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Euro Round Up

Real Madrid 2 Elche 2

La Liga leaders Real Madrid scored two goals in the final eight minutes to fight back from 2-0 down and snatch a draw at home to Elche.

Lucas Boye and Pere Milla put the strugglers on course for a shock win.

But Luka Modric’s penalty brought Real back into the game and then Eder Militao levelled in added time.

Real’s top scorer Karim Benzema, who missed a first-half penalty when the game was goalless, was forced off with a hamstring strain.

The France striker has scored 27 goals in 33 appearances this season for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Real will face Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last 16 in just over three weeks’ time.

They needed extra time to overcome Elche in the Copa del Rey in midweek and once again found them obdurate opponents in the league, despite enjoying 65% possession and having 23 shots on goal.

The draw restores their four-point lead at the top of La Liga ahead of Sevilla, who also came from 2-0 down to draw against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Before kick-off, all of Madrid’s players came out wearing number 11 shirts in tribute to Real and Spain legend Paco Gento, who died aged 88 on Tuesday.

Frenkie De Jong scored a late winner as Barcelona edged past struggling Alaves to move up to fifth in La Liga.

The Netherlands midfielder converted Ferran Torres’ first-time cross with three minutes remaining.

Xavi’s side dominated possession but it was Alaves, 19th in the table, who had the better chances.

Pere Pons fired straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen shortly before half-time, while Joselu flashed a header wide in the second half.

The win moves Barca to within a point of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who they host at the Nou Camp next weekend.

Barca looked weary after back-to-back extra-time defeats over the past week, to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup last weekend and Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

They enjoyed 76% possession and had 10 corners to Alaves’ one, but struggled to create many clear-cut openings.

A turgid match looked to be drifting to a goalless draw when Torres, signed from Manchester City earlier this month, ran onto Jordi Alba’s chipped ball over the top and laid the ball back for De Jong to finish from close range.

PSG 4 Reims 0

Sergio Ramos scored his first Paris St-Germain goal as they overcame Reims to continue their dominance of Ligue 1.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had laboured a little until Marco Verratti fired in off the post moments before half-time – his first league goal since 2017.

Ramos forced a save then converted the rebound after the break and a Wout Faes own goal made the win certain.

Danilo side-footed a fourth via a deflection and PSG now sit 11 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

The win owed much to Verratti’s accurate opener as Reims had been competitive for more than 40 minutes.

Bradley Locko had forced a save from home keeper Keylor Navas and reported Newcastle target Hugo Ekitike was lively up front, firing over after cutting in from the left flank.

But Verratti’s finish meant PSG could play with poise and patience after the break and Ramos added a second, turning in from a yard after his initial effort was spilled.

The former Real Madrid captain broke his PSG duck in just his fourth appearance and Reims duly capitulated.

Lionel Messi was brought on from the bench and teed up Verratti for what looked to be the Italian’s second, only for a deflection on its way to the net to be enough to see the goal credited to the unfortunate Faes.

Kylian Mbappe raced away from his marker down the left flank to deliver a fine assist for Danilo to claim his second goal of the season.

PSG are now 13 games unbeaten in Ligue 1 and the gulf in class – despite being pushed early on – underlines just how difficult it will be for the chasing pack to get anywhere near them.

Hertha Berlin 1-4 Bayern Munich: Visitors move six points clear at top

Serge Gnabry scoring against Hertha Berlin
Bayern Munich have now scored at least once in a record 67 consecutive Bundesliga matches,

Bayern Munich restored their six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable victory away at Hertha Berlin.

Corentin Tolisso headed Bayern in front before Thomas Muller guided Joshua Kimmich’s free-kick into the corner shortly before half-time.

Two goals in four minutes from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry extended their lead after the break.

Substitute Jurgen Ekkelenkamp scored a late consolation for Hertha.

After beginning 2022 with a home defeat by Borussia Monchengladbach, Julian Nagelsmann’s side have now scored eight goals in back-to-back away matches.

The victory moves them back six points ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who briefly narrowed the gap with a 3-2 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

The result could have been worse for Hertha but a spectacular early volley from the impressive Tolisso was ruled out for offside following a video assistant referee (VAR) check.

Then, in the closing stages, a fine individual effort from the edge of the box by former Manchester City winger Sane was disallowed via VAR for a handball in the build-up.

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