Messi overtakes Ronaldo in scoring charts; Man City lose
Mar 15, 2015-
Not content with breaking Cristiano Ronaldo's record for hat tricks in the Spanish league last weekend, Lionel Messi moved ahead of his rival in this season's scoring charts too.
Messi notched his 31st and 32nd Spanish league goals of the season Saturday in Barcelona's win at Eibar. Ronaldo — who had led Messi 25-13 in the scoring race through 15 rounds — has 30.
In England, Manchester City's Premier League title defence was dealt a further blow with a first loss to Burnley in 41 years, while Bayern Munich and Juventus both opened up 14-point leads.
Here are some things to know about Saturday's games:
Lionel Messi scored both goals as Barcelona won 2-0 at Eibar to remain top of the standings.
Messi earned and converted a penalty in the 31st minute before netting with a header in the 55th, giving him two more league goals than Ronaldo as the pair vies to finish the season as the competition's top scorer.
Barcelona is four points ahead of Ronaldo's Real Madrid, which hosts Levante on Sunday. The two powerhouses are set to meet next weekend at Camp Nou.
"We will arrive (to the clasico) leaders and in perfect shape," Luis Enrique said.
Earlier, Atletico Madrid's dwindling hopes to defend the title took another blow after a 0-0 draw at Espanyol.
Rayo Vallecano forward Alberto Bueno also continued his impressive season by netting his 14th and 15th goals to lead a 3-1 comeback victory over relegation-threatened Granada. Bueno only trails Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar (17) in the league scoring charts.
Athletic Bilbao won its fourth league match in a row by beating Celta Vigo 2-1 on the road after goals by Aritz Aduriz and Mikel San Jose.
Manchester City lost 1-0 at Burnley to remain five points behind Chelsea with nine games to go. Chelsea also have two games in hand and hosts Southampton on Sunday.
George Boyd clinched the win for relegation-threatened Burnley after meeting City captain Vincent Kompany's clearance from Kieran Trippier's free kick with a half-volley in the 61st minute.
"Of course we are doing something wrong because we are not winning the games that we normally do against these kinds of teams (Burnley)," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "Maybe the chance of the title is now far but we have to continue fighting for our position."
Arsenal moved to within a point of City by easing to a 3-0 victory over West Ham, their fifth straight league win, as Olivier Giroud scored one and set up Aaron Ramsey's goal at Emirates Stadium. Mathieu Flamini also netted as Arsene Wenger's team tightened their grip on third place.
Aston Villa ended their barren scoring run away from home in spectacular style at Sunderland, romping to a 4-0 win. Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor both scored twice.
Thomas Mueller scored one goal and set up two more as Bayern Munich opened a 14-point lead in the Bundesliga with a comfortable 4-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Goals from Mueller and David Alaba in the first half and two from Robert Lewandowski in the second secured the visitors' sixth consecutive victory across all competitions and a healthy advantage over second-place Wolfsburg, which hosts Freiburg on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Joel Matip scored in the last minute to salvage a 2-2 draw for Schalke at Hertha Berlin.
Eintracht Frankfurt routed promoted Paderborn 4-0, Hoffenheim defeated 10-man Hamburger SV 3-0, and Mainz won 2-0 at Augsburg, which missed the chance to capitalise on Schalke's draw to move fifth.
Borussia Dortmund failed to impress in a 0-0 draw with visiting Cologne in the late game.
Juventus managed to grind out a 1-0 win at Palermo despite missing a number of players, extending their advantage over Roma, which hosts Sampdoria on Monday.
Substitute Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock in the 70th minute with a curled shot into the left side of goal, 10 minutes after replacing Fernando Llorente.
Also, a stoppage-time equaliser saw Empoli extend their unbeaten run to seven games with a 1-1 draw at Cagliari to ruin the return of coach Zdenek Zeman.
Ivory Coast winger Max-Alain Gradel scored for the fourth straight match as Saint-Etienne secured a 3-2 win at struggling Metz on Saturday to strengthen its hold on fifth place in the French league standings.
Saint-Etienne claimed its sixth away win of the season and moved four points clear of Montpellier and Bordeaux in the fight for European places, just one point behind Monaco.
In Saturday's other games, Lucas Barrios scored twice as sixth-placed Montpellier recovered from a 5-1 thrashing by Lyon with a 3-1 win over Reims.
Fighting against relegation, Lens clinched a 1-0 win over fellow struggler Toulouse while Nantes beat Evian 2-1. Lorient moved five points above the danger zone with a 2-1 win over 10-man Caen.
Published: 15-03-2015 17:18