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PIX: Barca shocked at Levante; Juventus stay top

Last updated on: November 03, 2019 10:59 IST

A summary of Saturday's action in La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga.

Lionel Messi celebrates putting Barcelona ahead from the penalty spot against Levante.

IMAGE: Lionel Messi celebrates putting Barcelona ahead from the penalty spot against Levante. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

La Liga champions Barcelona's long winning streak came to an abrupt halt when they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat away to Levante on Saturday after taking the lead but then conceding three times in the space of seven minutes in the second half.

 

Barca had returned to the top of the table by thrashing Real Valladolid 5-1 in mid-week for a seventh straight victory in all competitions and put themselves in a comfortable position when Lionel Messi converted a penalty in the 38th minute.

Their problems began when Luis Suarez was taken off injured a few moments later and they collapsed in the second half, with Levante scoring with all of their first three shots on target.

Jose Campana levelled in the 61st minute following a quick-fire counter-attack after winning the ball in Barca's half, then former Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral put them ahead in the 63rd with a superb curling strike from outside the area.

Nemanja Radoja gave the home side extra breathing space with a third goal in the 67th on the volley following a free kick, while Messi put the ball in the net later to briefly give Barca hope but the goal was ruled out for offside by Antoine Griezmann after a VAR review.

Nemanja Radoja celebrates scoring Levante's third goal.

IMAGE: Nemanja Radoja celebrates scoring Levante's third goal. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

It was Barca's third defeat of the campaign yet they still lead the standings on 22 points and a superior goal difference over Real Madrid, who were held to a goalless draw at home to Real Betis and are second on the same number of points.

Atletico Madrid are third on 21 after drawing 1-1 away to Sevilla, who are fourth, also on 21.

Levante, who have won three of their last four home fixtures against Ernesto Valverde's side, moved up to eighth in the table on 17 points.

Real Madrid blow chance to go top after draw with Betis

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Real Betis's Loren battle for an aerial ball.

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos (right) and Real Betis's Loren battle for an aerial ball. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Real Madrid passed up the chance to go clear at the top of La Liga after slip-ups from title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, when they could only draw 0-0 at home to struggling Real Betis on a difficult Saturday for Spain's top three sides.

Real were full of confidence after hammering Leganes 5-0 in mid-week for their biggest win of a stop-start season and appeared to get off to a great start when Eden Hazard struck early. But the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Madrid's clearest opening came in the second half when French left back Ferland Mendy surged forward towards goal, but despite having plenty of time to shoot he missed the target, prompting howls of frustration from the fans behind the goal.

Real are second in the standings on 22 points after 11 games, level with leaders Barcelona, who slid to a shock 3-1 loss at Levante earlier in the day.

Atletico Madrid, who have played one game more, are third on 21 points after drawing 1-1 at Sevilla, who are fourth with the same number of points. Betis are 14th with 13.

Karim Benzema saw a shot well saved in a bright opening spell while Toni Kroos came close to scoring from a free kick. But Betis, who were victorious on their last two visits to the Santiago Bernabeu, were not shy down the other end.

French midfielder Nabil Fekir flashed a shot just wide in the first half and Loren Moron tried in vain to lob Thibaut Courtois, who had to make a smart save to deny Fekir late in the game.

Madrid had a penalty appeal for handball turned down in the closing stages while Vinicius Jr. and Dani Carvajal were both thwarted in stoppage time by Betis goalkeeper Joel Robles.

Juventus stay top after beating Torino

Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring for Juventus.

IMAGE: Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring for Juventus. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Juventus stayed top of Serie A and maintained their winning ways against their less glamorous neighbours Torino when a second-half goal from Matthijs de Ligt gave them a 1-0 away victory in Saturday’s Derby della Mole.

The 20-year-old Dutchman hooked the ball in following a corner to score his first goal for the Turin club midway through the second half of a scrappy, bad-tempered match.

Juventus, chasing a ninth successive title and still unbeaten since Maurizio Sarri took over as coach before the start of the season, lead with 29 points from 11 games, one ahead of Inter Milan who earlier won 2-1 at Bologna.

They have won nine and drawn two of their last 11 meetings with Torino and have been beaten only once by their neighbours since 1995.

De Ligt was in action at both ends in the first half. He was lucky not to give away a penalty for handball in his own area and forced a brilliant save from Salvatore Sirigu just before halftime in the other.

“I am just standing and the ball hit me,” he said. “I knew immediately it was not a penalty, because the rules are if my arms are down here, it’s not a penalty.”

Gonzalo Higuain gave the Juve attack some extra bite when he came on during the second half and quickly forced another save from Sirigu with a volley.

Juventus broke the deadlock after 70 minutes when Higuain knocked back a corner at the far post and De Ligt fired past Sirigu, leaving Torino coach Walter Mazzarri furious with his defence.

Torino fought back well and Bremer had the ball in the net with a chest and volley in stoppage time but the Brazilian’s effort was disallowed for offside.

Lukaku scores twice as Inter win at angry Bologna

Romelu Lukaku scores Inter Milan's second goal from the penalty spot.

IMAGE: Romelu Lukaku scores his and Inter Milan's second goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters

Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the last 15 minutes, the second a stoppage-time penalty, as Inter Milan dramatically came from behind to win 2-1 at Bologna in Serie A and keep up the pressure on Juventus.

The Belgian settled the match with his ninth goal of the season after Lautaro Martinez went down under Riccardo Orsolini's challenge in the penalty area.

Although the decision appeared clear cut, Bologna were furious at having their own penalty appeal turned down in a previous attack and the match ended amid angry protests from the home team and jeering from their fans.

The win meant that Inter, who have 28 points from 11 games, would finish the weekend as Serie A leaders if Juventus, who were two points behind, failed to beat neighbours Torino later on Saturday.

Inter had two goals disallowed in the first half, the first for offside against Martinez and the second because the ball went out of play before Valentino Lazaro -- making his first start since his move from Hertha Berlin -- pulled the ball back for Lukaku to turn into the net.

Bologna had not beaten Inter at home since 2002, a run of 14 matches, but looked as if they could end that sequence when Roberto Soriano gave them shock lead with a deflected shot in the 59th minute.

Lukaku missed a chance for a quick equaliser by failing to make proper contact with Lazaro's low cross but he made no mistake in the 75th minute, turning in the rebound after Lukasz Skorupski made a superb save from Milan Skriniar's shot.

Bologna had a penalty waved away when Rodrigo Palacio went down under a challenge late in the game and, in Inter's next attack, Orsolini clumsily kicked Martinez's leg and gave away a penalty which Lukaku comfortably dispatched.

Frankfurt demolish 10-man Bayern 5-1, Gladbach stay top

Goncalo Paciencia, who scored Frankfurt's fifth goal, celebrates at the end of the match.

IMAGE: Goncalo Paciencia, who scored Frankfurt's fifth goal, celebrates at the end of the match. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Eintracht Frankfurt crushed 10-man Bayern Munich 5-1 on Saturday to send them tumbling to fourth in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach, who won 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Bavarians, who have clinched the last seven league titles, have now won just one of their last four Bundesliga matches.

Saturday's heavy defeat in Thomas Mueller's 500th game in all competitions for Bayern leaves the future of embattled coach Niko Kovac in doubt.

"I cannot say. You have to ask other people," Kovac said, when asked whether he still enjoyed the backing of the Bayern bosses.

"I cannot blame the team. With the red card all our plans went out the window. We were then 2-0 behind and had phases where we dominated possession. But after we went down 3-1, we deserved to lose."

"You could see again today that we make simple mistakes that are instantly punished," said Kovac, a former Frankfurt coach, who had infuriated Bayern fans this week by praising his former club's fans as the best in the league.

First-half goals from Filip Kostic and Djibril Sow put the hosts in the driving seat with Bayern down to 10 after the ninth minute dismissal of Jerome Boateng with a red card for a foul.

The Bavarians briefly cut the deficit in the 37th minute through Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who has now netted at least once in each of their 10 league games.

The Poland striker took his league tally to 14 goals but David Abraham restored Frankfurt's two-goal cushion in the 49th.

Martin Hinteregger's header on the hour made sure of the three points and Goncalo Paciencia completed a horrible afternoon for Bayern, piling more pressure on the champions ahead of next week's big clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Gladbach, on 22 points, increased their lead at the top to three over Dortmund, who beat Vfl Wolfsburg 3-0 to snap their unbeaten run in the league and move into second place.

Marcus Thuram got the winner for clinical Gladbach after Kevin Volland cancelled out Oscar Wendt's lead for the Foals with all the goals coming in the first half.

RB Leipzig demolished Mainz 05 8-0 to go third on 18, ahead of Bayern on goal difference.

The first ever Bundesliga derby between promoted Union and Hertha Berlin never lived up to the hype but offered a dramatic finale with the Bundesliga newcomers snatching victory and bragging rights in the capital with a 90th minute Sebastian Polter penalty.

The game was interrupted for several minutes in the second half after flares were thrown onto the pitch of Union's Alte Foersterei Stadium.

The last time two Berlin clubs met in the Bundesliga was back in the 1976/77 season when Hertha played Tennis Borussia Berlin.

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