MADRID: Atletico Madrid pulled off their first La Liga win over Barcelona in more than a decade as Yannick Carrasco punished a mistake by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to secure a 1-0 victory at an empty Wanda Metropolitano.
The Belgium winger broke the deadlock at the end of the first half, pulling off a classy backheel to knock the ball through the legs of Ter Stegen and keep his composure in front of goal after the German had charged out of his area.
Atletico got the victory without joint-top scorer Luis Suarez, who was deprived of a reunion with his former side after testing positive for COVID-19, but they were more than worthy winners.
Marcos Llorente nearly gave them an early lead when his shot crashed off the bar, while it took a brilliant save from Ter Stegen to keep out a vicious distance strike from Saul Niguez.
Champions Real Madrid conceded a fourth penalty in two games as they drew 1-1 at Villarreal, dropping points for the second game in a row.
Zinedine Zidane’s Real side were missing seven players through injury and illness, including Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Casemiro, but the champions went ahead in the second minute with a diving header from Mariano Diaz.
Villarreal protested the goal as the linesman had momentarily flagged for offside against Lucas Vazquez, who did not make contact with the ball, and Dani Carvajal picked it up before crossing to Mariano.
Unai Emery’s Villarreal were much improved in the second half and after spurning numerous chances striker Gerard Moreno beat Thibaut Courtois from the spot in the 76th minute after the Belgian keeper had felled substitute Samuel Chukwueze.
In Italy . . .
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half double allowed Juventus to climb to second in the Serie A standings with a 2-0 home win over Cagliari.
After a relatively quiet international break for Ronaldo, with one goal in three games for Portugal, he scored in the 38th minute in Turin, finding the net for the fifth successive league match.
Four minutes later the 35-year-old forward brilliantly struck at the far post to double his side’s advantage, taking him to eight league goals for the season, from just four starts.
Ragnar Klavan thought he had got Cagliari back into the game in the second half but his header was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.
Ronaldo turned provider on two occasions as Juventus looked to score again but poor finishing meant the hosts failed to add to their tally.
The win enabled Andrea Pirlo’s unbeaten side to close the gap to leaders AC Milan to one point, with Milan playing at Napoli on Sunday. Cagliari stayed 11th.
Having won four of their previous five games in all competitions, Cagliari showed plenty of confidence in the early stages, with Juventus looking a shaky having won just three of their last seven before the international break.
However, after recovering from COVID-19, then an ankle injury, before travelling to play for his country, Ronaldo looked sharper than all around him as he took charge.
The finish for his first goal was a trademark one, cutting inside twice before driving a low shot into the net, but the second was even better, adjusting as the ball was diverted behind him before flicking it home.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Atalanta were held to a 0-0 draw at Spezia and Lazio beat bottom side Crotone 2-0.
In Germany . . .
Erling Haaland scored four goals in a sensational second-half performance to help Borussia Dortmund come from a goal down to crush hosts Hertha Berlin 5-2 and climb to second place in the Bundesliga.
It was a memorable evening for Norwegian Haaland, who notched his first away goals of the campaign and took his season tally to 10 goals in eight matches, one less than top scorer Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
It was an equally memorable match for teenager Youssoufa Moukoko, who replaced Haaland late in the game to become the youngest ever Bundesliga player at the age of 16 years and one day.
Haaland struck twice between the 47th and 49th minutes to put his team in front after Matheus Cunha had stunned the visitors with an unstoppable shot from 25 metres in the 33rd.
He completed his hat-trick when he pounced on a Hertha mistake to round the keeper and slot in, with the hosts in complete disarray.
Haaland grabbed his fourth after Raphael Guerreiro had also scored for the visitors and Hertha had briefly cut the deficit with a 79th-minute Cunha penalty.
Dortmund, who face Club Brugge on Tuesday in the Champions League, moved up to 18 points, one behind leaders Bayern Munich and ahead on goal difference of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.