La Liga’s leading scorer decided he had had enough and tried to leave the field 14 minutes before the end. Eto’o was persuaded to continue principally by team mate Ronaldinho and Real Zaragoza’s Ewerthon, who are both black Brazilians, but it left a nasty taste despite the 2-0 win which kept Barca on top of the Spanish first division.
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said: “Samuel is a human being and he felt bad on the pitch, but I was pleased with the attitude of his team mates who told him to continue.”
Second-placed Valencia slipped off the pace at the top of the Primera Liga as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Getafe yesterday.
Valencia defender David Navarro scored from close range in the 77th minute after Fabio Aurelio’s free kick was headed back across goal by Mario Regueiro. But a wayward pass from David Albelda into his own area allowed Nano to sneak in and fire an unlikely equaliser three minutes from time.
Third-placed Real Madrid lost 2-1 at lowly Real Mallorca, ending their six-match winning run in the Primera Liga last night.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play through Sergio Ramos after 32 minutes but 16th-placed Mallorca always looked dangerous. Argentine striker Leonardo Pisculichi levelled from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute and 10 minutes from time Juan Arango grabbed the winner.
Celta Vigo climbed to fifth on 42 points after beating Cadiz 2-0 at home, while Sevilla dropped to sixth on 41 points following their 5-0 hammering away to Espanyol.
In Italy, Serie A leaders Juventus led a clean sweep of victories for Italy’s top three when they came from behind to beat relegation-threatened Lecce 3-1.
Goals by Emerson, Robert Kovac and a late Alessandro Del Piero penalty cancelled out Gennaro Delvecchio’s goal for the visitors to give Juve 70 points from 27 matches.
They are 10 points ahead of AC Milan, who won 2-0 at Palermo. Inter Milan lie third on 58 points after a 3-1 victory against Udinese.
Lecce had taken just four points on the road this season prior to arriving at Turin’s Stadio delle Alpi, but took the lead when Delvecchio dived to head Alfonso Camorani’s cross past Gianluigi Buffon in the 10th minute.
The champions hit straight back, Emerson backheeling Adrian Mutu’s low shot into the net eight minutes later.
From then on it was increasingly one-way traffic. Defender Kovac put Juve ahead just before the break, heading in Mutu’s free kick for his first ever goal in Serie A.
Lecce were reduced to 10 men shortly after the break, when Camorani picked up his second yellow card of the match and Del Piero made sure of the points after Pavel Nedved was tripped by Davide Giorgino.
Roma entered the record books last night after claiming their 11th successive Serie A win with a 2-0 triumph over arch-rivals Lazio. Roma’s 1-0 victory over Empoli last weekend had seen them equal the record of 10 consecutive Serie A wins held by Juventus (1931-32), AC Milan (1950-51) and Bologna (1963-1964).
And they broke it on thanks to goals from Rodrigo Taddei and Alberto Aquilani.
In Germany, Bayern Munich manager Uli Hoeness said his side’s 5-2 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt was meaningless unless they can repeat the feat in a key Bundesliga match and against AC Milan next month.
The league leaders tore through Eintracht at the Allianz Arena where 69,000 people saw Peru striker Jose Paolo Guerrero and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack help themselves to a brace apiece to improve on a week which saw them held 1-1 by Milan in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.
Werder Bremen moved to nine points behind Bayern after following up Wednesday’s stunning 3-2 Champions League win over Juventus with a comfortable 2-0 success against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Dutch leaders PSV Eindhoven struck twice in the first six minutes to secure a 2-1 victory at AZ Alkmaar yesterday. Striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed home at the near post after three minutes, then Jefferson Farfan set up Arouna Kone to double the lead. AZ midfielder Stijn Schaars pulled one back on 61 minutes.
With eight matches remaining, PSV are seven points ahead of second-placed Feyenoord, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Groningen. Alkmaar are third on 55 points.