sport

Messi and Falcao fire top two

Top two Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both won on Sunday with their star men in remarkable goalscoring form.

Lionel Messi stole the show once again as he netted twice in Barca's 2-1 win at Real Betis to break Gerd Mueller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

The brilliant Argentina international equalled that feat early on with a fine solo effort before latching onto an Andres Iniesta back-heel nine minutes later to break the record.

Betis pulled a goal back through Ruben Castro but could not find an equaliser and the Catalan giants maintain their six point lead at the top of La Liga.

Earlier in the evening, Radamel Falcao had briefly helped Atletico cut that lead to three points as he scored no fewer than five times as Deportivo La Coruna were crushed 6-0 in Madrid.

Diego Costa headed in the opening goal but from then on it was the Falcao show as the Colombian delivered a finishing masterclass that included a header, a volley and a penalty.

The win sees Diego Simeone's side move five points clear of Real Madrid and was an emphatic response to last weekend's defeat to their city rivals.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao picked up their first win in four games courtesy of Aritz Aduriz's first-half header that gave Marcelo Bielsa's side a 1-0 win at home to Celta Vigo.

It was a rare highlight of a lacklustre game but Athletic supporters will just be grateful that the win eases their relegation fears in what has been a stuttering campaign.

Mallorca are a team that will be looking over their shoulder, however, after going down 4-0 at Levante.

Obafemi Martins gave Levante the lead just before the interval and further goals from David Navarro, Ruben Garcia and Vicente Iborra left the Islanders four down by the hour mark. Mallorca have now gone 12 games without a win.