MADRID: Lionel Messi is a doubt for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Clasico semi-final at home against Real Madrid after sustaining a thigh injury in the 2-2 draw with Valencia.
The Argentina international scored twice, once from the penalty spot, as the hosts came from 2-0 down to earn a point and extend their lead at the top of La Liga to six points.Kevin Gameiro put Valencia ahead and Dani Parejo added a second goal by converting a penalty.
Messi took his tally to 11 in the past nine matches in all competitions, passing 20 league goals for the 11th successive season. However, it was not without cost as he needed treatment for what appeared to be a dead leg shortly after equalising and coach Ernesto Valverde does not know if he will recover in time for Wednesday’s first leg against their arch-rivals.
Celta Vigo broke a five-match losing streak and moved out of the relegation zone after beating Sevilla 1-0 at home thanks to Okay Yokuslu’s second-half goal.
Fourth-place Sevilla have won only one of their past six league games. Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 to deal their northern Basque country rival their first defeat since the arrival of coach Gaizka Garitano.
Getafe’s 0-0 draw at Levante was marred by 11 Getafe fans being arrested for provoking a clash with rival supporters outside the stadium in Valencia. Getafe, who condemned the violence, rose to fifth as the small Madrid-based club continued their impressive season.
In Germany . . .
Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt but increased the gap with second-place Bayern Munich to seven points after the champions’ shock loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
Dortmund, who face Tottenham in the Champions League round of 16 later this month, initially looked unsettled by Frankfurt’s tough, physical game but that lasted only 20 minutes.
The visitors put their foot on the gas and Marco Reus scored the opener after good early work from Raphael Guerreiro in the 22nd minute, also hitting the woodwork a little later. Frankfurt’s Ante Rebic also hit the post before Bundesliga leading scorer Luka Jovic drew the hosts level in the 36th with his 14th goal of the campaign.
The point was enough to lift Dortmund to 49 points and stretched their lead over Bayern, who are stuck on 42 points and dropped to third place after their 3-1 defeat at Leverkusen, to seven.
Peter Bosz’s attack-minded Leverkusen scored three goals in the second half as Leon Bailey and Kevin Volland overturned Bayern’s lead, from Leon Goretzka’s 41st-minute goal, while Lucas Alario sealed the win with a late strike.
Borussia Moenchengladbach moved into second place on goal difference after their 2-0 win at Schalke.
In France . . .
Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal for Monaco to give the struggling principality side their first Ligue 1 win in seven games as they beat visiting Toulouse 2-1.
The Spanish midfielder, who joined from Chelsea last month, fired home in the second half to help Monaco move from 19th to 18th in the standings and claim their first victory at home in the league. They have 18 points from 23 games and are level on points with 17th-placed Caen, who have a game in hand.
In coach Leonardo Jardim’s second game since he returned to the bench after Thierry Henry was sacked, Monaco showed some steel. They opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Aleksandr Golovin latched on to a Gelson Martins cross, only for Christopher Jullien to level five minutes later from close range.
Fabregas restored the advantage in the 62nd minute.
Marseilles dropped down to 10th on 31 points after they lost 2-1 at Stade de Reims, with Clinton Njie’s last-gasp goal being too little, too late after Tristan Dingome and Suk Hyun-jun had put the hosts in a comfortable position.
In Italy . . .
Juventus are uncharacteristically leaking goals and coach Massimiliano Allegri is concerned ahead of the Champions League round of 16, in which they will face Atletico Madrid.
For the second time in a week, the Serie A leaders conceded three goals as Parma fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in Turin. Even Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals could not help Juventus win. Their advantage was cut to nine points over second-placed Napoli, who beat Sampdoria 3-0.
It was the first time in seven years that Juventus were unable to count on any of its BBC defence of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, with all three injured.
They let in three goals in the Italian Cup quarter-final defeat by Atalanta in midweek but there was little sign of what was to come in the first half.
Juventus took the lead in fortunate circumstances in the 36th minute when Ronaldo slipped as he unleashed an effort, but it took a deflection to wrong foot Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe. He also inadvertently had a hand in Juve’s second at the start of a crazy 14 minutes in the second half as his poor header ended up being an assist for a Daniele Rugani volley.
Antonino Barilla immediately got Parma back into the match but Ronaldo restored Juve’s two-goal advantage two minutes later, only for Gervinho to reduce the deficit again in the 74th minute.
Former Arsenal forward Gervinho sent the travelling fans wild in the third minute of stoppage time when he fired in a powerful equaliser after good work from Roberto Inglese. Sami Khedira hit the woodwork twice for Juventus, who also had a penalty decision revoked after video review.
Lorenzo Insigne ended his goal drought, while Arkadiusz Milik Simone Verdi also scored as Napoli kept Juventus within their sights. There was to be no record for former Napoli forward Fabio Quagliarella, who was looking to beat Gabriel Batistuta’s 1994 feat of scoring in a 12th consecutive Serie A match.
Napoli took an early lead. Marek Hamsik floated a lovely ball onto the right flank to Jose Callejon, who rolled the ball across for Milik to smash in.
Callejon set up Napoli’s second just 70 seconds later with a through ball for an Insigne snapshot into the bottom left corner. It was Insigne’s first goal in any competition since early November.
Napoli extended their lead with a Verdi penalty in the final minute after Joachim Andersen was penalised for handball. The referee initially awarded a free kick on the edge of the area but amended his decision on video review.