Welcome to the latest edition of “The Corner” our review of the weekend’s top football action across Europe.
Let’s start at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Argentina’s Lionel Messi netted a hat trick to give Barcelona a 4-3 win over 10-man Real Madrid in a thrilling “Clasico”.
Spanish international Andres Iniesta opened the scoring for the visitors before Karim Benzema scored a brace to give the home fans something to cheer about.
With only three minutes to go before the break, Messi raced into the Madrid box and fired a low shot to level the score, his 21st goal in 27 clasicos.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty restored Madrid’s lead but after Sergio Ramos fouled Neymar in the box, Madrid were down to 10 and two Messi penalties won it for the Catalans.
Madrid are now just one point clear of Barca at the top of the league while Atletico Madrid pulled level on 70 points with Carlo Ancelotti’s men after securing a 2-0 win at Real Betis on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal turned sour as the Gunners crumbled to a 6-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The game could hardly have got off to a worse start for the visitors as Chelsea scored twice in the opening eight minutes through Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle.
There was controversy when Kieran Gibbs was sent off for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 17th minute.
Belgium international Eden Hazard put the Blues 3-0 up from the spot before an Oscar brace and Mohamed Salah’s first Chelsea goal completed the rout.
This win sees Jose Mourinho’s men move four points clear of second-placed Liverpool while Manchester City kept in touch with the leaders as they thumped Fulham 5-0 at the Etihad.
German giants Bayern Munich had to put their Bundesliga title celebrations on hold on Saturday after downing Mainz 2-0 while Borussia Dortmund also won at Hanover.
The Bavarians broke the deadlock with a Bastian Schweinsteiger header eight minutes from time before substitute Mario Goetze added a second goal after some great work from French international Franck Ribery.
Bayern, who face Manchester United next month, have 74 points with fellow Champions League quarter-finalists Dortmund 23 points off the pace despite earning all three points against Hannover.
Jurgen Klopp’s men next entertain Shalke while the Bavarians can break the record for the quickest title triumph at Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.
PSV Eindhoven climbed to second place in the Dutch League after they beat Roda JC and Vitesse Arnhem were stunned by Groningen.
Striker Jurgen Locadia opened the scoring for the hosts in the 14th-minute and although Mitchell Paulissen equalised four minutes before the break, Philip Cocu’s men proved unstoppable in the second half.
Bryan Ruiz restored PSV’s lead in the 63rd minute before former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma secured the win 12 minutes later with a clever finish.
That’s it for The Corner, see you next Monday for more from Europe’s football leagues.
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