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Majestic Messi bags hat-trick as Liverpool, Juventus remain unbeaten

Majestic Messi bags hat-trick as Liverpool, Juventus remain unbeaten
December 17
09:37 2018

Liverpool retained first spot on the EPL log with a dominant 3-1 win over Manchester United at Anfield, thanks to goals from Saido Mane and Xerdan Shaqiri. Jurgen Klopp’s boys pinned Jose Mourinho’s timid side from the start and got a reward through Mane’s volley after the Senegalese controlled Fabinho’s pinpoint pass with his chest.

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A mistake from Liverpool keeper, Alisson, allowed Jesse Lingard to tap in the equaliser from close range to finish the first half all square.

However, two goals in the last 20 minutes from Xerdan Shaqiri decided the match. The Swiss scored his first goal minutes after coming on as a substitute, and the second on 80 minutes to keep Liverpool a point ahead of title rivals, Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s men defeated Everton 3-1 to stay in second place.

Southampton ended Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run with a 3-2 win to give new manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, a first win in his second game in charge. Dany Ings scored a double while Charlie Austin netted the winner for Southampton. Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored twice for Arsenal, with Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi playing 70 minutes.

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In Italy, Juventus narrowly defeated Torino 1-0 in the Turin derby, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty. The unbeaten Bianconeri, who have made the best start to the season by any team in the top five European leagues, were not allowed their usual fluency in attack but got a lucky break for the goal.

Simon Zaza’s short back pass was pounced upon by striker, Mario Mandzukic, who was brought down by the keeper, who subsequently pushed Ronaldo’s penalty into the net. Napoli stay eight points behind in second place with a 1-0 win at Cagliari, thanks to Arkadiusz Milik’s last-minute goal.

In Spain, a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired Barcelona to an emphatic 5-0 win at Levante to stay top of La Liga table and five points ahead of fierce rivals, Real Madrid.

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The Champions League defending champions also managed a 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu, thanks to Karim Benzema’s early goal.

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