Barcelona extend lead at top with win over Valencia as Real Madrid are held

Barcelona extended their lead at the top of LaLiga to nine points with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Valencia as Real Madrid were held by Real Betis.

Raphinha scored the only goal of the game, his sixth for the club, and Barcelona were able to hold on despite finishing the match with 10 men after Ronald Araujo was shown a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity just before the hour mark.

Manager Xavi watched on from the stands due to a suspension as Barcelona bounced back from their shock defeat at relegation strugglers Almeria last week.

Spain Soccer La Liga
Raphinha’s goal secured victory for Barcelona at home to Valencia (Joan Monfort/AP)

Madrid lost ground on the leaders as they were held to a goalless draw at Betis, a second straight LaLiga draw.

Real Valladolid moved further away from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Espanyol.

Ivan Sanchez and Alvaro Aguado scored either side of half-time to put the hosts ahead, with Espanyol pulling one back through Martin Braithwaite in the 87th minute.

Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw at Real Betis
Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw at Real Betis (Jose Breton/AP)

The points were shared in a goalless draw between Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao

Roma moved up into fourth in Serie A with an important 1-0 win over Juventus.

Gianluca Mancini scored the only goal of the game, while Juventus finished the match with 10 men with Moise Kean shown a red card in the 90th minute.

Inter Milan tightened their grip on a Champions League place with comfortable 2-0 win over Lecce and they remain second in the table, still 15 points behind leaders Napoli.

Inter took the lead in the first half when former Arsenal player Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired into the corner and Lautaro Martinez doubled the advantage eight minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere in Serie A, Spezia and Hellas Verona played out a goalless draw, as did Sampdoria and Salernitana.

In the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen secured all three points with a dominant 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin.

Sardar Azmoun and Jeremie Frimpong handed Leverkusen a two-goal lead inside the opening 21 minutes, with Moussa Diaby adding a third after the break.

Dodi Lukebakio scored from the penalty spot in the 67th minute to reduce the deficit, but Amine Adli restored the three-goal cushion for the home side.

Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg, with Randal Kolo Muani and Evan Ndicka cancelling out goals from Omar Marmoush and Yannick Gerhardt.

Montpellier inflicted further misery on rock-bottom Angers in Ligue 1 with a comprehensive 5-0 victory.

Teji Savanier struck twice, including a penalty, with Wahbi Khazri, Faitout Maouassa and Elye Wahi the others to score, while matters were made worse for Angers with a red card for Nabil Bentaleb just before the hour mark.

Marseille maintained their hold on second place in the table, with Sead Kolasinac scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Rennes.

Ike Ugbo scored a stoppage-time equaliser to earn Troyes a 2-2 draw against Monaco.

Rominigue Kouame’s opener was cancelled out by two quick goals from Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder to put the visitors ahead, but Ugbo’s late goal secured a point for Troyes.

Jens Cajuste’s goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time earned Reims a 1-0 win over Ajaccio, while Franck Honorat’s goal for Brest clinched a 1-0 away win at Strasbourg.

Lyon and Lorient played out a goalless draw, while Saif-Eddine Khaoui scored the only goal as Clermont won at Toulouse.