Barcelona rout Atletico 6-1

Madrid, October 5:

Samuel Eto’o scored twice and Lionel Messi once to spearhead FC Barcelona’s 6-1 romp over Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league.

Barcelona joined Valencia at 13 points to trail leaders Villarreal by three points. Villarreal rallied for 2-1 victory over Real Betis earlier.

Rafael Marquez opened Barcelona’s perfect start with a third-minute header before Eto’o’s penalty and Messi’s audacious free kick made it 3-0 in nine minutes.

Eidur Gudjohnsen and Thierry Henry also contributed to the goal parade and Messi was unlucky not to add a highlight reel goal after Eto’o’s second. Maxi Rodriguez curled in Atletico’s lone goal in the 13th.

Villarreal’srallied for 2-1 victory over Real Betis, thanks to second half goals from Gonzalo Rodriguez and Joseba Llorente. Gonzalo headed Ariel Ibagaza’s free kick in the 69th, and Llorente completed the comeback with a volley a minute later.

Betis looked set to repeat their 1-0 victory from last December - the last time Villarreal lost at El Madrigal Stadium - with a controlling start punctuated by Damia Abella’s 20th-minute half-volley from close-range that gave the visitors the lead.

Italian Serie A

MILAN: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano scored a goal each to give Inter Milan a 2-1 win over Bologna and a share of first place in Serie A.

Ibrahimovic volleyed in a short cross from Adriano with his heel in the 25th minute to give Inter the lead. Adriano converted a penalty in the 50th. Inter defender Javier Zanetti let a ball bounce off his chest and go right to Bologna’s Vangelis Moras, who shot into an open net from close range in the 56th minute.

Inter and Lazio, who drew 1-1 with Lecce, have 13 points each. Napoli have 11 points and will play at Genoa on Sunday. Udinese and Catania also play Sunday and follow with 10 points each.

In Rome, substitute Simone Inzaghi scored a late goal to give Lazio the draw with newly promoted Lecce. Inzaghi knocked in a loose ball in the 89th that Lecce had failed to clear. The goal came after Lazio had laid siege to Lecce’s goal for most of the second half.

Simone Tiribocchi had put Lecce in front in the 25th with a header that bounced past goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo. It was Lecce’s first away goal this year and the first Lazio has conceded in three Serie A matches at Stadio Olimpico.


LONDON: Manchester United climbed back into the Premier League title race with a 2-0 victory at Blackburn, and Cesc Fabregas headed an injury-time equaliser for Arsenal in a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

Wayne Rooney provided the cross for Wes Brown to head United’s first goal in the 31st minute. Rooney collected a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 64th to add the second with a curling shot for his third goal in three games.

The victory lifted the slow starting Red Devils to sixth in the standings, three points behind joint leaders Chelsea and Liverpool, who both play on Sunday. Chelsea will host Aston Villa and Liverpool visit Manchester City.

Beaten at home by Hull last week, the Gunners appeared to be heading for another loss when Grant Leadbitter headed home a corner for Sunderland in the 86th minute. But Arsenal’s late pressure led to Fabregas scoring with a rare header in the third minute of injury time for only his second goal in 25 games.

In Saturday’s other games, West Bromwich Albion edged Fulham 1-0 and Middlesbrough won 1-0 at Wigan. The third-place Gunners have 13 points from seven games after dropping five in their last two matches. Chelsea and Liverpool lead the standings with 14 points.