Plus: Lautaro Martinez's double helps Inter Milan to the top of Serie A as Napoli drop points; Kylian Mbappe's brace helps Paris Saint-Germain ease past Monaco; Bayer Leverkusen lose 5-2 thriller against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga
Sunday 12 December 2021 22:17, UK
Barcelona let three points slip from their grasp at Osasuna as a late stunner from Chimy Avila secured a 2-2 draw for the hosts in La Liga on Sunday.
Deprived of seven key players through injury, Barca coach Xavi Hernandez was forced to turn to his youngsters and 19-year-olds Nico Gonzalez and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli both scored as the visitors twice took the lead.
But Osasuna levelled first through defender David Garcia and then almost in stoppage time, through a low shot from Avila from outside the box that deflected in off Samuel Umtiti's right foot.
Barcelona are eighth in the table, still outside the European qualification places and 15 points off leaders Real Madrid.
Xavi had told reporters on Saturday that he was worried after their 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich which saw them exit the Champions League at the group stage for the first time in almost two decades.
He said the club needed a reset, to create a new Barcelona.
Yet their performance on Sunday in Pamplona was more of the same, as his team continued to struggle to create opportunities and to keep their opponents at bay.
Barca opened the scoring in the 12th minute when 17-year-old Gavi found Nico with a precise long through-ball that broke Osasuna's defensive line and left him all alone inside the area to score.
Osasuna responded immediately as Garcia connected with a perfect header that went in close to Marc-Andre ter Stegen's right post.
It then became a nervy encounter with few clear opportunities. Barcelona's second goal arrived from a counter-attack, created when Osasuna's players were complaining about a handball from Sergio Busquets.
Ousmane Dembele sprinted between the hosts' disrupted defence and crossed for Ezzalzouli to volley home powerfully.
Osasuna never gave up, however, and found the equaliser with an Avila effort that left Barca stunned.
Real Madrid won 2-0 against a listless Atletico Madrid, a 10th straight win in all competitions that tightened their grip on top spot in La Liga.
Karim Benzema, who had been a doubt for the game with a leg injury and only played the first 45 minutes, made the most of his time on the pitch, hitting a beautiful volley from Vinicius Junior's perfect cross to open the scoring in the first half.
It was the 17th goal of his career against Atletico and 13th of the season to lead the La Liga scoring chart.
Vinicius Junior did not score but was man of the match after earning another assist early in the second half, this time for Marco Asensio as Real extended to 11 their unbeaten streak against their local rivals in La Liga.
Carlo Ancelotti's team are currently cruising at the top of the table, eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla and 13 above Atletico in fourth, albeit having played a game more than both.
Real Betis maintained their impressive form after routing Real Sociedad 4-0 to stay in third place, just one point behind local rivals Sevilla in second.
Left-back Alex Moreno scored twice and assisted Juanmi Jimenez for the striker to net his 10th league goal of the season and his sixth in the last four games. Nabil Fekir chipped in with another goal.
Also Sunday, Villarreal beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 at home.
Inter Milan climbed to the top of Serie A in style as Lautaro Martinez's double helped them thrash Cagliari 4-0 at the San Siro.
The champions dominated from start to finish to earn their fifth league win in a row, with Argentine striker Martinez getting the scoring up and running with a bullet header in the 29th minute.
Martinez could have doubled his side's advantage before half-time, but saw a tame penalty saved. The hosts did not have to wait long for their second, however, as Alexis Sanchez - on a rare start - volleyed home five minutes after the break.
Cagliari were dead and buried from that moment on, and Hakan Calhanoglu soon added a third.
Martinez completed the scoring in the 68th minute with a delicate finish after bringing Nicolo Barella's inch-perfect long pass under control, while a host of further chances came and went to make the win even more comprehensive.
With AC Milan and Napoli both dropping points this weekend, Inter took full advantage to hit the summit, one point ahead of city rivals Milan, while Cagliari dropped to 19th having taken 10 points from 17 matches.
A bizarre goal prevented Napoli from moving top of Serie A as they lost 1-0 at home to Empoli.
Empoli scored the only goal of the match in the 70th minute. A corner was floated in from the left, Napoli midfielder Andre Anguissa headed it onto the back of Patrick Cutrone's head at the near post and the ricochet took the ball into the back of the net.
Napoli also hit the woodwork twice - once in the first half when Eljif Elmas' 20-yard effort cannoned off the crossbar. The seocnd came after Empoli had taken the lead when a fierce strike from Andrea Petagna came off the base of the right post.
Juan Jesus did have the ball in the back of the net after a goalline scramble, but it was ruled out for offside.
Atalanta put their Champions League disappointment behind them as they fought back to win in Verona and set a new club record of six successive away victories.
Aleksej Miranchuk canceled out Giovanni Simeone's opener in the first half and Teun Koopmeiners scored what was to prove the winner in the 62nd minute - thanks in part to a huge deflection off Verona defender Adrien Tameze.
Two Sassuolo goals in six second-half minutes from Domenico Berardi and Giacomo Raspadori saw the home side fight back to beat Lazio 2-1. Mattia Zaccagni had got Lazio off to a great start by scoring in the sixth minute.
Torino beat Bologna 2-1 to inch further away from the relegation zone.
Paris Saint-Germain continued their march towards the Ligue 1 title when a Kylian Mbappe double earned them a clinical 2-0 home victory against Monaco.
Mbappe found the back of the net with a penalty and a precise strike in the opening half to put the league leaders on 45 points from 18 games, 13 ahead of second-placed Marseille, who have a game in hand.
Senegal striker Bamba Dieng scored with a stunning acrobatic volley as Marseille won 2-0 at Strasbourg to move up to second place.
Jorge Sampaoli's team put on a solid defensive display to resist Strasbourg's press and then broke the deadlock near the hour mark when Dieng connected with a cross from Luis Henrique and unleashed his right-footed bicycle kick to send the ball into the back of the net.
Duje Caleta-Car sealed Marseille's win in the 81st minute, heading home a corner kick from Dimitri Payet at the near post.
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes kept his team afloat with a pair of decisive saves as Lyon secured a 0-0 draw at defending Ligue 1 champions Lille.
Nice continued its good form on the road to end a three-match winless run with a 2-1 victory at Rennes, with goals from Kasper Dolberg and Youcef Atal.
The hosts got one back through Benjamin Bourigeaud's effort in the 59th minute and pushed hard for an equaliser, but Nice defended well until the end.
Metz secured an emphatic 4-1 win over fellow strugglers Lorient to leapfrog their opponents in the relegation zone.
The hosts got a brilliant start and led 3-0 after 18 minutes. Lorient defender Moritz Jenz injected some suspense into the game with a left-footed shot from close range reduced the lead, but Ibrahima Niane put the game to bed with a fine header from Farid Boulaya's assist.
Angers were upset 1-0 at home by Clermont. Bordeaux also won 2-1 at Troyes.
Bayer Leverkusen threw away a two-goal lead to lose 5-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt and miss the chance to put pressure on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Two early goals from Patrick Schick briefly seemed to have put Leverkusen in control, but Brazilian defender Tuta soon responded with a volleyed goal for Frankfurt before Jesper Lindstrom equalised on the counter-attack.
Evan Ndicka gave Frankfurt the lead for the first time in the 50th minute on the rebound, before Kristijan Jakic and Djibril Sow extended Frankfurt's lead.
Promoted Greuther Furth finally achieved a historic win in the Bundesliga, but no fans were there to see it.
Norwegian striker Havard Nielsen's goal was enough for Furth to beat Union Berlin 1-0 for their first win of the season, though Furth remain bottom. It was also the club's first-ever home win in the top division after failing to win any of their home games in their only previous Bundesliga season in 2012-13.
Cheers from club staff echoed around the stadium after Nielsen's deflected shot during a scramble in the box in the 56th minute. Furth's home state of Bavaria ruled last week to bar fans from sports events after a rise in coronavirus cases. Union stays sixth.