MADRID: Leo Messi scored twice more as Spanish Liga leaders Barcelona thrashed Bilbao 5-1 and were enabled to go six points clear because pursuers Atletico de Madrid lost 2-0 to revived champions Real.
Barcelona set a record for the best start to league season. Their record of 13 wins and a draw exceeded the previous best of 13 wins and a defeat by Real in 1961-62.
Coach Tito Vilanova’s men led 3-0 at halftime on goals from Gerard Pique, Messi and Adriano. Cesc Fabregas and Messi added two goals after the break, either side of an Ibai Gomez effort for Bilbao.
Messi has scored 21 league goals in 14 matches and is only one short of the record haul for club and country in a calendar year of 85 set by West Germanyand Bayern Munich striker Gerd Muller in 1972.
In Madrid goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil wrecked Atletico’s hopes of a first derby win in more than a decade. The win eased the turbulence surrounding coach Jose Mourinho.
However Mauricio Pellegrini was sacked by Valencia after their 5-2 home thrashing by Real Sociedad.
In France Qatari-financed Paris Saint-Germain’s title hopes were upset when they lost 2-1 at mid-table Nice to slip five points behind leaders Lyon. Second-half goals by Eric Bautheac and Valentin Eysseric proved too much for PSG who replied through Zlatan Ibrahimovic but dropped to third in the table. PSG also had France midfielder Blaise Matuidi sent off in stoppage time.
In Germany the eagerly-awaited duel between runaway leaders Bayern Munich and champions Borussia Dortmund ended in a 1-1 draw, largely thanks to the brilliance of Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfehler.
Bayern, who hold an eight-point lead, took the lead against the run of play in the 67th-minute through Toni Kroos but conceded an equaliser to Mario Gotze seven minutes later. The match was broadcast in a Bundesliga record 203 countries.
Bayern defender Holger Badstuber tore cruciate ligaments in his right knee and will be out for most of the rest of the season.
In Holland Twente Enschede went top of the league with a 2-0 home win over 10-man ADO Den Haag after overnight leaders PSV Eindhoven slumped 3-1 away to Ajax in Amsterdam. Den Haag’s Tjaronn Chery was sent off in the 49th minute and Twente took quick advantage with goals from Dusan Tadic and Dmitry Bulykin.
In Italy leaders Juventus took the honours in the Turin derby when a Claudio Marchisio double and Sebastian Giovinco strike in the second half secured a 3-0 victory over Torino who had Kamil Glik sent off after only 36 minutes.
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