Soccer Roundup | Crystal Palace, United secure victory; Messi propels Barcelona over Real Madrid

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Soccer Roundup | Crystal Palace, United secure victory; Messi propels Barcelona over Real Madrid

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SportsCafe Desk


Christian Benteke scored in either half as Crystal Palace beat Liverpool at Anfield to dent Liverpool’s top-four aspirations in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney scored his first goal since January to help Manchester United defeat Burney 2-0 to stay in contention for a top-four finish.

Liverpool 1 - 2 Crystal Palace

Liverpool were not at their best in the first half but scored a goal through Philippe Coutinho's stunning free-kick. Benteke kept his habit of scoring against the Reds, and just before half-time he found the net for the fourth time in his last three Anfield visits as an opposition player with a well-taken strike high into the net from Yohan Cabaye's low cross. 

Liverpool, though, came back to dominate the second half with attacking display and created chances on a regular basis with Coutinho leading the show. But their reckless extravagance went against them and Benteke punished them. Benteke scored his second goal from Poacher's header from six yards to leave Liverpool in a precarious situation in the league.

Palace’s victory was a giant step towards securing safety.

Burnley 0 - 2 Manchester United

United manager Jose Mourinho made eight changes from the team that won Thursday's Europa League game against Anderlecht. England captain Rooney was one among the changes and started impressively by assisting Anthony Martial to score the opener. Rooney then squeezed the ball home from a tight angle to double United's lead before half-time.

Burnley had a chance in the first half when Andre Gray’s shot was blocked by defender Eric Bailly but Sean Dyche's side failed to register a shot on target. 

With the victory, United remain at fifth position in the league and are only a point shy of rivals Manchester City, whom they will take on on Thursday at Etihad Stadium.

Real Madrid 2 - 3 Barcelona  (La Liga, El Clásico)

Lionel Messi scored his 500th goal for Barcelona against 10-man Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to help his team scamper to a 3-2 win in the La Liga El Clásico. This win puts Barca level on points with Real. 

Casemiro scored the first goal for the hosts before Messi and Ivan Rakitic put Barcelona ahead by scoring in the 33rd and 73rd minutes respectively. But James Rodriguez equalized for Real within four minutes of coming off the bench only for Messi to win it for the Catalans.

After the victory, Barca manager Luis Enrique said, “Barcelona's stoppage-time winning goal against Real Madrid will be a gargantuan morale booster in the La Liga title race.”

This victory was Barca's second win in five games, having lost in the Champions League quarterfinal to Juventus last week.

Arsenal 2 - 1 Manchester City (FA Cup)

Arsenal registered a dramatic come from behind victory over Manchester City to keep alive their prospects of winning a third FA Cup crown in four years.  

In a controversial match, Sergio Aguero’s penalty appeal was turned down and referee Craig Pawson also disallowed a goal. Pawson had earlier rejected Sanchez's demands for a spot-kick in the first half.

Aguero opened the scoring in the 62nd minute to put City ahead but Gunners’ Nacho Monreal equalized with his first goal in over two years.

With the game going into the extra time, Arsene Wenger was under tremendous pressure but Sanchez struck to keep Wenger’s trophy hopes alive. 

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