Title-chasing Barcelona suffer shock defeat at struggling Almeria

Bologna's Riccardo Orsolini celebrates scoring against Inter Milan (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)
PA Sport Staff

Barcelona missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of LaLiga after suffering an unexpected 1-0 defeat at relegation-battling Almeria.

Real Madrid’s own title hopes looked to have suffered a blow after they played out a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

However, Barca, knocked out of Europe by Manchester United on Thursday, fell behind against Almeria to a first-half goal from El Bilal Toure and could not find a way back as they suffered only their second league defeat of the season.

Despite the loss though, the Catalan giants remain seven points clear of Real at the top of the table.

Earlier on Sunday, Athletic Bilbao’s European qualification hopes were dented by a 3-2 home defeat to Girona.

Gabri Veiga scored twice as Celta Vigo moved further clear of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Real Valladolid, who ended the match with 10 men at Estadio de Balaidos.

A late goal from substitute Abde Ezzalzouli gave top-six hopefuls Osasuna a 3-2 win at Sevilla, who saw defender Fernando sent off in the closing moments.

Italy Soccer Serie A
Bologna’s Riccardo Orsolini celebrates scoring against Inter Milan (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

In Italy, Inter Milan lost ground at the top of Serie A after a 1-0 defeat at Bologna saw their six-match unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end.

Napoli had extended their lead to 18 points with a 2-0 success at Empoli on Saturday.

The Nerazzurri, though, were unable to respond as Riccardo Orsolini’s strike with 15 minutes left settled matters in wet and blustery conditions at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium.

AC Milan closed up level on points with their city rivals after beating Atalanta 2-0 at San Siro, where Theo Hernandez long-range volley crashed against the woodwork and in off goalkeeper.

At the other end of the table, Salernitana pulled further clear of the drop zone with a 3-0 win home win over 10-man Monza, while it finished 2-2 between Udinese and Spezia.

Bayern Munich stormed back to the top of the Bundesliga as they beat third-placed Union Berlin 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.

Borussia Dortmund had moved above Bayern after a 1-0 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Bayern, though, battled through snowy conditions to return to the summit with first-half goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala, on his 20th birthday.

Sadio Mane came on as a substitute during the second half for a first appearance since the injury which ruled the Senegal striker out of the World Cup in Qatar.

Sunday’s other match in Germany’s top flight saw European hopefuls Freiburg held to a 1-1 draw at home by Bayer Leverkusen.

In France, Kylian Mbappe scored twice and Lionel Messi was also on target as Paris St Germain won 3-0 at Ligue 1 rivals Marseille to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

A first-half brace from Terem Moffi helped Nice win 3-0 at rivals Monaco.

Ajaccio came from behind to win 2-1 against fellow strugglers Troyes, who saw goalscorer Mama Balde sent off late on.

Rennes won 1-0 at Nantes with an early strike from Jeremy Doku to keep themselves in the hunt for European qualification.

Auxerre boost their own survival hopes with a 1-0 win at Lorient courtesy of Rayan Raveloson’s free-kick, while Reims beat Toulouse 3-0 at Stade Auguste-Delaune and Clermont drew 1-1 with Strasbourg.