- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lionel Messi was raised aloft by his Barcelona teammates after becoming the Spanish league’s all-time leading scorer in style on Saturday.

Messi topped the 251-goal mark, netting his first hat trick of the season in a 5-1 win over Sevilla. It’s now 253 goals and counting for the 27-year-old Argentina star.

But Barcelona remains two points behind Real Madrid in the standings after Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice in a 4-0 victory over Eibar.

Chelsea’s position at the top in England also remains unchallenged after a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, while third-place champion Manchester City edged Swansea 2-1. Manchester United is in the top four for the first time in 2014 after winning 2-1 at Arsenal to provide Louis van Gaal with a much-needed lift at the start of his Premier League managerial career.

A look at the action from Europe’s leading leagues:



Messi, already Barcelona’s all-time scorer, surpassed Athletic Bilbao great Telmo Zarra’s milestone of 251 goals that had stood untouched since 1955.

Messi equaled Zarra’s mark by curling in a free kick in the 21st minute. The record was broken in the 72nd by nudging the ball over the line, and Messi netted again six minutes later after a one-two with Neymar. Neymar and Ivan Rakitic also scored for Barcelona.


Manchester United handed Arsenal its first Premier League home loss in 15 months, sending the London club tumbling to eighth.

After failing to score during the first-half while outplaying Man U, Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs scored an own goal and Wayne Rooney netted for United. Olivier Giroud’s goal was too late to prevent United winning on the road in the league for the first time this season.

Chelsea maintained its firm grip on the top spot with a serene victory over Wes Brom secured by Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. City remains eight points back in third place - five ahead of United - after being forced to come from behind against Swansea. Stevan Jovetic canceled out Wilfried Bony’s opener for Swansea before Yaya Toure clinched City’s win in the second half.

Newcastle’s resurgence continued with a fifth straight league win, climbing to fifth by overcoming bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers 1-0.

Burnley moved off the bottom of the standings by recording its first away win, 2-1 at Stoke. West Ham’s five-match unbeaten run ended with a 2-1 loss to Everton, while Leicester’s goalless run went beyond 500 minutes after drawing 0-0 with Sunderland.

Second-place Southampton is at Aston Villa on Monday.


Bastian Schweinsteiger marked his comeback from a left knee injury sustained in Germany’s World Cup final triumph by setting up Bayern Munich’s final goal in a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim.

Sebastian Rode scored for the defending champions in the 87th minute after goals from Mario Goetze, Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben.

After conceding four times, Hoffenheim then saw Adam Szalai sent off for a challenge on Dante.

Bayern maintained its unbeaten start to the season and stretched its lead to seven points as its closest rivals, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach, both lost. Wolfsburg was beaten 3-2 by Schalke, and Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to overcome Gladbach 3-1 away.


Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez combined to lead Juventus to a 3-0 win at Lazio and maintain the Turin power’s three-point lead atop Serie A.

Pogba, the 21-year-old France international being hailed as one of the world’s next great midfielders, scored twice and also hit the post once. Tevez, who is already established as a world-class striker, added a goal and an assist.

The pressure was on for Juventus after Roma had beat Atalanta 2-1 earlier to draw provisionally level with the three-time defending champion.

Serbia forward Adem Ljajic scored one goal and set up another for Radja Nainggolan as Roma overcame a goal conceded in the opening minute.


Third-place Lyon drew 0-0 with struggling Bastia to trail French leader Paris Saint-Germain by three points. PSG edged Metz 3-2 on Friday to build a provisional two-point lead over Marseille, which hosts Bordeaux on Sunday.

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