Radamel Falcao scored a last-minute free kick as Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at Real Sociedad to keep pace with Barcelona atop Spanish soccer’s La Liga.
The Colombian striker curled in his 10th league goal of the season last night to give Atletico its seventh straight league win that moved it level with Barcelona on 22 points.
“It was a very tough and difficult match settled by a delicious free kick,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said on his team’s website. “Falcao has been practicing hard with his free kicks and today it paid off.”
Falcoa’s strike put him one behind Lionel Messi in the Primera Division’s goal-scoring list this season. Messi scored three goals two days ago for Barcelona, which went 3-0 up before winning 5-4 at Deportivo La Coruna.
Jordi Alba, Cristian Tello and Messi struck before Deportivo pulled back two goals through Luis Pizzi and Alex Bergantinos. Messi made it 4-2 before half time and he scored again in the second half, in between a Pizzi strike and an Alba own goal. Barca’s Javier Mascherano was red-carded.
Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0.
Italian league leader Juventus defeated Napoli 2-0 two days ago in a matchup of unbeaten teams in Serie A.
Jose Caceres and Paul Pogba scored in the final 10 minutes as defending champion Juventus won for the seventh time in eight games to move to 22 points, three ahead of Napoli.
Inter Milan beat Catania 2-0 yesterday to pull even on 18 points with Lazio, which defeated AC Milan 3-2 two days ago.
Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio got the goals that secured Inter’s fourth straight league win.
German league leader Bayern Munich set a Bundesliga record with its eighth straight win to open a season, a 5-0 victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Bayern has a five-point lead over Eintracht Frankfurt, which beat Hannover 3-1.
Third-placed Schalke’s 2-1 win at Ruhr rival and defending champion Borussia Dortmund was marred by fan violence that led to about 150 arrests, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.
In France, Marseille fell to a 1-0 defeat at last-place Troyes last night, leaving Paris Saint-Germain atop the standings on goal difference. Both teams have 19 points.
Benjamin Nivet’s 88th-minute goal earned Troyes its first league win this season and moved it off the bottom.
FC Twente leads the Dutch Eredivisie by a point over PSV Eindhoven and Vitesse after a 1-1 draw at Roda JC two days ago.
WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Spain: Malaga 2-1 Valladolid, Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo, Valencia 3-2 Athletic Bilbao, Deportivo 4-5 Barcelona, Getafe 0- 1 Levante, Espanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano, Granada 1-2 Real Zaragoza, Osasuna 0-0 Real Betis, Real Sociedad 0-1 Atletico Madrid. Today: Sevilla vs Real Mallorca. Italy: Juventus 2-0 Napoli, Lazio 3-2 AC Milan, Cagliari 1-0 Bologna, Atalanta 2-1 Siena, Chievo 1-1 Fiorentina, Inter Milan 2-0 Catania, Palermo 0-0 Torino, Parma 2-1 Sampdoria, Udinese 1-0 Pescara, Genoa 2-4 Roma. Germany: Hoffenheim 3-3 Greuther Furth, Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Mainz, Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Hannover, Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-5 Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg 0-2 Freiburg, Werder Bremen 4-0 Borussia Moenchengladbach Nurnberg 0-0 Augsburg, Hamburg 0-1 Stuttgart. France: Bordeaux 1-1 Lille, PSG 1-0 Reims, Evian 0-4 Toulouse, Nancy 1-1 Sochaux, Nice 1-1 St. Etienne, Rennes 2-1 Montpellier, Valenciennes 6-1 Lorient, Ajaccio 0-0 Bastia, Lyon 1-0 Brest, Troyes 1-0 Marseille. Netherlands: Heracles 3-3 Ajax, NAC Breda 0-3 Vitesse, PSV Eindhoven 3-2 Willem II, Roda JC 1-1 Twente, AZ 0-2 NEC Nijmegen, Den Haag 1-2 Utrecht, Heerenveen 3-0 Groningen, VVV 2- 3 Feyenoord, RKC Waalwijk 1-2 FC Zwolle.