Real Madrid edged a 1-0 win over minnows Rayo Vallecano, earning a third consecutive La Liga victory and rising to third in the table, but they again failed to sparkle and had to endure booing from their unhappy supporters.
Karim Benzema beat a poorly constructed offside trap to score the only goal of the game in the 13th minute. The win put Santiago Solari’s side on 29 points, one clear of fourth-placed Sevilla who host Girona on Sunday and two behind leaders Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.
Madrid, who were also booed off on Wednesday after losing 3-0 to CSKA Moscow, continued to suffer defensively at the back. They leaked plenty of chances to their neighbours, who are fighting relegation and have only won twice all season.
Even though the European champions weathered the storms, it did not stop the infamously demanding Santiago Bernabeu crowd from raining down boos on their team.
Earlier in the day, Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann struck the decisive goal in a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Valladolid, after Atlético had thrown away a two-goal lead. The win took them level on points with Barcelona, who visit Levante on Sunday, at the top of La Liga.
Nikola Kalinic put Atlético ahead after latching on to a wonderful pass from Griezmann, who doubled Atlético’s lead on the stroke of half-time by hammering home a penalty.
However Valladolid came out fighting in the second half. Fernando Calero headed the home side back into the game in the 57th minute and six minutes later they levelled with an own goal from Atlético’s Saúl Ñíguez.
Griezmann had the final say with 10 minutes left, arrowing the ball into the far corner from close range after Valladolid had failed to clear.
In Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo converted a second-half penalty and was booked for provoking beaten goalkeeper Salvador Ichazo as leaders Juventus beat Torino 1-0 in an absorbing derby.
Torino put up a brave show but were undone by an unfortunate mistake by forward Simone Zaza. Having dispossessed Leonardo Bonucci, Zaza underhit a pass back to Ichazo, allowing Mario Mandzukic to intercept and the Croatian was then tripped by Torino’s substitute goalkeeper.
Ronaldo converted the penalty to score Juve’s 5,000th Serie A goal and leave the leaders with 46 points out of a possible 48.
Inter’s Mauro Icardi scored a second-half Panenka penalty to break down a stubborn Udinese. The visitors held out until the 76th minute before a penalty was given after the ball struck Seko Fofana on the hand.
Icardi stepped up and fooled Juan Musso with his chip, the Udinese goalkeeper diving to his left. The 1-0 win put Inter three points behind second-placed Napoli, who travel to Cagliari on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund now lead the Bundesliga by nine points, after they beat Werder Bremen 2-1 a couple of hours after Borussia Mönchengladbach were held to a goalless draw at Hoffenheim. Gladbach remain in second but now lead Bayern Munich on goal difference only, after the champions demolished Hannover 4-0.
There was a tragic aftermath to Stuttgart’s 2-1 home win against Hertha Berlin, when the father of Christian Gentner, the victors’ captain, collapsed and died.
In Ligue 1, Strasbourg players wore special shirts to honour the victims of Tuesday’s shooting in the city as they were defeated 2-1 in Reims. The visiting players wore shirts on whose sponsor logos were replaced with the phrase “Strasbourg Mon Amour”.