By ADAM TROXTELL
Javier Hernandez has been a regular name on the Real Madrid score sheet this week.
Just a few days after his strike sent Los Blancos to the UEFA Champions League semifinals, Hernandez scored a brace as Real topped Celta Vigo, 4-2. La Liga’s second place team, two points behind leaders Barcelona, now has five straight league wins.
Hernandez struck in the 24th and 69th minutes, initially giving Real the lead after a quick Celta start. Nolito scored in the ninth minute to hand the hosts a surprise lead.
Toni Kroos ensured it didn’t last long, smashing home a rebound from the middle of the box just seven minutes later. Hernandez then struck from a tight angle to give Los Blancos the lead.
Celta didn’t wilt, instead equalizing in the 28th minute through Santi Mina. They put five shots on goal for the game, keeping the Real defense busy. James Rodriguez just needed a bit of luck to give Los Blancos the lead again, however, when his deflected shot went in two minutes before halftime.
Real cruised from there, and one more Hernandez strike sealed the deal in the second half.
There weren’t as many goals, but Chelsea earned a valuable point against Arsenal in other action on Sunday. Lyon took top spot in Ligue 1 on goal difference alone, and Torino beat Juventus for the first time in 20 years.
Here is more from the action on Sunday in Europe’s top leagues:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Another mid-April visit from Manchester United turned into another humbling handed out by Everton.
The Toffees stormed to a 3-0 win against Man United, handing Louis van Gaal’s men a second consecutive league defeat. Everton took lethality to heart, conceding 64 percent possession to the Red Devils but putting all seven of its shots on target.
Just like last season’s win at home against Man United — one that corresponded with the end of David Moyes’ tenure — Kevin Mirallas capped the display for Everton with a 74th minute strike.
The Man United defense had a difficult afternoon, evident when James McCarthy split two defenders on his way to opening the scoring in the fifth minute. John Stones arrived at the front post to head in a corner in the 35th minute, doubling the pleasure for home fans.
The Red Devils managed five shots on target, but there was no way past Tim Howard. Wayne Rooney had to hobble off late after running into teammate Patrick McNair, presenting van Gaal with a potential concern ahead of next weekend.
Elsewhere, league leaders Chelsea held firm for a 0-0 draw against Arsenal. The Blues now need just six points from their final five games to clinch the Premier League title.
Though a point makes the trip to the Emirates successful, Chelsea will feel as though they should have had a chance to take the lead when Oscar was clattered into by goalkeeper David Ospina. The clash, during which Ospina did not touch the ball, left the Brazilian attacker visibly woozy, and he later was taken to the hospital.
ITALIAN SERIE A
For the first time in 20 years, Torino is better than neighbors Juventus for a day.
Fabio Quagliarella’s goal in the 57th minute was enough to see Torino to a 2-1 win against their league-leading rivals. Though Juventus has all but secured the Serie A title, the wait to make it official has been made a little longer.
It started like any other Turin derby. Andrea Pirlo curled a 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the net in the 35th minute to give Juventus the lead.
Just before halftime, everything changed. Matteo Darmian converted Quagliarella’s cross to equalize in first-half stoppage time. Just inside the second half, the two switched roles, with Quagliarella arriving ahead of everybody to poke in Darmian’s pass for the winner.
Napoli took a big step toward securing a Champions League spot, beating fifth-place Sampdoria, 4-2, behind two goals from Gonzalo Higuain. Fiorentina suffered its third consecutive league loss, 3-1 to Cagliari.
Here are the results from Serie A:
Atalanta 2, Empoli 2
Hellas Verona 3, Sassuolo 2
Parma 1, Palermo 0
Torino 2, Juventus 1
Lazio 1, Chievo Verona 1
Genoa 3, Cesena 1
Fiorentina 1, Cagliari 3
Napoli 4, Sampdoria 2
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Lyon is barely clinging to the top of Ligue 1, for now.
A 4-2 win for Lyon against struggling Reims on Sunday kept them just ahead of Paris Saint-Germain. The Parisians have a game-in-hand that they take care of Tuesday, and Lyon is staying as close as possible.
Corentin Tolisso and Alexandre Lacazette put Lyon 2-0 ahead in just the first six minutes. A frantic opening was maintained by Alex Peuget, who pulled one back for the hosts in the 13th minute.
Clinton Njie then scored seven minutes later to restore Lyon’s two-goal advantage. Reims had an own goal and a strike of their own in stoppage time.
Elsewhere in France, Saint Etienne beat Montpellier 1-0, briefly taking third place away from Monaco before the Principality hit back with a 3-0 win against Lens.
SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISION
Sevilla followed up its Europa League success with a 2-0 win against Rayo Vallecano.
The win, provided by goals from Vicente Iborra and Daniel Carrico, has the Rojiblancos in fourth place ahead of Valencia’s game against Granada on Monday.
Almeria climbed out of the La Liga relegation zone with a 2-0 win against fellow strugglers Eibar. Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna finished 1-1, sending Deportivo into the drop zone as a result.
Borussia Monchengladbach took advantage of Leverkusen’s slip-up yesterday to climb into the final automatic Champions League qualification spot.
Max Kruse scored in stoppage time for a 1-0 win against second-place Wolfsburg. Fabian Johnson set up Kruse by neatly bringing the ball down the box and sending it in the striker’s direction.
Elsewhere, there was no escape from the relegation zone for Paderborn as Werder Bremen came back for a 2-2 draw. Paderborn had a two-goal lead in the first half before David Sielke pulled on back for the visitors just before halftime and Izet Hajrovic netted the equalizer in the 76th minute.