the rivalry itself.

Arturo Vidal, who had scored a penalty to put Juventus in the lead early, set up Andrea Pirlo in the third minute of stoppage time to drive home the winner. It was Juventus’ 17th straight Turin Derby without a loss.

Torino made history of its own in the process, though, recording their first goal against the local giants in 13 years. It was a goal worth breaking that record, too, with Bruno Peres outpacing everyone down the right before striking the ball across goal and in off the far post. With the late win, Juventus kept a three point advantage at the top of the table.

It’s a good thing they did since Roma later ran riot against Inter Milan in a 4-2 win. The Romans carved up the Inter defense regularly, but let them back into the game twice.

Adem Ljajic’s low cross was deflected in by Gervinho to give Roma a 22nd minute lead, but Andrea Ranocchia levelled things in the 36th minute off a corner kick. Left back Jose Holebas restored Roma’s lead just after halftime, leaving two defenders in the dust before putting it into the far side netting.

Just 10 minutes later, Pablo Osvaldo scored his fifth of the season to make it 2-2 for Inter. It was up to Miralem Pjanic from then on to give Roma the lead before converting a gorgeous free kick into the left corner to seal all three points.

A brace for Jeremy Menez gave AC Milan a 2-0 win at home over Udinese, giving them an advantage in the fight for Champions League spots.

Here’s a full list of Serie A results:

AC Milan 2, Udinese 0

Cagliari 0, Fiorentina 4

Cesena 0, Genoa 3

Empoli 0, Atalanta 0

Palermo 2, Parma 1

Juventus 2, Torino 1

Roma 4, Inter 2


Some are calling for Jurgen Klopp’s head after his Borussia Dortmund side suffered its eighth defeat of the season, 2-0, against Frankfurt.

Leading scorer Alexander Meier struck for Frankfurt just after five minutes. Then a mix up between Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller left Haris Seferovic with an open goal for number two in the 78th minute.

United States international player Timothy Chandler was involved in the entire game for Frankfurt, and the shutout win took them to ninth place.

A 12th minute goal from Robin Knoche gave Wolfsburg a 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach earlier in the day. Despite holing only 32 percent of possession, the Wolfs were efficient to record 10 shots on target. They sit second, still seven points behind Bayern Munich.


The title race in France is beginning to widen, as Lyon suffered a 3-0 loss to Saint Etienne. Mustapha Bayal Sall and Ricky van Wolfswinkel made it a 2-0 lead at halftime and Renaud Cohade added the extra dagger on 68 minutes.

This leaves Lyon in third on 27 points, seven behind leaders Marseille. They are also even with Bordeaux, who began the day with a 1-0 win against Lille. At the other end of the table, Evian climbed out of the relegation zone in a 2-0 win over rock-bottom Guingamp.

What do you make of Sunday’s results? Which team impressed you most?

Share your thoughts below.


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