European wrap: Barca wins big, Napoli maintains top spot
By Maria Mark
Barcelona crushed Athletic Bilbao 4-0 at the Nou Camp to close the deficit to LaLiga leaders Real Madrid to three points.
Ousmane Dembele scored the game’s first goal with a header in the 12th minute, then assisted on goals by Sergi Roberto (18 minutes) and Robert Lewandowski (4 minutes) as Barca quickly gained the upper hand over a Bilbao team led by their former manager Ernesto Valverde.
The victory was then secured for Xavi’s second-placed team by substitute Ferran Torres with a goal in the 73rd minute, capping a hat-trick of assists for Dembele.
Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 2-1 to climb into third place, and Antoine Griezmann scored twice.
By curling the ball in directly from a corner in the 54th minute, Griezmann gave Atletico the lead. He added a second goal in the 71st, and Nabil Fekir drew a goal back with six minutes remaining.
Gonzalo Verdu’s equalizer in the 82nd minute gave bottom-place Elche a 2-2 draw at Espanyol, and David Lopez’s goal lifted Girona out of the relegation zone with a 1-1 draw against Osasuna at home.
Despite being down to 10 men, Villarreal defeated Almeria 2-1 at home in a thrilling comeback.
After tying the score with a header in the 56th minute for the home team, Alex Baena was given the red card for celebrating by raising his shirt to reveal a message below.
Nicolas Jackson’s stoppage-time goal gave the Yellow Submarine—whose unused replacement Manuel Morlanes was also dismissed—all three points.
Victor Osimhen’s goal with 10 minutes left gave Napoli a 1-0 victory at Roma, putting them three points ahead of Roma in Serie A. This was Napoli’s eighth straight league victory under Luciano Spalletti.
Lazio and Atalanta are third and fourth, respectively, and AC Milan is in second place, two points ahead of them.
Lazio defeated Atalanta 2-0 thanks to goals from Mattia Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson. Atalanta had lost Luis Muriel late in the game.
Torino defeated Udinese 2-1 with to Pietro Pellegri’s game-winning goal, and Bologna defeated Lecce 2-0 at home thanks to Marko Arnautovic’s penalty and Lewis Ferguson’s first goal since signing from Aberdeen.
In a shocking Bundesliga result, Bochum defeated league-leading Union Berlin 2-1 at home to move off the bottom of the standings. Goals from Philipp Hofmann and Gerrit Holtmann were followed by a goal from Milos Pantovic in stoppage time.
Bochum’ swap places at the bottom with Schalke, who suffered a 2-1 loss against Hertha Berlin in their first game without manager Frank Kramer thanks to a goal from Wilfried Kanga in the 88th minute.
At the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille prevailed in a seven-goal thriller against Monaco in Ligue 1.
Wissam Ben Yedder gave the visitors a 3-2 lead early in the second half, but Remy Cabella’s second goal of the contest and a Jonathan Bamba goal turned the tide and gave Lille a 4-3 victory.
Drama also occurred at the Allianz Riviera, where Nice and Nantes drew 1-1 thanks to a late penalty by Nice’s Nicolas Pepe against Nantes, who later saw goalkeeper Alban Lafont and substitute Kader Bamba dismissed after protests.
Quentin Boisgard’s late goal for third-placed Lorient helped them draw 2-2 at Troyes, while Rennes defeated now-bottom-of-the-table Angers 2-1 thanks to Lovro Majer’s stoppage-time penalty.
In other matches, Brest defeated Clermont 3-1, Strasbourg earned a 2-2 draw at 10-man Toulouse, and Auxerre slid into the bottom three after losing 2-1 to Reims.