European Football round-up: Juventus and Barcelona go clear at the top

Barcelona Goal

There are now runaway leaders in three of Europe's four major leagues, but it just keeps getting tighter in France, where three teams are level at the top.

Spain: A dramatic Sunday evening saw Barcelona go nine points clear at the top of the league, with Real Madrid 13 points behind them. Barcelona beat second placed Atletico Madrid 4-1 at the Camp Nou, with a Messi brace taking him to 90 goals in 2012. Falcao opened the scoring, before an Adriano screamer brought the sides level. Busquets then gave Barcelona the lead just before half time, and Messi took over in the second half. There was good news for both sides earlier in the evening, as Real Madrid conceded an 88th minutes equaliser at home to Espanyol, the match finishing 2-2 to increase the pressure on Jose Mourinho. Malaga won 2-0 at Sevilla to stay fourth, Levante are a point behind them after a 1-0 win at Real Zaragoza.

Italy: Juventus are now seven points clear in Serie A after late goals saw both Inter and Napoli defeated. Juventus themselves won 3-0 at home to Atalanta, with all three goals coming in the first half hour, before two yellows in three minutes saw Thomas Manfredini sent off for the away team. Inter lost 1-0 away at Lazio, with Klose's 82nd minute winner taking the home team one point behind Inter. Lazio are also now level on points with Napoli, who conceded two late goals to lose 3-2 at home to Bologna. Napoli stay third on goal difference, but all three sides are now well off the pace Juventus are setting. Milan's great form continued with a 4-1 home win over Pescara. Allegri's side are now 7th, only seven points off second placed Inter.

France: PSG, Marseille and Lyon are all now level on 35 points at the top of Ligue 1, with Ancelotti's side first courtesy of their +21 goal difference. PSG beat Lyon 1-0 on Sunday evening, with a 46th minute Blaise Matuidi goal enough for the home side. Marseille kept pace with a 1-0 win away at nine man Toulouse. Lorient are five points back in fourth place after a 2-0 win at Saint Etienne. Defending champions Montpellier climbed to ninth with a 4-0 home win over Bastia.

Germany: The chasing pack closed the gap to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, with the league leaders drawing 1-1 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday night. Levekusen are nine points back in second after a 3-0 win over Hamburg, with Dortmund a further three points behind after a 3-1 win at Hoffenheim. Level with them are Eintracht Frankfurt, who won 2-0 at Wolfsburg. Schalke's slide continued as they lost 3-1 at home to Freiburg, with wanted man Klaas Jan Huntelaar sent off in the 82 minute. That result saw Schalke slip to 7th in the table, with Freiburg and Mainz leapfrogging them.

images: © apasciuto, © jeroen_bennink

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