Messi saves Barcelona while Ronaldo enjoys Real romp



Barcelona needed an equaliser in added time at the end of the second half from Lionel Messi to preserve their unbeaten record in La Liga last night as the European Champions fought out a highly spirited 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

In a game played in heavy rain on a sodden pitch at San Mames, Barça looked to be sliding to defeat when a freak own goal from Gerard Pique made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go. However, Messi capitalised on confusion in the home defence to score into an empty net to earn a draw that leaves Pep Guardiola's side three points behind the leaders Real Madrid.

Earlier Real romped to another ridiculously comfortable victory as Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score four hat-tricks in the first 11 weeks of the season in a 7-1 win over Osasuna.

In an effort to compete with the Premier League for the Asian audience, it was the first time Real had ever kicked off a home game at midday. And although China's Spanish coach, Jose Camacho, reported from Beijing that national television was showing female volleyball instead of the big game, the home fans filled the Bernabeu and went home happy, having seen the club's 10th straight win.

Ronaldo now has 11 hat-tricks in the Spanish league. No one had achieved such a feat since Ferenc Puskas 48 years ago. The Portuguese international now has 13 goals this season. He is closely followed by Gonzalo Higuain with 11 and Karim Benzema with six – both scored two in the rout of Osasuna, who also had Eneko Satrustegui sent off for bringing down Mesut Ozil in the area.

Madrid were able to give summer signing Nuri Sahin his debut in the second half, having nursed him through a knee injury that has kept him out since April, but they lost Angel Di Maria with a torn hamstring that will rule him out of international duty.

It was the first time in nine years that Jose Mourinho had won 10 consecutive matches and he was asked afterwards if he believed he could get anywhere near Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year stay at Old Trafford. He said: "To manage even a quarter of that would be incredible. Alex Ferguson is a special case, Manchester United is a special club, English football is special and the sports press are special. Here, with the way the clubs have to constantly keep winning, it could not happen."

The season's surprise package Levante suffered a second successive defeat, 2-0 at home in the Valencia derby.

In Italy the big game of the weekend, between Napoli and the leaders Juventus, was postponed due to flooding.

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk