- Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Living up to the “clasico” billing, Lionel Messi upstaged Cristiano Ronaldo on his own turf to reassert Barcelona’s title credentials on Sunday.

Messi scored a hat trick, including two penalties, as Barca won 4-3 in an entertaining and at times controversial encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where the hosts finished with 10 men.

And having been written off too early in its title defense, Barca is now just a point behind Madrid rivals Atletico and Real at the top. The match took top billing in Europe on Sunday. Here is a look at the action from the leading leagues:

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SPAIN

The pulsating match of the day began with Andres Iniesta powering Barcelona in front after seven minutes, followed by Karim Benzema scoring twice to put Real Madrid in control.

Although Messi slotted in an equalizer before halftime, Ronaldo re-established Madrid’s lead with a 55th-minute penalty. But Messi eclipsed the man who deposed him as world player of the year scoring twice on penalties, including the equalizer after Sergio Ramos was sent off.

Messi’s second straight hat trick put him second on the Spanish league’s all-time scoring list with 235 goals, passing Hugo Sanchez.

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ITALY

Juventus maintained its charge to a third successive Serie A title as Carlos Tevez clinched a 1-0 win at Catania to restore a 14-point lead over Roma. Catania’s hopes of a leveler were hampered after Gonzalo Bergessio was dismissed following a second booking in the 67th minute.

Earlier, Fiorentina snatched a late 1-0 win against Napoli to boost its chances of sneaking into the Champions League. Inter Milan is four points further back after a last-minute goal consigned it to a 2-1 loss at home to Atalanta. Parma is level, but with a game in hand, after it drew 1-1 with Genoa.

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ENGLAND

The weekend produced 42 goals in the Premier League, including 10 in Sunday’s two games.

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