La Liga: Messi scores 400th in rout; the Madrids hold serve
A roundup of all of the weekend’s action in Spain’s top flight…
Barcelona 3-0 Eibar
Lionel Messi became the first player to ever score 400 goals in one of Europe’s top five leagues (WATCH HERE), because of course he did. Other than that, Sunday was little more than a routine day out for Barcelona, who maintained their five-point lead in the title race with a 3-0 victory over Eibar.
Luis Suarez put the home side ahead after just 19 minutes; Messi made it 2-0 in the 53rd; Suarez grabbed another to complete the scoring six minutes later.
That’s six straight league victories for Barca, and seven straight without defeat.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Levante
Atleti have prevailed as the main — if not only — formidable title challengers to Barca, now five points clear of third-place Sevilla and fourth-place Real Madrid. Alas, the same gap still exists between themselves and the defending champions.
All Diego Simeone’s side can do is keep winning and hope that Barca slip up somewhere along the way. Sunday’s home clash with 11th-place Levante was something of a grind, but Antoine Griezmann’s 57th-minute penalty kick was just enough to extend Los Rojiblancos’ unbeaten run to 16 games. The trouble, of course, is that they have dropped points in seven of them.
Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid
Dreams of the title have long since gone for the other Madrid — probably — as their attention should now turn to a full-on rebuild of an aging squad. In the meantime, Los Blancos are still made up of a number of world-class players. Take, for instance, 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, who scored one of the best goals of his brilliant career on Sunday.
Betis equalized in the 67th minute, though, setting the stage for one of the club’s former favorites, Dani Ceballos, to break the home fans’ hearts in the 88th.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Girona 1-1 Alaves (Saturday)
Villarreal 1-2 Getafe (Saturday)
Leganes 1-0 Huesca (Saturday)
Valencia 1-1 Real Valladolid (Saturday)
Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Sevilla