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La Liga and Serie A roundup: Barcelona jumps Real Madrid in standings, Roma draws Chievo

Lionel Messi, Rafinha, Neymar

FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, from Argentina, left, reacts after scoring with his teammates Rafinha, center, and Neymar, from Brazil, right, against Villarreal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)


Another weekend of soccer play across Europe’s top divisions has passed, and we have a full set of results in Serie A and La Liga.

The big news in Spain on Saturday was Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao, and today, Barca enjoyed quite the opposite outcome which catapulted them into first place past Real.

Over to Italy, two teams in the top four had their match end in a draw, while the most noteworthy fixture will actually take place on Monday when Lazio and Fiorentina go head-to-head.

Barcelona 6-1 Rayo Vallecano

Rayo clearly did not have a grip on this game, but it’s certainly difficult to contest Barcelona firing on all cylinders with the likes of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, the Argentine first tallying a penalty kick prior to scoring two more for the hat trick. Suarez netted a brace, a quick strike in the 5th minute and the last score in the 90th minute. Gerard Pique also added to the tally, while the Red Sashes got on the board with Alberto Bueno’s penalty kick in the 83rd minute. (BBC full recap)

[RELATED: Barca boss Luis Enrique: Suarez, Messi having ‘more and more chemistry’]

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Valencia

Atletico, now winless in their last three games, battled fellow top-five opponent Valencia CF, having won six of their past seven matches entering this one. The Oranges hot streak did not afford them three points, but only one goal--a headed effort from 22-year-old defender Shkodran Mustafi--was necessary to exit Vicente Calderon with one point, as Atletico failed to score after Koke struck the game-opener in the 33rd minute. ( full recap)

Other scores from Sunday

Villarreal 1-1 Celta Vigo

Real Sociedad 1-0 Espanyol

Napoli 2-2 Inter Milan

Inter is not accustomed to sitting in the middle of the table and wanted to prove their worth against a higher-ranking side, Napoli, at the San Paolo. Rafa Benitez’s outfit started the game at a lock but surged ahead with goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik. Inter did not panic, however, and matched both scores in a ten-minute span. Higuain nailed a excellent curled shot to halve the scoreline, and Mauro Icardi’s deft penalty kick tied the game in the 87th minute. (FOX Sports/SkySports recap)

Chievo 0-0 AS Roma

Rudi Garcia said that his squad was “terrible” and “unrecognizable” in their draw to 16th place side Chievo. Roma, currently in second place in the league table, is fighting to remain within distance of leader Juventus but weren’t able to significantly decrease the gap, now at eight points. One of the match’s best chances came for Ivory Coast international Gervinho just before half; the veteran saw his close-range attempt dribble wide of the post. Chievo, despite being dominated in possession, held on defensively to gather a much-needed point.

[RELATED: Chievo’s Federico Matiello suffers horrific injury]

Other scores from Sunday

Empoli 1-1 Genoa

Cesena 0-0 Palmero

Udinese 3-2 Torino

Parma 0-0 Atalanta