A stunning goal from 19-year-old substitute Nico gave Barcelona three precious points to beat Elche 3-2 at the Nou Camp in La Liga on Saturday.
After two league games without a win and a humiliating 3-0 loss to Bayern that knocked them out of the Champions League in the group stage for the first time in nearly two decades, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was desperate for a win to take some pressure off the player’s shoulders.
Xavi’s bet on his younger players seemed to pay off as Spain’s Ferran Junglat and Jaffe scored an early goal to give Barcelona a 2-0 lead.
But in the second half, Elche scored two goals in two minutes through Titi Morenti and Per Milla.
But Nico’s superb goal in the 85th minute saved the day, and helped Barcelona rise once in the standings to seventh place, two points behind the European qualifiers, but it is still 15 points behind Real Madrid, the league leaders.
Meanwhile, Lucas Ocampos scored a goal in the last minutes of the match for the second-placed Seville won 2-1 Atletico Madrid.
In a contentious match between two teams trying to stay in competition with league leaders Real Madrid, Sevilla came out on top.
They now have 37 points, which puts them five points behind Real, while Atleti slipped to fifth place with 29 points, jumping ahead of surprise team Rayo Vallecano, who beat Alaves 2-0 earlier in the day, unbeaten at home this season.
Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla the lead early in the first half with a superb long-range shot that could be the contender for the goal of the season.
Felipe equalized from a corner kick, timed his jump perfectly and headed a header past Seville goalkeeper Bono.
But just before injury time, Ocampos reacted quickly to hit the ball after Thomas Delaney’s header hit the crossbar.
Serie A: Abraham helps Roma beat Atalanta
Tammy Abraham scored two goals in the name of Rome Put on a clinic for a stun attack Atalanta By winning 4-1 and moving up to fifth place in the Italian Serie A.
Jose Mourinho’s side finished the game with 29 per cent possession and eight shots to Atalanta’s 17, but they were more efficient with their chances.
England striker Abraham scored in the first minute with a skewed kick, and Nicolo Zaniolo doubled Roma’s lead by ending a quick counter-attack to score his first league goal of the season.
Gian Piero Gasperini was quick to make a change, as Luis Morell led in the 34th minute, and the Colombia international hit the ball from Brian Cristante of Roma to score an own goal that brought the hosts back to the match on the brink of the end of the first half.
Atalanta pressed for an equaliser and thought they could when Jose Luis Palomino nodded from close range at a corner kick, but he was offside.
Mourinho’s side scored the third goal four minutes later when Chris Smalling netted his second goal in two matches, the first time in Serie A history that two different English players had scored in the same match.
Abraham swept his second goal in the afternoon with eight minutes to go, taking his tally for this season to six goals in Serie A.
Goals from Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado gave both sides from the end of the first half Juventus won 2-0 at Bologna Amid dense fog, Turin club lifted to sixth place in the Italian Serie A.
Morata netted his first goal after six minutes to put the visitors ahead, but they finished second for most of the match as Bologna set their rhythm.
But coach Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side couldn’t take advantage of their possession, and Colombia defender Cuadrado punished them when his skewed shot hit the top corner midway through the second half.
German League: Dortmund ends 2021 with defeat
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund suffered a 3-2 defeat at Hertha Berlin on Saturday to spend the winter break nine points clear of leaders Bayern Munich.
Hertha’s Marco Richter scored two goals in the second half when he came from behind to score three times against the Dortmund defense.
The guests, looking to close the gap with Bayern Munich after their 4-0 win over Wolfsburg on Friday, enjoyed a solid start despite the absence of in-form Judd Bellingham, defender Mats Hummels and goalkeeper Gregor Kopel, suspended. Of the disease.
They could have scored through a series of good chances before Julian Brandt cleverly fired over goalkeeper Alexander Schulw to put the visitors ahead in the 31st minute.
However, the hosts equalized six minutes after the end of the first half when Isaac Belvoldel hit the ball under the direction of reserve goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.
Richter put Herta’s 2-1 lead in 57th with a superb finish, putting the ball into the top far corner.
The 24-year-old then netted the net in the 69th minute with Dortmund’s defense in disarray after a foul by Brandt on the edge of the penalty area.
Substitute Stephen Teigen climbed high to dig a header and cut the difference seven minutes from the end
Dortmund is second with 34 points, Bayern leads 43 points, while Bayer Leverkusen plays third with 28 points on Saturday against Freiburg. Herta’s win moved them out of the relegation zone to eleventh place with 21 points.
RB Leipzig’s Hopes for a fresh start under a new coach fade after losing at home to 10 men Armenia Bielefeld 2-0.
Japanese midfielder Masaya Okogawa scored the second goal in the 75th minute, shortly after Fabian Kloss was sent off for a poor challenge on Leipzig defender Willy Urban.
Jani Serra put Bielefeld ahead from a rebound, and RB Leipzig couldn’t count his undoubted attacking prowess, with Andre Silva, Angelino, Christopher Nkunko and Benjamin Henrichs wasting.
It was the first loss in three games for new RB Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco, who took over after Jesse Marsh was sacked. It leaves Leipzig in ninth place, far from the Champions League qualification spots.
Hoffenheim Defender Kevin Akpoguma scored in injury time to deny it Borussia Monchengladbach Their first win after a streak of four defeats, they tied 1-1. Brill Embolo had the visitors on their way to victory, but they failed to prevent Akpoguma from equalizing in the 91st minute.
A great early goal from Max Kroos was enough Union Berlin To end the year on a high with a 1-0 win at Bochum. Cruz married on Thursday and netted the winning goal in the 16th minute when he met Grisha Brommel’s hefty shot into the upper left corner.
Eintracht Frankfurt He got a 1-0 victory over the visitors Mainz They racked up three consecutive wins in the German Bundesliga as they climbed to fifth place before the start of the winter break.
Jesper Lindstrom scored the winning goal in the 35th minute, and the Dane scored for the third consecutive match.
last place Grether Forth handle Augsburg to 0-0.