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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Arsenal's Welbeck, Barca's Suarez dominate European football weekend

Arsenal's Welbeck, Barca's Suarez dominate European football weekend

February 15, 2016 12:07 IST

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck proved Premier League fairytales are not simply the preserve of Leicester City as the forgotten striker returned to give the London side's title push a fantastic last-gasp fillip on Sunday.

After scoring the 95th minute winner with the last kick of a 2-1 triumph over the 10-man league leaders, England forward Welbeck, back after 10 months out with knee problems, was given an emotional tribute by his team mates.

Ten-man Premier League leaders Leicester City lost at title-chasing Arsenal, while La Liga pacesetters Barcelona crushed Celta Vigo and Juventus took over from Napoli at the top of Serie A by edging their rivals.


Danny Welbeck

IMAGE: Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Leicester City. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur triumphed 2-1 over leaders Leicester City and fourth-placed Manchester City respectively as the top four in the Premier League clashed on Sunday.

Leicester stay top with 53 points, but Arsenal and Spurs closed the gap to two points with Tottenham in second place on goal difference from their North London rivals.

Arsenal's dramatic victory came when Danny Welbeck, on as a late substitute for his first appearance since last April after injury, headed the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Jamie Vardy had put Leicester, playing with 10 men for most of the second half after Danny Simpson was sent off, ahead with a first-half penalty before Theo Walcott equalised for Arsenal.

Spurs won with a penalty from Harry Kane and an 83rd minute winner from their Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen, on his 24th birthday, for a fifth straight league win.


Luis Suarez

IMAGE: FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez scores his team's second goal past Celta Vigo's 'keeper Sergio Alvarez during their La Liga match at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona continued their bid for a second successive Liga title with a crushing 6-1 home victory over Celta Vigo, which included a Luis Suarez hat-trick and a cheeky penalty by Lionel Messi to lay on the Uruguayan striker's third goal.

If Barca beat Sporting Gijon on Wednesday in a match postponed in December due to the Club World Cup, they will open a six-point lead at the top after 24 matches.

Barca have 57 points, three ahead of Atletico Madrid who won 1-0 at Getafe with Fernando Torres’s 101st goal for the club.

Real Madrid are a point further back after Cristiano Ronaldo's brace helped them beat visiting Athletic Bilbao 4-2. Ronaldo took his league tally to 21 but Suarez now has 23.


Simone Zaza

IMAGE: Juventus FC’s Simone Zaza celebrates victory at the end of the Serie A match against SSC Napoli at Juventus Arena. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus lead Serie A for the first time this season after beating Napoli 1-0 with an 88th minute goal from substitute Simone Zaza in their top-of-the-table clash

Juve, chasing a fifth straight title, have 57 points, one more than Napoli, who last won the scudetto in 1990.

Fiorentina's 2-1 win over Inter Milan took them third with 49 points.


Robert Lewandowski

IMAGE: Robert Lewandowski of Muenchen,c entre, celebrates his team's first goal with team mates during the Bundesliga match against FC Ausgburg. Photograph: Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images For MAN

Bayern Munich edged closer to a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title when forward Robert Lewandowski struck twice to help them beat Augsburg 3-1 for their 18th win in 21 matches.

Despite their latest injury setback with defender Holger Badstuber breaking an ankle in training, Bayern showed no signs of slowing down and stayed eight points clear at the top.

Borussia Dortmund maintained their hold on second place with a 1-0 home victory over struggling Hanover 96 that saw them stay 13 points ahead of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.


Luuk de Jong

IMAGE: PSV Eindhoven’s Luuk de Jong celebrates scoring. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Leaders PSV Eindhoven won 3-0 at NEC Nijmegen with league top scorer Luuk de Jong netting his 17th goal of the season.

The victory moves the champions to 56 points from 23 matches, one point ahead of Ajax Amsterdam, who earned a 2-1 victory at Groningen, in a two-horse title race.

De Jong, who has 23 goals in all competitions, opened the scoring with a header before laying on a second for Juergen Locadia with midfielder Marco van Ginkel adding the third.

Ajax won with goals by Anwar El Ghazi and a Lasse Schoene penalty but had to play the final 20 minutes with 10 men after a second yellow card for defender Mike van der Hoorn.