Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opens Barcelona account with hat-trick in Valencia win
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened his Barcelona goal account with a hat-trick as the Catalans beat Valencia 4-1 at the Mestalla.
The former Arsenal striker struck twice in the first half, either side of Frenkie De Jong’s tap-in, as Barca moved into the top four of LaLiga.
Aubameyang raced onto Jordi Alba’s through ball to give Barcelona a 23rd-minute lead with a fine finish.
He put Barcelona in cruise control after 38 minutes by cushioning Gavi’s pass and slotting home, and was then credited with their fourth after the game.
Pedri had initially taken the praise for restoring Barcelona’s three-goal advantage after Carlos Soler’s header had given Valencia hope, but Aubameyang was later adjudged to have got the final touch.
Second-placed Sevilla dropped points in their chase of leaders Real Madrid with a 1-1 draw at Espanyol.
Rafa Mir converted substitute Papu Gomez’s cross to put Sevilla ahead after 36 minutes.
Sergi Darder equalised for Espanyol just after half-time when left unmarked from Oscar Gil’s cross.
Sevilla defender Jules Kounde was sent off in the 76th minute after being adjudged to have hit out at Javi Puado, and Julen Lopetegui’s side are now six points adrift of Real.
Willian Jose’s late penalty gave third-placed Real Betis a 2-1 home success over Mallorca.
Vedat Muriqi cancelled out Alex Moreno’s opener for Betis before Willian Jose converted from the spot seven minutes from time.
Athletic Bilbao beat Real Sociedad 4-0 with Dani Vivian, Ohian Sancet, Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain scoring in the final quarter for their biggest Basque derby win for 62 years.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich recovered from an early shock to beat bottom-placed Greuther Furth 4-1.
There were 39 points separating the two clubs at kick-off, but Furth went ahead three minutes before the break through Branimir Hrgota’s deflected free-kick.
Robert Lewandowski levelled seconds after the restart and Sebastian Griesbeck then inadvertently diverted in Thomas Muller’s cross.
Lewandowski’s 28th goal of the campaign gave Bayern breathing space before substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting sealed matters in the final moments.
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund kept pace with Bayern by hammering Borussia Monchengladbach 6-0.
Marco Reus scored two and set up three against his former club as Dortmund ran riot.
Donyell Malen, Marius Wolf, Youssofa Moukoko and Emre Can (penalty) were also on target as Dortmund scored four times in the final 20 minutes.
RB Leipzig also hit 10-man Hertha Berlin for six in the German capital.
Christopher Nkunku (2), Benjamin Henrichs, Dani Olmo, Amadou Haidara and Yussuf Poulsen all found the target as Leipzig moved back into the top-four Champions League spots.
Stevan Jovetic had equalised just after the break but Hertha fell apart after Marc-Oliver Kempf was sent off with the score at 1-1.
Sassuolo stunned second-placed Inter Milan with a 2-0 away win in Serie A.
Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca scored as Sassuolo, having beaten Serie A leaders AC Milan in November, won both their away matches at the San Siro in a single league campaign for the first time.
Fiorentina dented Atalanta’s Champions League hopes and boosted their own with a 1-0 home victory.
Krzysztof Piatek scored from close range after 56 minutes to move Fiorentina into seventh spot in Serie A, two points behind Atalanta.
Fifth-placed Atalanta saw Ruslan Malinovskyi’s effort controversially disallowed.
Udinese and Lazio drew 1-1 with Felipe Anderson cancelling out Gerard Deulofeu’s fifth-minute opener for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.
Lowly pair Venezia and Genoa also drew 1-1.
In Ligue 1, second-placed Marseille suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat to Clermont with Mohamed Bayo and Jim Allevinah on target.
Nice stayed third after beating Angers 1-0 through Justin Kluivert’s fifth goal of the season.
Fourth-placed Strasbourg were held 2-2 at St Etienne.
Ryad Boudebouz gave the hosts a fourth-minute lead before Habib Diallo and Lucas Perrin put Strasbourg ahead. But Wahbi Khazri levelled matters before the break.
Montpellier won 1-0 at Lorient, Reims and Brest drew 1-1, and Rennes beat Troyes 4-1.
Bordeaux drew with 10-man Monaco in David Guion’s first game in charge of the struggling six-time champions.
Remi Oudin gave Guion the perfect start but Monaco, who had Aurelien Tchouameni sent off for a second bookable offence after 34 minutes, equalised midway through the second half when home defender Marcelo turned the ball into his own net.
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