Messi’s brace means he has now netted 86 times this year, and the 2-1 win for Barca keeps them six points clear at the top of La Liga. This weekend they face second place Atletico Madrid, who crushed Deportivo la Coruna 6-0, Falcao scoring a remarkable five goals. Cristiano Ronaldo was overshadowed as his Real Madrid sided laboured to a 3-2 win at Real Valladolid, keeping them third behind Atletico.
Malaga got back to winning ways with a 4-0 win over Granada, whilst Levante won by the same score at home to Real Mallorca. Getafe drew 1-1 at Real Sociedad, and Ernesto Valverde’s first game as Valencia coach saw them win 1-0 at Osasuna.
Manchester United are now six points clear in the Premier League title race after a thrilling 3-2 win at Manchester City, Robin van Persie scoring a last minute winner to end their opponents’ long unbeaten run at home. Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Sunderland, as did Arsenal, who beat West Brom 2-0. Everton beat Tottenham 2-1 with two very late goals, and Liverpool won 3-2 at West Ham.
Juventus are still top of Serie A after they beat Palermo 1-0, while Inter Milan won the big game 2-1 at home to Napoli to move into second place behind the Turin giants. Roma beat Fiorentina 4-2 and AC Milan won by the same score against Torino.
Bayern Munich are 11 points clear in the Bundesliga after beating Augsburg 2-0, and Bayer Leverkusen remain second after losing 3-2 at Hannover. Borussia Dortmund could not take advantage as they were controversially beaten 3-2 at home by Wolfsburg. Eintracht Frankfurt beat Werder Bremen 4-1, and Schalke lost 3-1 at Stuttgart. Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Mainz 2-0.
Olympique Lyonnais remain five points clear in France after a 1-0 win over local rivals St Etienne on Sunday. Paris St Germain are second after beating Evian 4-0, and are level on points with Marseille, who were beaten 3-0 at home by Lorient. Valenciennes drew 1-1 at Nancy, Bordeaux were held 0-0 at Reims, Rennes also drew 2-2 at home to Brest. Toulouse drew 0-0 at home to Bastia, champions Montpellier beat Ajaccio 3-0 and Lille were held 1-1 by Sochaux.
PSV won the big game in Holland, beating Twente 3-0 to knock them off top spot, and Vitesse remain second after losing 3-1 to Venlo. Ajax beat Gronigen 2-0, and Feyenoord drew 2-2 at NAC Breda. Porto beat Moreirense 1-0 in Portugal, and Benfica take on Sporting Lisbon on Monday night. CSKA Moscow kept up the pressure on Anzhi Makhachkala and Zenit St Petersburg, who meet on Monday, with a 2-1 win over Saransk. Galatasaray beat Sivasspor 3-1 in Turkey, and rivals Fenerbahce beat Buyuksehir 2-1. Panathinaikos drew with rivals and league leaders Olympiakos 2-2 in Greece.
In the Club World Cup, Monterrey beat Ulsan Hyundai to set up a semi final with Chelsea on Thursday. Sanfrecce Hiroshima were beaten 2-1 by Al Ahly, who will now face Corinthians in their last four clash.