| Lopo vies with Eto’ in Barcelona on Saturday
Madrid: Champions Barcelona continued their irresistible form this season with a 15th straight win in all competitions after a 2-1 victory over city rivals Espanyol in the Primera Liga on Saturday.
Barcelona went 2-0 up thanks to classy goals from Portugal midfielder Deco and leading striker Samuel Eto’ either side of half-time before Raul Tamudo pulled one back for the home side with a neat finish on the hour.
Deportivo Coruna moved up to third, six points behind the Navarrans, after a 2-1 win over accident-prone Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
Deco, meanwhile, stayed in hospital overnight for observation after suffering slight concussion. The 28-year-old was carried off after hitting his head colliding with teammate Thiago Motta in the second half.
Serie A leaders Juventus proved they had not lost the winning habit during the mid-season break when Adrian Mutu struck twice in a 2-1 triumph at Palermo on Saturday.
The victory gave champions Juventus 49 points from 18 matches, 11 more than second-placed Inter Milan, who play in Siena on Sunday.
Palermo went ahead in the 12th minute, Christian Terlizzi spinning to volley Eugenio Corn’s cross past Juventus goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.
Romania striker Mutu levelled three minutes later when he fired the ball through a gaggle of defenders after his initial header had rebounded off the bar.
Juventus showed their ruthless streak, seizing the lead at the first opportunity, Patrick Vieira flicking the ball forward for Mutu to slot his second on 34 minutes.
Fiorentina looked rusty as they drew 1-1 at Reggina in an earlier match. The result put them fourth on 37 points, level with third-placed AC Milan, who host Parma on Sunday.
European champions Liverpool, meanwhile, survived an extraordinary FA Cup third round tie at second division Luton Town on Saturday, fighting back from 3-1 down to win 5-3.
Spaniard Xabi Alonso scored twice, including an injury-time strike from inside his own half with Luton keeper Marlon Beresford stranded after coming forward for a corner.