Barcelona battle again to win at Elche as revival beneath Xavi Hernandez continues – European round-up | Football News

Barcelona battle again to win at Elche as revival beneath Xavi Hernandez continues – European round-up | Football News

Barcelona fought again to earn a 2-1 win at Elche on Sunday as a late penalty from Memphis Depay ensured they continued their revival after a troublesome begin to the season.

​​​​Having fallen as little as ninth again in November, when former coach Ronald Koeman was sacked, Xavi Hernandez’s revitalised Barca have climbed into La Liga’s high three with 48 factors, leapfrogging Real Betis in third place.

Mid-table Elche opened the scoring proper earlier than half-time when Pedri tried to clear the ball however gifted an ideal help to Fidel Chavez, who out-ran Dani Alves and scored with an angled shot simply inside the proper publish.

Ferran Torres, Barcelona
Former Manchester City ahead Ferran Torres scored Barcelona’s first purpose

Ferran Torres scored the equaliser within the 61st minute after nice play from Ousmane Dembele down the proper flank. His cross was deflected by Jordi Alba and the previous Manchester City ahead, in the proper place on the proper time, turned it dwelling from shut vary.

Barca’s winner got here after the video assistant referee noticed a handball from an Elche defender inside the realm and Depay rifled his penalty into the top-left nook.

Meanwhile, Joao Felix scored twice as he helped Atletico Madrid earn a 3-1 win at Real Betis, making certain they leapfrogged their rivals into fourth place within the standings.

Atletico are tied on 48 factors with third-placed Barcelona, who gained 2-1 at Elche, though the Catalans have a sport in hand. Both groups path leaders Real Madrid by 15 factors.

Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix celebrates after scoring
Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix celebrates after scoring

Betis, who began the weekend in third place, dropped under Barca and Atletico to fifth place with 46 factors from 27 video games.

Felix opened the scoring within the first minute with a close-range strike from an Angel Correa cross.

Betis equalised simply earlier than the break when Cristian Tello fired dwelling an angled shot from the sting of the field.

Atletico dominated following the break. Felix scored his second after Marcos Llorente led a fast counter-attack earlier than crossing to the Portuguese, who made the ultimate contact from contained in the field.

Substitute Antoine Griezmann, who’s slowly working his method again from harm, supplied the cross that allowed Thomas Lemar to finish the 3-1 victory within the eightieth minute.

Elsewhere, relegation-threatened Cadiz boosted their survival probabilities with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano to maneuver inside one level of Seventeenth-placed Granada.

Serie A: Giroud purpose sends Milan again to summit

Olivier Giroud scored an early winner for AC Milan
Olivier Giroud scored his winner for AC Milan

Olivier Giroud’s second-half purpose despatched AC Milan again to the highest of Serie A as they battled to a 1-0 win away at Napoli on Sunday.

Victory implies that Stefano Pioli’s table-toppers now have 60 factors, two forward of metropolis rivals and reigning champions Inter – who’ve performed a sport fewer – and three greater than Napoli in third.

Chances have been few and much between in a nervous encounter, with the hosts solely managing two pictures on the right track all through the 90 minutes on the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

After a low-key first half by which neither facet actually threatened, Giroud netted the one purpose of the sport as he turned in Davide Calabria’s cross-shot 4 minutes after the break.

Adam Ounas curled one extensive for Napoli and Hirving Lozano dragged an effort extensive late on as they tried in useless to seek out an equaliser.

Theo Hernandez and Alexis Saelemaekers have been denied by sensible saves from Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina on the counter within the closing phases as they sought to seal the victory.

Meanwhile, a first-half purpose from Alvaro Morata was sufficient to offer Juventus a 1-0 victory at dwelling to Spezia in Serie A as they tightened their grip on a Champions League spot.

The hosts, who went shut on the quarter-hour mark via midfielder Arthur Melo, took the lead after 21 minutes when the Brazilian latched on to a poor clearance from Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel, choosing out Manuel Locatelli on the sting of the field earlier than the Italian fed Morata, who netted his first league purpose since December.

Emmanuel Gyasi and Kevin Agudelo have been each denied by Wojciech Szczesny from shut vary after the break as Spezia sought a method again into issues.

Morata, in the meantime, missed a gilt-edged probability to seal the victory in stoppage time on the finish of the sport as Juventus held on to safe the win.

Juve transfer onto 53 factors within the fourth and remaining Champions League spot, the place they sit six factors above fifth-placed Atalanta, who’ve performed a sport fewer.

Fiorentina have been made to rue a number of missed alternatives as they have been held to a 1-1 draw at dwelling to Hellas Verona.

Only two factors separated the 2 groups, who have been each determined for a win to shut in on the European locations.

Krzysztof Piatek fired Fiorentina forward within the tenth minute, however Gianluca Caprari equalized from the penalty spot for Verona 10 minutes later.

At the opposite finish of the desk, Genoa drew 0-0 towards Empoli to maneuver inside seven factors of security. Venezia additionally remained within the backside three as they misplaced 4-1 at dwelling to Sassuolo. Torino drew 0-0 at Bologna.

Bundesliga: Hoffenheim go fourth with win over Cologne

Stefan Posch scored the one purpose as Hoffenheim beat Cologne 1-0, amid a bunch of missed probabilities by each groups, to maneuver as much as fourth within the Bundesliga, the final place for Champions League qualification.

Posch’s second-half purpose was sufficient for the guests to stretch their successful run to 4 video games and transfer two factors away from Leipzig and Freiburg after their 1-1 draw on Saturday. Nine rounds of fixtures stay.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine once more featured prominently within the Bundesliga. Cologne gamers wore jerseys with ‘Stop War’ written on the entrance.

John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ was performed across the stadium earlier than gamers and followers noticed a minute’s silence in solidarity with the victims.

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Highlights: Bayern Munich have been held to a 1-1 draw by Bayer Leverkusen within the Bundesliga on Saturday

Hoffenheim ahead Ihlas Bebou missed a number of good alternatives to attain, whereas Anthony Modeste missed the house group’s greatest probability of the primary half when he fired over with solely the goalkeeper to beat.

Bebou started the second half with a header towards the publish and Modeste had a purpose dominated out for offside earlier than Posch lastly broke the impasse within the 61st minute when he headed in a cross from Germany defender David Raum.

There have been additional missed probabilities for each groups, with Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner hitting the publish when it appeared simpler to attain. Cologne substitute Tim Lemperle headed simply extensive in harm time.

The scheduled earlier sport between second-placed Borussia Dortmund and Mainz was postponed on Friday to March 16 as a consequence of a coronavirus outbreak at dwelling group Mainz.

Ligue 1: Monaco’s Martins sinks Marseille

Gelson Martins scored a second half winner as Monaco inflicted extra dwelling distress on Marseille with a 1-0 victory of their Ligue 1 encounter on Sunday.

Martins reacted quickest to show the ball in after Kevin Volland’s shot crashed again off the publish. The purpose was initially flagged for offside however that call was overturned by the Video Assistant Referee.

Marseille, who’ve gained solely 5 of their 14 dwelling matches this season, stay in third place within the desk with 47 factors from 27 video games. They path leaders Paris Saint-Germain by 15 factors and are two behind second-placed Nice.

Denis Bouanga scored the one purpose as St Etienne climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 dwelling win over Metz, whereas Troyes claimed an important victory of their bid for survival away at backside facet Bordeaux.

Bouanga had a first-half purpose dominated out by the Video Assistant Referee for handball, however there was little question about his effort on 52 minutes as a poor clearance landed at his toes and he thumped a shot into the again of the online.

Metz, who’re second-bottom within the desk, thought that they had a penalty within the closing phases as Falaye Sacko dedicated a transparent foul on Farid Boulaya within the field, however referee Jeremy Stinat overturned the choice after an infringement within the build-up was noticed.

Troyes did their possibilities of staying up the world of excellent after a 2-0 win at ailing Bordeaux.

They had a little bit of luck early on when Mama Balde’s penalty was saved by dwelling goalkeeper Gaetan Poussin, who then knocked the ball into the online together with his trailing leg for an personal purpose.

The guests added a second with 5 minutes remaining having been awarded a second spot-kick, this time transformed by South Africa worldwide Lebo Mothiba, who has lately returned from virtually two years on the sidelines with harm.

Rennes moved as much as fourth with a 2-0 victory over Angers, their third win in succession however a sixth straight loss for his or her opponents that has seen them tumble down the desk.

Benjamin Bourigeaud and Gaetan Laborde scored the targets for Rennes, who are actually a degree off the Champions League qualification locations.

They have leapfrogged Strasbourg, who have been held to a 3rd successive draw by Reims. Jean-Ricner Bellegarde put Strasbourg in entrance, however Jens Cajuste equalised for the house facet with six minutes remaining.

Nantes additionally stored their Champions League hopes alive with a 2-0 win at dwelling to Montpellier. Goals from Randal Kolo Muani and Willem Geubbels sealed the three factors. They climb to sixth, 5 factors behind third-placed Marseille.

Defending champions Lille continued their late push for a European spot by routing 10-man Clermont 4-0 to remain stage on factors with Nantes.

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