Barca, Messi struggle to beat Espanyol 1-0
BARCELONA, Spain -- Alexis Sanchez scored off a cross from Neymar in the 68th minute, and Spanish league leader Barcelona defeated city rival Espanyol 1-0 Friday night.
Lionel Messi, who has been bothered by right leg injury, failed to score for a third straight league match -- something that hadn't happened since April 30-May 11, 2011.
"I don't think Messi is worried, nor do I think he's looking ahead to the World Cup," Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said. "What's happening is that he places the bar so high that when he doesn't score there appears to be a problem. But I don't see any problems."
Barcelona (11-0-1) opened a four-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid (10-1), which hosts Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Third-place Real Madrid (8-2-1) trails by nine points going into Saturday's match at Rayo Vallecano.
BERLIN -- Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick and added an assist to lead Borussia Dortmund to a 6-1 rout of Stuttgart and into the Bundesliga lead.
Lewandowski scored off Reus' back-heel pass in the 54th and again a minute later off a Henrikh Mkhitaryan feed. He added his ninth league goal of the season after Jakub Blaszczykowski's shot was knocked off the crossbar by
Dortmund (8-1-1) moved two points ahead of Bayern Munich (8-0-2), which plays at Hoffenheim on Saturday.
PARIS -- Edinson Cavani scored twice to help Paris Saint-Germain beat Lorient 4-0 in the French league.
PSG (8-0-4) moved three points ahead of second-place Monaco (7-0-4), which plays at Lille on Sunday.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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