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La Liga & Serie A roundup: Barcelona, Getafe in scoreless draw; Valencia keep UCL hopes alive


A frustrated Gerard Pique


A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:

Getafe 0-0 Barcelona

Barcelona dropped points in La Liga for the first time in a month, away to 12th-placed Getafe. Despite selecting a full-strength starting 11 following Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League, Luis Enrique‘s side suffered a bitter blow in their La Liga title chase in the form of a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

The Blaugrana enjoyed 76 percent of the game’s possession and took 23 shots over the 90 minutes, including seven by Lionel Messi, but failed to put more than a dismal two on target. Barca had remained just two points behind current La Liga leaders Real Madrid during the Madridista’s ongoing 20-game win streak across all competitions, but Saturday’s draw sees them fall four points adrift and just three ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid, who who host sixth-placed Villareal on Sunday (1 pm ET).

Valencia 3-0 Rayo Vallecano

Algerian World Cup star Sofiane Feghouli netted a first-half brace (13th and 34th minutes) before Argentine winger Pablo Piatti completed the game’s scoring two minutes later to solidify Valencia‘s hold on fifth place, four points behind the third and final Champions League place.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Cordoba 0-0 Levante
Malaga 1-0 Celta Vigo

Stefano Mauri

Lazio’s Stefano Mauri, first left, scores during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Atalanta at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)


Palermo 2-1 Sassuolo

Palermo‘s bookends — goals by Luca Rigoni (3rd minute) and Andrea Belotti (93rd) — were enough to outlast Sassuolo, who thought they’d snatched a hard-fought away point when Leonardo Pavoletti equalized in the 85th minute.

Lazio 3-0 Atalanta

A second-half brace from Stefano Mauri (51st and 71st minutes) erased a forgettable first half for Lazio, who with the three points are level on 26 points with Genoa for Serie A‘s third and final Champions League place. Senad Lulic completed Lazio’s scoring in the 81st minute.

The meat and potatoes of this weekend’s Serie A fixtures is set for Sunday when leaders Juventus host fourth-placed Sampdoria (6:30 am ET); title-chasers Roma are away to third-placed Genoa (9 am ET); AC Milan host Napoli (2:45 pm ET).
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