Masterful Messi Puts Barca 1 Point from Madrid, United Draws

Published: 09th February 2015 10:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2015 10:09 AM   |  A+A-

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By AP

BARCELONA — Lionel Messi helped Barcelona close in on the lead in the Spanish league with another masterful display on Sunday, while Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain both had to settle for draws in England and France.

Here is a look at the games in Europe's top leagues:

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SPAIN

Messi scored one goal and had a part in the other four in a 5-2 win at Athletic Bilbao as Barcelona pulled within one point of leader Real Madrid.

Messi scored from a free kick in the 15th minute at New San Mames Stadium for his 33rd goal in 31 matches this season.

The Argentina forward then turned playmaker to set up Luis Suarez for the second, created an own goal by Bilbao's Oscar de Marcos, assisted on Neymar's strike and started a move for substitute Pedro Rodriguez to score.

"It's a huge privilege to have Messi and I have to congratulate the entire team," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

Bilbao got goals from Mikel Rico and Aritz Aduriz, but played the final 15 minutes with 10 men after Xabier Exteita was given a straight red card for kicking Suarez.

Valencia won 2-1 at Espanyol to move up into fourth place and the last Champions League spot, overtaking Sevilla following its 2-1 loss at Getafe.

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ENGLAND

Manchester United needed an injury-time equalizer by Daley Blind to escape with a 1-1 draw against West Ham in one of three stalemates in the Premier League.

West Ham took the lead when Cheikhou Kouyate juggled the ball in the area, swiveled and volleyed a shot that deflected off Blind into the net early in the second half at Upton Park. But Blind made amends when he pounced on a weak headed clearance to volley into the corner two minutes into added time.

With Arsenal losing and both Manchester City and Liverpool drawing on Saturday, United missed a chance to gain ground on its main rivals in the frenzied fight for Champions League qualification.

United has dropped to fourth behind Southampton and is only a point clear of resurgent Tottenham.

West Bromwich Albion began the day of fightbacks by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Burnley. Substitute Peter Crouch also scored a 90th-minute header to earn a 1-1 draw for Stoke at Newcastle.

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FRANCE

Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized with a penalty in the 69th minute to give PSG a 1-1 draw at French league leader Lyon.

Cameroon striker Clinton N'Jie had put Lyon ahead with a clinical finish from six yards in the 31st minute. The result left Lyon two points above Marseille and PSG.

Ten-man Guingamp ended Monaco's eight-match unbeaten run in the league with Dorian Leveque scoring in a 1-0 victory.

Fifth-place Monaco trails Lyon by 10 points.

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ITALY

Roma beat Cagliari 2-1 to cut the gap to Serie A leader Juventus to seven points.

Adem Ljajic and Leandro Paredes scored to help end a run of four consecutive league draws for injury-hit Roma.

Napoli beat Udinese 3-1 to remain four points behind Roma in third.

Fiorentina moved into fourth with a 3-2 victory over Atalanta. Sampdoria is level on points after it was held 1-1 at home by Sassuolo.

Inter Milan avoided a fourth successive defeat with a 3-0 win over Palermo, while Empoli beat Cesena 2-0 in a relegation battle to climb five points off the drop zone.

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GERMANY

Werder Bremen defeated Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to climb to eighth in the Bundesliga after its fourth consecutive victory, having been in last place when the winning run started in December.

Bremen striker Davie Selke opened the scoring in the 18th, and Zlatko Junuzovic struck a free kick inside the top corner in the 29th.

The visitors' consolation goal came in the 43rd, through Hakan Calhanoglu.

High-flying Augsburg missed the chance to go third after drawing 2-2 with visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.

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