Lionel Messi’s brilliance sealed a thrilling 4-3 victory in the Clasico and ensured that Barcelona remain in the hunt to retain their La Liga title.
In a match featuring three penalties – all scored – and the harsh sending off of Real defender Sergio Ramos, Messi scored a hat-trick and also provided the assist for Andres Iniesta’s opener and a sublime pass for the penalty won by Neymar. “La Liga is not over,” Gerardo Martino said after watching his side close to within a point of title rivals Real and Atletico Madrid.
“We were given up for dead but with this result today we are right back in it. This was our last chance. We did not want to be left out.”
Messi’s hat-trick took him onto a total of 236 goals in the league, overtaking Hugo Sanchez in La Liga history.
Goals galore in record-breaking Premier League weekend
Premier League supporters were thrilled by a record-breaking weekend of goalscoring from the latest round of action in England.
The primary headline-makers were Chelsea, who ran riot against title rivals Arsenal, scoring four times before half-time in a 6-0 thrashing that maintained their four-point lead at the head of the EPL table.
That scoreline only marginally overshadowed the ruthless performances of the other title challengers, with second-placed Liverpool also scoring six in their away win in Cardiff and Manchester City, third but with three games in hand over the leaders, winning 5-0 against bottom side Fulham.
Of his side’s demolition of Arsenal on the day of Arsene Wenger’s 1000th match in charge of the Gunners, Blues manager Jose Mourinho claimed, “We came to kill and in 10 minutes we destroyed [them].
“The way we started, the way we pressed them and recovered the ball, it was fantastic. “Everyone in the stadium felt it would be an easy Chelsea win after only 10 minutes and it was then easy and comfortable.”
Kehl signs for one more season
Former Germany international Sebastian Kehl has revealed that he will retire at the end of next Situs Domino99 Pkv season, after penning a one-year contract extension at Borussia Dortmund. Kehl has help Dortmund to three Bundesliga crowns in his 12-year spell with the club, including the league and cup double in 2012.
“Borussia Dortmund, our wonderful team, fans and the city of Dortmund has been my home for many years, so I have decided to continue my stay,” said the midfielder, who played 31 times for Germany.
“The decision to end my active career in 2015 has been growing and I hope to still experience some unforgettable moments and great success with the team until then.”
English referee sends off wrong player
Referee Andre Marriner has apologised for sending off Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs by mistake during the Gunners’ 6-0 defeat by league leaders Chelsea.
Marriner and his officials wrongly identified Gibbs, the Arsenal left-back, as having deliberately handled the ball in the penalty area, when in fact the culprit was England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Referees’ body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited said in the statement: “Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.
“Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.
“He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.”