HomeSportsFootballRound-up: Lionel Messi on target, Barcelona thrash Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund's title...

Round-up: Lionel Messi on target, Barcelona thrash Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes fade

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe both scored as Paris St Germain ran riot in a 5-1 thrashing of Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday, extending their unbeaten run in the competition to 14 matches.

It was a clinical performance from the visitors, aided by some poor defending from their hosts as Portuguese midfielder Danilo scored a brace and Presnel Kimpembe also got his name on the scoresheet.

Sven Botman had equalised for mid-table Lille in the first half.

It was a positive response from PSG following their French Cup exit on Monday at the hands of Nice and they now have a 13-point lead over Marseille in the title race after 23 matches. 

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Real Madrid extend lead, Barcelona beat Atletico 4-2 

Marco Asensio’s second-half goal secured three points for Real Madrid as they won 1-0 at home against Granada, who put in an almost-perfect defensive performance in LaLiga on Sunday.

Asensio found a way past Granada’s defensive wall with a brilliant angled shot from the edge of the box that went just inside the right corner.

After second-placed Sevilla drew 0-0 at Osasuna on Saturday and third-placed Real Betis lost 2-0 at home against Villarreal, Real Madrid extended their lead at the top to six points. 

Meanwhile, Barcelona fought back to beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 in a LaLiga thriller at the Camp Nou on Sunday as they clinically saw off the champions by scoring four goals from their only four shots on target in the game.

The win moved Barcelona up to fourth place on 38 points from 22 games, leapfrogging Atletico, who are now two points adrift in fifth. 

Barcelona dominated every part of the game from the beginning and were unperturbed when Yannick Carrasco opened the scoring on the counter eight minutes into the first half.

Jordi Alba got the equaliser two minutes later with a magnificent volley from a Dani Alves cross, and Gavi headed Barca in front a few minutes later.

Ronald Araujo extended their lead before halftime, striking home on the rebound from inside the six-yard box after Gerard Pique’s header hit the bar.

Alves scored their fourth right after the break, smashing home a low shot from the edge of the box.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone made four substitutions and Luis Suarez reduced the deficit, heading a loose ball into the net from close range.

Alves spoiled his man-of-the-match performance when he was sent off with a straight red card after he stomped on Carrasco in the 69th minute.

Usually known for being rock-solid, Atletico’s defence have leaked 30 goals in 22 league games so far, five more than they conceded during their entire title-winning campaign last season.

Lacking their usual discipline and prone to mistakes, they have now let in the most goals of the top 10 LaLiga sides and have won only three of their last 10 games in all competitions. 

Dortmund’s title hopes fade

Borussia Dortmund were thrashed 5-2 at home by Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, as their hopes of catching leaders Bayern Munich slipped yet further away.

The defeat left second-placed Dortmund on 43 points, nine behind Bayern after the champions beat RB Leipzig 3-2 on Saturday. Leverkusen stayed third but reduced the gap with Dortmund to five points.

The hosts got off to a nightmare start when they fell behind to a Manuel Akanji own goal in the 10th minute, but they soon levelled when Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong also fired into his own net.

Leverkusen restored their lead in the 20th minute through Florian Wirtz following a flowing counterattack and further increased their advantage with a sizzling free kick from Robert Andrich in the 28th.

The visitors quickly killed off any hopes of a second-half revival from the hosts when Jonathan Tah slammed in a volley eight minutes after the interval.

Moussa Diaby compounded Dortmund’s misery by scoring the visitors’ fifth goal in the 87th minute although the hosts did manage to respond with a strike from Steffen Tigges in the 89th which was eventually awarded after a lengthy VAR review to check a possible offside.

Dortmund were missing their injured top scorer Erling Haaland and slumped to only their second home defeat in the league this season after losing to Bayern in December, having won all of their other home games in the campaign.

Also in the Bundesliga on Sunday, Wolfsburg pulled clear of the relegation zone with an emphatic 4-1 win at home to basement club Greuther Fuerth.

The win lifted Wolfsburg from 16th to 12th in the standings on 24 points, while Fuerth remained rooted to the foot of the table on 10.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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