Napoli and Inter Milan won yesterday in Italian soccer’s Serie A to maintain the pressure on leader Juventus, while Real Betis climbed to fourth in Spain’s La Liga.
Juventus tops the standings with 35 points following a 3-0 win against 10-man Torino two days ago. Napoli has 33 points, with Inter two points further back.
Gokhan Inler and Edinson Cavani both scored twice for Napoli in a 5-1 win against bottom club Pescara, which had defender Antonio Bocchetti red-carded on 57 minutes. Marek Hamsik got Napoli’s other goal, with Birkir Bjarnason replying for the visitors.
An own goal from Palermo’s Santiago Garcia gave Inter a 1-0 win, while Fiorentina was held to a 2-2 tie by Sampdoria as it missed a chance to join Inter on points.
Also, Lazio beat Parma 2-1 and Roma won 3-1 at Siena. AC Milan rallied to defeat Catania 3-1 on Nov. 30.
Betis won 3-2 at Deportivo La Coruna yesterday to take fourth spot in Spain, taking advantage of a 1-0 defeat for Malaga at Getafe the previous day.
Unbeaten Barcelona leads the standings with 40 points from 14 matches after setting a record for the best start to a La Liga season, with Lionel Messi scoring twice in a 5-1 victory against Athletic Bilbao on Dec. 1.
It is six points ahead of Atletico Madrid, with defending champion Real Madrid on 29 points. Real beat Atletico 2-0 two days ago, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil scoring the goals.
In France, goals from Souleymane Diawara and Andre Ayew gave Marseille a 2-1 victory at Brest to lift the club within two points of league leader Lyon.
Second place Marseille, beaten 4-1 by Lyon in midweek, is three points ahead of Saint-Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain. Two days ago, Lyon beat Montpellier 1-0 and PSG lost 2-1 at Nice. Saint-Etienne tied 0-0 against Ajaccio on Nov. 30.
Bayern Munich has an eight-point lead in Germany’s Bundesliga following the weekend’s matches, after being held to a 1-1 tie at home against third-place Borussia Dortmund two days ago. Second place Bayer Leverkusen beat Nurnberg 1-0.
Yesterday, Werder Bremen won 4-1 at Hoffenheim, while Wolfsburg and Hamburg drew 1-1.
FC Twente and Vitesse Arnhem are tied on points atop the Eredivisie after wins this weekend, as PSV Eindhoven slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Ajax. Vitesse beat Roda JC 3-0 yesterday, and Twente defeated Den Haag 2-0 two days ago. They lead PSV by one point.
WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Spain: Osasuna 1-0 Rayo Vallecano, Getafe 1-0 Malaga, Valencia 2-5 Real Sociedad, Barcelona 5-1 Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid 2- 0 Atletico Madrid, Granada 0-0 Espanyol, Dep. La Coruna 2-3 Real Betis, Celta Vigo 1-1 Levante, Real Mallorca 1-1 Real Zaragoza. Today: Sevilla vs Real Valladolid. Italy: Catania 1-3 AC Milan, Juventus 3-0 Torino, Napoli 5-1 Pescara, Bologna 2-1 Atalanta, Genoa 2-4 Chievo, Inter Milan 1-0 Palermo, Lazio 2-1 Parma, Siena 1-3 Roma, Udinese 4-1 Cagliari, Fiorentina 2-2 Sampdoria. Germany: Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-0 Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Nurnberg, Augsburg 1-1 Freiburg, Greuther Furth 0-1 Stuttgart, Mainz 2-1 Hanover, Schalke 1-1 B. Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich 1-1 Borussia Dortmund, Hoffenheim 1-4 Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg 1-1 Hamburg. France: AC Ajaccio 0-0 St. Etienne, Lyon 1-0 Montpellier, Bordeaux 2-2 Sochaux, Evian 1-1 Nancy, Lille 0-0 Bastia, Nice 2- 1 Paris St. Germain, Valenciennes 1-0 Reims, Brest 1-2 Marseille, Troyes 2-3 Rennes, Lorient 1-0 Toulouse. Netherlands: FC Zwolle 0-0 VVV Venlo, FC Twente 2-0 Den Haag, Feyenoord 2-0 RKC Waalwijk, Willem II 3-1 Heerenveen, Ajax 3-1 PSV Eindhoven, NEC Nijmegen 1-1 NAC Breda, FC Utrecht 2-1 AZ Alkmaar, Groningen 2-0 Heracles Almelo, Vitesse Arnhem 3-0 Roda JC.