European roundup: Barcelona rout Girona as Bayern Munich held by Hertha

Feb 25, 2018

Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suárez combined to devastating effect to help Barcelona hammer Girona 6-1 and take the club 10 points clear at the top of La Liga, as well as set a club record of 32 league games unbeaten.

Portu gave Girona a shock lead in the third minute but Suárez quickly levelled, before two goals from Messi and another from the Uruguayan saw Barça march into a 4-1 half-time lead. Coutinho, who had set up Suárez’s second, then struck for the first time in La Liga with a spectacular long-range shot. Suárez completed a hat-trick when he tapped in a cutback from Ousmane Dembélé.

Real Madrid’s strikeforce hit back with a vengeance when Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all scored in a 4-0 La Liga win over Alavés as the champions moved within four points of second-placed Atlético Madrid.

Ronaldo put Real ahead on the stroke of half-time, taking advantage of a clever backheel from Benzema, who set up Bale for Real’s third.

Ronaldo struck his 299th goal in La Liga when he turned home a cutback from Lucas Vázquez, before offering Benzema penalty-taking duties after Bale was brought down, the Frenchman making no mistake from the spot.

Elsewhere, goals from Iago Aspas secured Celta Vigo a 2-0 win over Eibar, while Leganés were held to a goalless draw at home to Las Palmas.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich’s 14-match winning run in all competitions came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 home draw by Hertha Berlin, who denied the runaway leaders for the second time this season.

The champions had the bulk of possession and chances but were frustrated by good defensive work from Hertha, whose goalkeeper, Rune Jarstein, made several stops from Robert Lewandowski and a diving save from Arjen Robben’s free-kick in stoppage time.

Third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt lost 1-0 at VfB Stuttgart with Erik Thommy scoring the only goal in the 13th minute, leaving them on 39 points, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen before their home match with Schalke 04 on Sunday.

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