Football: Barcelona battle back

European round-up
Click to follow
The Independent Online
A hat-trick of headers by Luis Enrique rescued his coach Bobby Robson as Barcelona came back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Real Betis last night.

With memories of a shock defeat by Hercules still fresh, Robson's job had looked to be on the line. The victory leaves Barcelona within three points of the leaders Real Madrid, who themselves were involved in a remarkable Madrid derby.

Real trailed their bitter rivals Atletico at half-time, and despite having their Montenegrin striker Predrag Mijatovic sent off in the second half, they scored three goals in the last eight minutes - from Raul (who had earlier equalised soon after the break), Clarence Seedorf and Victor - to claim a 4-1 victory.

After their closest pursuers stumbled in the afternoon, the leaders of Italy's Serie A, Juventus, beat hosts Lazio 2-0 last night on Michele Padovano's two goals to leave them a four-point lead at the season's halfway point of the season.

After 17 of 34 matches, the European and world club champions have 33 points, followed by Sampdoria with 29 and Internazionale with 28. Sampdoria managed only a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina thanks to a goal in the 89th minute by Marco Franceschetti. That cancelled out Gabriel Batistuta's first- half penalty.

Roy Hodgson's Internazionale lost at home to Bologna for the first time in 20 years. Three players dumped by Inter last summer - Davide Fontolan, Andrea Seno and Igor Shalimov - played key roles in Bologna's win.

Roberto Baggio came off the substitutes' bench to make Christophe Dugarry's equaliser for Milan in a 1-1 draw at Cagliari, for whom Sandro Tovalieri had scored on the stroke of half-time.

Comments