Barcelona draws but extends lead; while Juventus stays top
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 21, 2016 09:23 AM
Barcelona's Luis Suarez reacts after failing to score during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Villarreal and Barcelona at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, Spain, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
The Associated Press
Barcelona extended its Spanish record unbeaten streak to 39 consecutive games in all competitions, but failed to win a league match for the first time since Jan. 2 as it drew 2-2 away to Villarreal.
Meanwhile, in Italy Juventus beat local rival Torino 4-1 to stay three points clear of free-scoring Napoli with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon setting a Serie A record for not conceding a goal, while in England teenage striker Marcus Rashford's goal helped Manchester United beat Manchester City 1-0.
Over in France, champion Paris Saint-Germain lost at home in the league for the first time in nearly two years as it slipped up 2-0 against Monaco.
Here is a look at Europe's top leagues on Sunday:
Defending champion Barcelona drew 2-2 at Villarreal after squandering a two-goal lead but increased its lead to nine points over Atletico Madrid.
Third-place Real Madrid closed on Atletico after Cristiano Ronaldo — who earlier missed a penalty — Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Jese scored in a 4-0 victory over Sevilla.
Barcelona will hold a 10-point advantage over Madrid when the two clash after the international break in the season's second "clasico" match.
Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the 20th minute and Brazilian striker Neymar added a penalty four minutes before halftime.
But Villarreal rallied through forward Cedric Bakambu in the 57th before Barcelona substitute Jeremy Mathieu knocked in an own goal in the 63rd.
Barcelona's 12-round winning run ended but it extended its Spanish record unbeaten streak to 39 consecutive games in all competitions.
"I believe the result is positive for us," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "We could have won but we also could have lost. So I have to be satisfied."
Elsewhere, Celta Vigo climbed past Sevilla into fifth place after winning 2-0 at Valencia, while Espanyol beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1.
Valencia's fans jeered and waved handkerchiefs in protest of coach Gary Neville's team, which fell to 14th place, three days after being eliminated from the Europa League.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a Serie A record for not conceding a goal, while Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain closed in on another record.
Buffon shattered the 22-year-old record in Juventus' 4-1 win at local rival Torino, stretching his run to 974 minutes.
The previous record was Sebastiano Rossi's 929 minutes for AC Milan from Dec. 12, 1993, to Feb. 27, 1994.
Paul Pogba and Sami Khedira scored for Juventus before Andrea Belotti's 48th-minute penalty, while Alvaro Morata netted twice.
Juventus stays three points clear of Napoli, which beat Genoa 3-1 thanks to two goals from Higuain.
The Argentina forward has scored 29 league goals this season, six short of the record set by AC Milan's Gunnar Nordahl in 1949-50.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina was held to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Frosinone to dent its chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Milan drew 1-1 with Lazio.
On a day of derbies, Manchester United won 1-0 at Manchester City and Newcastle sneaked a 1-1 home draw against Sunderland.
Teenager Marcus Rashford scored for United to end City's realistic chances of winning the Premier League.
United and West Ham are only one point behind fourth-place City, which has won just one of its last six league games.
At the top, leader Leicester is now 15 points clear of City, with Tottenham five points behind after Harry Kane scored twice in a 3-0 win against Bournemouth.
"I'm very happy with the collective performance," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. "I thought we were fantastic."
Meanwhile, Liverpool's scant hopes of making the top four were hit after losing 3-2 at Southampton, despite leading 2-0 through Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho and England striker Daniel Sturridge.
Newcastle and Sunderland remain in the relegation zone. Aleksandar Mitrovic scored an 83rd-minute equalizer for Newcastle after veteran striker Jermain Defoe volleyed Sunderland ahead.
Runaway French champion Paris Saint-Germain slipped to only its second league defeat of the season after losing 2-0 at home to second-place Monaco.
PSG sealed its fourth straight title last weekend, but looked out of sorts as Monaco strengthened its hold on second place and an automatic spot in next season's Champions League.
It was PSG's first home defeat in the league since May 2014, as Brazilian striker Vagner Love put Monaco ahead in the 65th minute and countryman Fabinho scored from the penalty spot three minutes later.
Monaco moved five points ahead of third-place Nice, which beat struggling Gazelec Ajaccio 3-0 earlier with Hatem Ben Arfa scoring a brilliant solo goal.
Bordeaux drew 1-1 at home to Bastia.
Borussia Dortmund overcame the absence of top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and defeated Augsburg 3-1 away to stay five points behind Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich.
Aubameyang was rested due to the death of his grandfather in midweek and Colombian striker Adrian Ramos deputized with a goal and an assist.
Earlier, Julian Brandt led Bayer Leverkusen to a 2-0 win at Stuttgart, lifting it to sixth.