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Barcelona Trails Real Madrid by 5 Points After Draw at Espanyol

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Barcelona was held to a 1-1 draw by city rival Espanyol as Spanish soccer’s La Liga resumed after the midseason break. AC Milan and Juventus both won to remain tied on points atop Italy’s Serie A.

Cesc Fabregas gave Barcelona the lead in the 16th minute last night before Alvaro Vazquez’s 86th-minute header tied the scores. Barca’s Gerard Pique hit the post in the second minute of stoppage time and Espanyol survived a penalty appeal when the shot from the rebound struck a defender on the arm.

The draw leaves Barcelona five points behind league leader Real Madrid, which has 43 points through 17 games. Two days ago, Karim Benzema scored twice to help Madrid defeat Granada 5-1, while third-place Valencia rallied from two goals behind to tie 2-2 at Villarreal yesterday. Fourth-place Levante drew 0-0 against Real Mallorca.

First-place AC Milan and Juventus both have 37 points in Serie A, two more than Udinese, which beat Cesena 4-1 yesterday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Milan a 22nd-minute lead at Atalanta from a penalty kick, with Kevin-Prince Boateng scoring after 82 minutes to secure a 2-0 victory. Alessandro Matri gave Juventus a 1-0 win at Lecce.

Lazio remains on 30 points after a 4-0 loss at Siena two days ago, with Inter Milan one point back following a 5-0 victory against Parma.

The French, German and Dutch leagues are still on their winter break.

T* WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Italy: Siena 4-0 Lazio, Inter Milan 5-0 Parma, Atalanta 0-2 AC Milan, Bologna 2-0 Catania, Cagliari 3-0 Genoa, Lecce 0-1 Juventus, Novara 0-3 Fiorentina, Roma 2-0 Chievo, Udinese 4-1 Cesena, Palermo 1-3 Napoli.

Spain: Levante 0-0 Real Mallorca, Racing Santander 1-0 Real Zaragoza, Real Sociedad 0-0 Osasuna, Real Madrid 5-1 Granada, Malaga 0-0 Atletico Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Sevilla, Getafe 0-0 Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal 2-2 Valencia, Real Betis 2-0 Sporting Gijon, Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona. *T

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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