Messi saves Barcelona, Juventus begin year in style

Lionel Messi rode to the rescue with a late equaliser for Barcelona and Juventus kicked off 2017 with a 3-0 win following notable results for the likes of Real Madrid, Sevilla and Paris.

©AFP/Getty Images

SUNDAY
Villarreal 1-1 Barcelona (Sansone 49; Messi 90)
Lionel Messi buried a last-minute free-kick to save Barcelona from a second loss in two matches in 2017 following Thursday's Copa del Rey defeat at Athletic. The Argentina forward, who earlier hit the woodwork, spared Barça from their third Liga reverse this term – though they now trail leaders Real Madrid by five points having played a game more. 

Juventus 3-0 Bologna (Higuaín 7 54, Dybala 41pen)
Gonzalo Higuaín took his tally to five goals in his last three Serie A outings after opening and closing the scoring in Juve's first outing of 2017. Paulo Dybala also plundered his first effort since 15 October as the Bianconeri posted their 26th consecutive home league success – an Italian top-flight record. 

SATURDAY
Real Madrid 5-0 Granada (Isco 12 31, Benzema 20, Ronaldo 27, Casemiro 58)
Madrid made it 39 games unbeaten in all competitions – equalling Barcelona's Spanish record, set last term – to cement their place at the Liga summit. The Merengues will look to reach 40 undefeated against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Napoli 2-1 Sampdoria (Gabbiadini 77, Tonelli 90+5; Hysaj og 30)
Lorenzo Tonelli's last-gasp effort – his first goal in almost a year – earned third-placed Napoli an unlikely win. Though the hosts fell behind, the dismissal of Sampdoria's Matías Silvestre just after the hour allowed them back into the game.

Olivier Giroud enjoys his late winner
Olivier Giroud enjoys his late winner©Getty Images

Preston 1-2 Arsenal (Robinson 7; Ramsey 46, Giroud 89)
Captain for the day, Olivier Giroud rescued the Gunners yet again by scoring for the fourth game running – three of those goals have come in the 86th minute or later – to take his team into the FA Cup fourth round at their second-tier opponents' expense.

Eibar 0-2 Atlético (Saúl Ñíguez 54, Griezmann 74)
Antoine Griezmann's first Liga goal since 2 October helped Atlético record their fourth win on the bounce in all competitions. Diego Simeone's men have conceded only once during that run.

Real Sociedad 0-4 Sevilla (Ben Yedder 25 29 83, Sarabia 73)
Wissam Ben Yedder struck his second hat-trick in three games to take his tally to ten goals in his last eight appearances – including seven in his last four – as Sevilla moved into second spot.

Paris 7-0 Bastia (Thiago Silva 30, Rabiot 43, Nkunku 47, Thiago Motta 58, Lucas 63pen, Di María 77, Draxler 89)
Paris made light work of their Ligue 1 opponents in the French Cup last 64, scoring five or more unanswered goals for the second game running. Thiago Silva has struck in both those fixtures, having found the net just once in the previous 15 months, while January signing Julian Draxler opened his account on his debut.

Everton 1-2 Leicester (Lukaku 63; Musa 66 71)
The Premier League champions came from behind to book their place in the FA Cup fourth round as summer signing Ahmed Musa doubled his tally for the club in the space of six second-half minutes.

Jonas was on the mark for Benfica
Jonas was on the mark for Benfica©Getty Images

Guimarães 0-2 Benfica (Jonas 19, Mitroglou 42)
Portuguese Liga leaders Benfica racked up their seventh straight victory in all competitions, Jonas and Kostas Mitroglou both finding the net for the second game running.

Paços Ferreira 0-0 Porto
Porto, who played out four successive goalless draws in November, were again left frustrated by Paços Ferreira.

FRIDAY
West Ham 0-5 Manchester City (Yaya Touré 33pen, Nordtveit og 41, Silva 43, Agüero 50, Stones 84)
Josep Guardiola's first FA Cup game ended in a substantial success. Sergio Agüero scored his 154th goal for City, making him the club's highest post-World War II goalscorer, and third highest overall.

Monaco 2-1 Ajaccio (Falcao 19, Germain 67; Cavalli 65pen)
Monaco beat Ligue 2 side Ajaccio in the French Cup. Radamel Falcao struck his 16th goal this term in all competitions, and Valère Germain headed the Principality side back in front within three minutes of Monaco conceding from the penalty spot.

Winter break: Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.

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