Barca take over at top as 10-man Real hit back in six-goal thriller

Barcelona took over as LaLiga leaders with a 6-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon tonight - but their antics were soon overshadowed by the news Luis Enrique is to leave the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar - the fabled MSN strike force - were all on target, with Juan Rodriguez's own goal and further strikes from Paco Alcacer and Ivan Rakitic confirming the outcome.

Carlos Castro had scored Gijon's consolation goal in the first half, but the game faded into irrelevance when Barca boss Luis Enrique revealed he is stepping down at the end of the season.

The former B team manager has enjoyed three successful years at the helm but this campaign looks likely to end with a reduced trophy haul, even if Barca did leapfrog Real Madrid to take top spot.

The capital club's star player Cristiano Ronaldo would later score twice to salvage a point from a 3-3 draw with Las Palmas that saw Welsh forward Gareth Bale sent off.

Isco had fired Real into an eighth-minute lead but Tana's prompt equaliser set the tone for a disappointing night for Los Blancos, with Bale shown the red card after half-time for losing his temper.

Jonathan Viera's penalty gave Las Palmas the upper hand and former AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng made it a two-goal cushion in the 59th minute.

Ronaldo teased the late comeback when he converted a spot-kick, and the Gran Canaria club were denied a rare league win at the Bernabeu when the Portuguese notched again with a minute remaining.

Villarreal were big winners at Osasuna, where Rafael Santos Borre bagged a late brace to build on Roberto Soriano's opener and Roberto Soldado's penalty in a 4-1 victory.

Roberto Torres got among the goals for basement boys Osasuna, who are nine points from safety.

Closer to escaping from the relegation zone are Granada, who clinched a vital 2-1 win over Alaves.

Mubarak Wakaso set the improving Andalusians on the path to a third straight home success and Isaac Cuenca's goal rendered Victor Camarasa's response irrelevant.

Struggling Alaves, now level on points with Granada, had Aleksandar Katai and Alexis dismissed for dissent in second-half stoppage-time after a potential equalising goal was ruled out by the referee.

Elsewhere, Celta Vigo and Espanyol played out a 2-2 mid-table draw at Balaidos.

Tenth-placed Celta saw Iago Aspas break the deadlock midway through the first half and, when Gerard Moreno cancelled out the former Liverpool striker's goal, Daniel Wass notched.

The points were split before the break as Pablo Piatti grabbed a leveller after 31 minutes.

More in this Section

European wrap: Gareth Bale shines as Real Madrid start LaLiga with a winEuropean wrap: Gareth Bale shines as Real Madrid start LaLiga with a win

Diogo Jota: Maguire has a lot of quality but I know and trust Wolves defenceDiogo Jota: Maguire has a lot of quality but I know and trust Wolves defence

Celtic sign Republic of Ireland Under-19 forward AfolabiCeltic sign Republic of Ireland Under-19 forward Afolabi

France thrash Scotland in NiceFrance thrash Scotland in Nice


Lifestyle

Katarina Runske owns Anna B’s bookshop in Schull, Co Cork. She is originally from Stockholm in Sweden and also owns and runs Grove House restaurant and rooms in the West Cork village.We Sell Books: ‘It is a great lifestyle and I am very fortunate’

Five things for the week ahead with Des O'Driscoll.Five things for the week ahead

From Liverpool’s beat-pop to Bristol’s trip-hop, Irish writer Karl Whitney explains the distinctive musical output of individual cities in the UK, writes Marjorie Brennan.Sounds of the City: The musical output of individual UK cities

As landlords’ enclosures of villages and commonages during England’s industrial revolution drove landless countrymen into the maws of the poet William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”, a romantic nostalgia for the countryside began to grow.Damien Enright: Great writers took inspiration from walking

More From The Irish Examiner