European roundup: Barcelona edge to win; Pizarro is oldest Bundesliga scorer



  • Lionel Messi penalty enough for leaders against Valladolid
    • Pizarro breaks record with last-gasp goal for Werder Bremen


A first-half penalty from Lionel Messi was enough to give Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid to preserve their comfortable lead at the top of La Liga. Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip had an excellent game against his former club and saved another penalty from Messi on 85 minutes.


An Antoine Griezmann goal ensured Atlético Madrid ended their losing streak before they host Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday. Griezmann’s late goal was about all Atlético could muster in attack to beat crosstown minnows Rayo Vallecano 1-0. The win lifted Atlético ahead of Real Madrid and into second place before the latter host Girona on Sunday.

Griezmann scored his 12th goal in the league to flip a match that Rayo had under control. Álvaro Morata controlled a high ball with his chest in the area and knocked it to Griezmann, whose shot took a deflection before finding the net in the 74th minute.

Diego Costa played the final half-hour for Atlético in his first action since recovering from a foot injury that required surgery in December.

In Germany, struggling Schalke – who host Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday – were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Freiburg. Schalke had Suat Serdar sent off just before half-time, while Christian Günter picked up two late bookings for the visitors. Schalke remain 14th, one point and one place behind their opponents.

Claudio Pizarro scored in the sixth minute of injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Werder Bremen at Hertha Berlin and become the oldest ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Pizarro, aged 40 years and 136 days, broke the previous record held by the Bremen midfielder Mirko Votava (40 years, 121 days) from 1996, when he fired his free-kick through a host of Hertha legs and past the helpless Rune Jarstein in goal.

The leaders, Borussia Dortmund, will attempt to recover from their 3-0 Champions League defeat by Tottenham and restore their five-point lead at the top by winning at struggling Nürnberg on Monday. Bayern Munich reduced their deficit to two points by winning 3-2 at Augsburg on Friday night.

Monaco beat Nantes 1-0 to record their second home win of the season and move out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone for the first time since September. Leonardo Jardim’s return as coach has sparked a turnaround in fortunes for the club, and Gelson Martins tapped in the winner after 13 minutes. Jardim’s side move up to 16th place on 22 points.



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