- Bayer Leverkusen thrash Dortmund to harpoon title hopes
- Messi on target as PSG crush 5-1, Real Madrid beat Granada
The Guardian-Dusan Vlahovic celebrates at the end of a scoring debut for Juventus. Photograph: Marco Canoniero/REX/Shutterstock
In Serie A, Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria enjoyed dream Juventus debuts as the two January signings scored in a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday, sending the Turin club fourth in Serie A. Serbia international Vlahovic, who joined Juventus from Fiorentina, opened the scoring with a perfectly weighted lob after 13 minutes. Things got even better for Massimiliano Allegri’s side after the break when deadline day arrival Zakaria sprinted forward from midfield to hammer a shot into the bottom corner.
Napoli moved into second place with a 2-0 win at struggling Venezia, as the gap between the top three teams was cut to a single point. Goals from Victor Osimhen and Andrea Petagna in the second half ensured that Luciano Spalletti’s side took advantage of a rare slip-up by the league leaders Internazionale, who lost 2-1 against Milan on Saturday.
Napoli are second with 52 points, ahead of third-placed Milan on goal difference and one point behind the champions Inter, who they face next in Naples on Saturday.
“Nobody thinks it will be easy, but I think that by all pulling in the same direction we can reach our objectives. We have a lot of [objectives], and one is to win the league. Step by step, with determination, we can do it,” Osimhen said.
The race for the top four was blown wide open as fourth-placed Atalanta endured a shock 2-1 defeat at home against Cagliari, who climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since September. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side went behind through a Gaston Pereiro strike before the goalkeeper Juan Musso was sent off, and Pereiro scored again to win it for the Sardinians four minutes after Jose Luis Palomino had equalised.
Atalanta are one point above Juventus, who were due to face Hellas Verona later on Sunday, while Lazio and AS Roma are lurking four points behind the Bergamo club.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria thrashed midtable Sassuolo 4-0 to go five points clear of the relegation zone, and Bologna drew 0-0 with Empoli in a clash between 13th and 11th.
Borussia Dortmund were thrashed 5-2 at home by Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, as their hopes of catching the 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.
Elsewhere in the league, Wolfsburg pulled clear of the relegation zone with an emphatic 4-1 win at home against the basement club Greuther Fuerth. The Austrian midfielder Aster Vranckx put the hosts in front in the seventh minute but Fuerth levelled shortly before half-time with a penalty from Branimir Hrgota.
Vranckx, 19, struck again early in the second half to put Wolfsburg back on top before further goals from Maximilian Arnold and Maximilian Philipp in the 70th and 75th minutes rounded off the victory.
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.
In La Liga, Valencia’s winless run in the league reached five games in successive after being held by Real Sociedad to a 0-0 draw. The result kept sixth-place Sociedad with only one win in their past nine league games, while Valencia dropped to 11th place.
Marco Asensio’s second-half goal secured three points for Real Madrid as they won 1-0 at home against Granada. 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.
Barcelona fought back to beat Atlético Madrid 4-2 in a thriller at the Camp Nou as they clinically saw off the champions by scoring four goals from their only four shots on target in the game.
In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain are 13 points clear at the top of the table following a 5-1 win at Lille, with Danilo Pereira netting a brace and Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé also among the scorers.