Rival watch: Wins for Bayer Leverkusen and Las Palmas

Rival watch: Wins for Bayer Leverkusen and Las Palmas

FC Barcelona's next two opponents both end win droughts, while Real Madrid, Celta and Villarreal now share the lead in La Liga

[[DES_1]]FC Barcelona’s 4-1 defeat at Celta means that the Galicians have moved ahead of them in the league table with 13 points, where they share the lead with Real Madrid and Villarreal, who also won on Wednesday night.

Karim Benzema scored a brace either side of Sabin’s 67th minute goal for Athletic Bilbao as Real Madrid won 2-1 in the Basque Country, and a Tissone own goal was what it took for Villarreal to take three points from their trip to Malaga.

Barça are joined on 12 points, one off the leaders, by Atlético Madrid, who beat Getafe 2-0 on Tuesday thanks to two goals from Griezmann. Espanyol, who beat Valencia 1-0, are sixth with nine points.

Wednesday was also a good night for Las Palmas, who visit Camp Nou on Saturday (4.00pm CET). Roque and Alcaraz were on target as the Canary Islanders got their first win since returning to the First Division after a 14 year absence by beating bottom side Sevilla 2-0 in the Estadio Gran Canaria.

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Mixed fortunes for Euro rivals

There has been midweek football in Germany and Italy too. In the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen put an end to a run of three consecutive defeats by winning 1-0 at home to Mainz. Javier Hernández scored the only goal of the game, which means that the side that visits the Camp Nou next Tuesday move up to 11th place in the championship.

But it wasn’t such a happy night for another of Barça’s Group E rivals. AS Roma lost 2-1 at Sampdoria in Serie A. The home side went ahead just after the break through Eder, but Salah soon got things back to 1-1. However, a Kostas Manolas own goal five minutes from time meant the three points stayed in Genoa, and Roma have slipped to ninth in the table.

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