Madrid, April 11
Defending champions Barcelona upped the pressure on leaders Real Madrid on Tuesday as they moved to within a point of their bitter rivals after a 4-0 thumping of Getafe.
Two goals from Alexis Sanchez, one from Pedro Rodriguez and Lionel Messi’s 39th in the league this season gave Barca a 10th consecutive league victory after another near perfect performance by the Catalans.
In the 22nd minute the home crowd chanted the name of Eric Abidal, the French international who on Tuesday underwent a liver transplant, in recognition of the number 22 shirt he wears as part of Barca’s squad.
Real can restore their four point advantage if they beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday - they have not lost to their city rivals since 1999.
The clash between Barca and Madrid on April 21st in the Camp Nou has become increasingly important as the Catalans have reduced the gap on Madrid from 10 points to only one in less than a month.
Earlier on Tuesday Raul Garcia scored two second-half goals to help Osasuna beat Espanyol 2-0 in a battle between two teams competing for places in next season’s Europa League. Real Betis and Real Sociedad shared a 1-1 draw to help both teams edge closer to survival.
In Italy, AC Milan went back to the top of Serie A, for 24 hours at least, with a hard fought 1-0 victory at Chievo in rainy Verona on Tuesday.
Milan bounced straight back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Fiorentina despite being ravaged by injury and suspensions -- they had 14 players missing.
Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari scored the only goal of the game early on as Milan moved two points clear of Juventus.
The Old Lady of Turin can retake the lead if they beat Lazio on Wednesday.
But after the victory Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri vented his anger at the media for their criticisms of his team over the last 10 days.
"Many people were delighted we fell to Fiorentina but we’ve got back up," he told Sky Sport. "We knew that tonight if we lost or failed to win we could be out of the title race.
In England, Andy Carroll struck a dramatic injury-time winner as 10-man Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Ewood Park in a rollercoaster Premier League clash here Tuesday.
Liverpool looked to be cruising to victory after goals from Maxi Rodriguez fired them into a 2-0 lead early on.
But a red card for goalkeeper Alexander Doni -- himself filling in for the suspended Pepe Reina -- changed the complexion of the game and thrust third-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones into the limelight.
Jones promptly announced his entrance by saving Ayegbeni Yakubu’s spot-kick but Rovers hauled themselves back into the contest and eventually drew level.
Yakubu made amends for his penalty miss to head home for 2-1 and then levelled from the penalty spot in the second half to make it 2-2 and give Rovers hope of pulling clear of the relegation zone.