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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 2 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 19, 2010

Barca beat Atletico, Valencia continue winning start

Barcelona overcame a tough challenge away at Atletico Madrid to win 2-1 and move up to fifth in the Spanish table, although the result was tempered by an injury to Lionel Messi.

• Barca blog: A Messi(ah) Injured
• Saturday's round-up
• European gallery

Messi netted in the 13th minute after he was put through, but Raul Garcia levelled the scores just over ten minutes later. Goalkeeper David De Gea stopped Messi and David Villa from putting Barcelona ahead again, but could do nothing about Gerard Pique's powerful strike from close range after a corner.

Barcelona pushed to increase their lead in the second half, but once again found De Gea in inspired form and in the final minute of the game Messi was clattered by Tomas Ujfalusi - who was shown a straight red card - and stretchered off in tears with his ankle visably swollen.

The initial news was good, however, as Barca coach Pep Guardiola said after the match: ''He'll be having more tests tomorrow, but in principle a break has been ruled out. He's injured and the doctors will tell us how he is. Let's hope the first diagnosis is correct and we can help get him fit again. He's very sad and in tears. These things happen in football.''

Ten-man Valencia continued their flawless start to the new season with a 2-1 win at promoted side Hercules .

Juan Mata gave Valencia the lead after just two minutes and Pablo Hernandez added a second halfway through the first half.But Hercules, fresh from their surprise 2-0 success at the Nou Camp last weekend, hit back through a David Trezeguet penalty and looked good for at least a point after Valencia captain David Navarro was sent off just four minutes into the second half, but Los Ches survived.

Nilmar was the inspiration as Villarreal sealed a 2-0 win on condemned promoted outfit Levante to a third consecutive top-flight defeat.

The Brazilian striker scored both goals as the Yellow Submarine cruised into a two-goal lead, and Levante never looked likely to get back in it, despite a last-minute strike from Felipe Caicedo.

Sevilla came from behind to beat Mallorca 2-1 away from home. Sevilla had the best of the chances, but Rondon opened the scoring for Mallorca before Alfaro equalised. Martin Caceres completed the comeback before half-time to put Sevilla in second place.

Racing Santander needed two late goals, but came away with a 2-0 win over Real Zaragoza. The Cantabrians benefited from a dubious refereeing decision which denied the visitors the lead at a crucial stage of the match, as Gabi's 72nd-minute strike was chalked off for an alleged foul by Ander Herrera, although replays indicated there was no infringement.

As things were, Racing went ahead just four minutes later through a header from Brazilian defender Henrique. And they sealed victory in the last minute, when Argentinian striker Ariel Nahuelpan slotted home following Manuel Arana's cross.

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