Messi tears knee ligament during Barcelona win
LONDON (AP) — Lionel Messi tore a ligament in his left knee near the start of Barcelona’s costly 2-1 win over Las Palmas on Saturday that provisionally lifted the defending champions to the top of the Spanish league.
The club’s all-time leading scorer asked to be substituted in the eighth minute after he had tried to return to the match following a collision with a Las Palmas defender.
Medical tests at a local hospital found that he had torn a ligament, and the club said Messi will be sidelined for seven to eight weeks.
“This is a test and an extra motivation for this team,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “We have to accept the challenge and improve our performances because we are capable of it.”
Luis Suarez responded immediately to his coach’s call by scoring twice to help the hosts bounce back from their stinging 4-1 loss at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.
In the capital, Malaga goalkeeper Carlos Kameni made a series of impressive saves as his side held Real Madrid to a goalless draw, but none was better than the one hand he managed to get in the patch of Cristiano Ronaldo’s blistering shot in the 48th.
Villarreal moved past both powerhouses into first place and one point ahead of Barcelona and two ahead of Madrid after it edged Atletico Madrid 1-0 at its El Madrigal’s stadium.
Baptistao’s 14th-minute goal kept Villarreal unbeaten and secured its fifth win in a row.
Celta missed its opportunity to rise to the top of the standings after it drew 1-1 at Eibar. Iago Aspas canceled out Borja Baston’s early goal in the 76th, but his Celta settled for a point that kept it level with Madrid in fourth place.
Also, Sevilla substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka netted a free kick with four minutes to go to snatch a 3-2 win over visiting Rayo Vallecano that pulled the Andalusian side out of last place with its first victory of the season. Rayo had erased a two-goal deficit before Antonio Amaya was sent off with a second booking for the foul that set up Konoplyanka’s goal.
In England, Manchester clubs traded places at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, after a buoyant United beat Sunderland 3-0 and early pacesetter City slipped to second after being thrashed 4-1 at Tottenham.
Dutch signing Memphis Depay scored his first ever Premier League goal and Wayne Rooney notched his first league goal of the season as United eased to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford. Juan Mata added a late third as United went top for the first time since August 2013.
Chelsea’s title defense continued to misfire, with Jose Mourinho’s champions needing two late goals to scramble a 2-2 draw away to a Newcastle side that is already a candidate for relegation.
West Ham remains third after drawing 2-2 with Norwich, while Alexis Sanchez scored a hat trick as Arsenal rose to fourth after coming from behind to hammer Leicester 5-2.
Elsewhere, the pressure on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers eased after England striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal since March in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa, Southampton beat Swansea 3-1 and Stoke edged Bournemouth 2-1.
Robert Lewandowski scored his 100th and 101st Bundesliga goals on Saturday as Bayern Munich defeated Mainz 3-0 for the club’s seventh win from seven games in the German league.
It was Lewandowski’s 10th goal of the season. The Poland striker now has 27 in 37 league games for Bayern, having scored 74 for Borussia Dortmund before his 2014 switch.
Elsewhere, Raffael scored late to seal Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 3-1 win at Stuttgart, Bayer Leverkusen won 3-0 at Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim beat Augsburg 3-1 and bottom side Hannover held Wolfsburg to a 1-1 draw.
Leroy Sane struck on the hour mark to give Schalke a 1-0 win at Hamburger SV in the late game.
Meanwhile in Serie A, Roma reignited its league campaign with a 5-1 drubbing of newly-promoted Carpi on Saturday.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia was already under pressure after picking up just one point in two matches against Sassuolo and Sampdoria.
But his side responded with goals from Kostas Manolas, Miralem Pjanic, Gervinho, Mohamed Salah and Lucas Digne.
Juventus’ miserable start to the Serie A season continued as it lost 2-1 at Napoli. Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain scored for Napoli before Mario Lemina pulled one back.
It was the four-time defending champion’s third defeat in its first six league matches this season. Juventus lost just three all season last year, while it had only two defeats the previous campaign.
League leader Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to win 4-1 at Nantes and maintain its unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season on Saturday.
Yacine Bammou gave Nantes the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic leveled with his 108th goal for the club. The Sweden international is one goal away from equaling Pauleta’s record as PSG’s top scorer.
Substitute Edinson Cavani headed PSG in front in the 73rd and Angel Di Maria, who had set up the previous two, got on the scoresheet himself with 10 minutes remaining. Serge Aurier scored in stoppage time.
PSG moved provisionally four points ahead of Saint-Etienne, which hosts Nice on Sunday. Rennes was level on points with Reims in third after it drew 1-1 at home to Troyes.
Caen also moved onto 15 points with a 2-0 win at home to Ajaccio.
Elsewhere, Lyon rested a number of players ahead of its Champions League match at Valencia and lost 3-1 at Bordeaux, which scored all three of its goals in the first period.
Bastia snapped a four-match losing streak with a 3-0 win over Toulouse.