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Messi rampant, English big guns humbled

Published: Monday 28 January 2013, 0.14CET
Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC were the biggest casualties in the FA Cup, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ran riot in Spain and SSC Napoli closed the gap in Serie A.

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Published: Monday 28 January 2013, 0.14CET

Messi rampant, English big guns humbled

Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC were the biggest casualties in the FA Cup, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ran riot in Spain and SSC Napoli closed the gap in Serie A.

While the FA Cup delivered a number of shocks for some of England's leading clubs, there was nothing particularly surprising about the names making the headlines in Spain, with Lionel Messi racking up four goals and Cristiano Ronaldo three. Elsewhere, SSC Napoli ate into Juventus's Serie A lead and the situation remains tight at the top in France, while FC Bayern München moved further clear in the Bundesliga. recaps the action.

There were shocks aplenty in the FA Cup as a number of Premier League teams fell by the wayside in the fourth round. Holders Chelsea FC just about managed to avoid defeat in a 2-2 draw at Brentford FC, but fellow heavyweights Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC were not so lucky, losing 3-2 at Oldham Athletic AFC and 2-1 at Leeds United AFC respectively. "It's a fabulous performance," commented Leeds manager Neil Warnock. "It's a great day for us. The atmosphere was good, two cracking goals – there were a lot of heroes today." Meanwhile, non-league Luton Town FC won 1-0 at Norwich City FC, and third-tier Milton Keynes Dons FC prevailed 4-2 at Queens Park Rangers FC.

A couple of familiar faces lit up the Liga on Sunday as Messi responded to a Ronaldo hat-trick with four goals as FC Barcelona swept aside ten-man CA Osasuna 5-1 to move 11 points clear of Club Atlético de Madrid. Ronaldo struck a ten-minute treble in Real Madrid CF's 4-0 handling of Getafe CF, before Messi went one better to pass the 200-mark for Liga goals. "The important thing is that the team continues like this and keeps winning," said Messi. As for Atlético, they slipped further behind Barcelona by losing 3-0 at Athletic Club, while Málaga CF overcame RCD Mallorca 3-2 to go fourth.

The gap at the Serie A summit is down to three points again after leaders Juventus could only draw 1-1 against Genoa CFC in Davide Ballardini's first game back at the Grifone helm. Third-placed S.S. Lazio were unable to profit as they suffered a 1-0 home loss to AC Chievo Verona, but Napoli closed the gap by triumphing 2-1 at Parma FC on Sunday. "I am very happy, though now I understand why nobody had won at Parma before," commented Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri. "We can go far and we have the squad needed to handle two competitions." In fourth, FC Internazionale Milano drew 2-2 with Torino FC, while Mauro Icardi struck four as UC Sampdoria saw off Pescara Calcio 6-0.

The race for Ligue 1 honours remains tight following wins for leading duo Paris Saint-Germain FC and Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon laid down an early-weekend marker by prevailing 2-0 at Valenciennes FC, but the capital side duly responded by eking out a 1-0 victory against LOSC Lille thanks to an Aurélien Chedjou own goal. That lifted PSG back above Les Gones on goal difference, with Olympique de Marseille now three points back after they drew 2-2 at fourth-placed Stade Rennais FC. "We had a lot of difficulties and scored a lucky goal," said PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. "We defended well and have to be happy with our performance." Meanwhile, FC Girondins de Bordeaux replaced OGC Nice in fifth courtesy of a 1-0 win against their rivals.

Bayern's mission to capture the Bundesliga crown was given another boost as Jupp Heynckes' men moved 11 points clear, following up a goalless draw for nearest rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen at SC Freiburg with a 2-0 success at VfB Stuttgart. Champions Borussia Dortmund are a further point back after seeing off 1. FC Nürnberg 3-0, and midfielder İlkay Gündoğan feels his side are out of the title race. "We're maintaining a realistic perspective on everything," he said. "A healthy dose of reality can't hurt, which is why we're focusing on clinching second place – for now at least." Fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt edged TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 and Hamburger SV beat SV Werder Bremen 3-2 in the Nordderby.

FC Twente lost control of the Eredivisie standings after a goalless stalemate away against Feyenoord – the second in succession for Steve McClaren's men, who now find themselves a point shy of PSV Eindhoven in the wake of PSV's 5-1 triumph at Heracles Almelo. The big game in Portugal ended in a 2-1 success for SL Benfica at SC Braga, meanwhile, a result which moved the Lisbon giants three points clear of FC Porto, who boast a game in hand. Lastly, Celtic FC lost 3-2 loss to Saint Mirren FC in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals, and Turkish Super League pacesetters Galatasaray AŞ saw off second-placed Beşiktaş JK 3-1 in Wesley Sneijder's debut for the victors.

Last updated: 04/12/13 7.13CET