Barcelona remained on course to retaining its Spanish league title with a 6-0 rout of Getafe on Saturday, while English champion Chelsea’s season went from bad to worse with Diego Costa seeing red after a biting incident as Guus Hiddink’s team exited the FA Cup.
Manchester City doesn’t look like it will be succeeding Chelsea as Premier League champions after being held 0-0 at relegation-threatened Norwich and Marseille’s miserable season in France also continued.
Elsewhere, Thomas Mueller scored twice as Bayern Munich warmed up for Juventus in the Champions League by easing to a 5-0 rout of Werder Bremen, and Inter Milan won to maintain its dream of a return to the Champions League.
Here is a look at Europe’s major leagues:
Costa plunged Chelsea into fresh controversy as Everton won 2-0 to end the last hope of a title for Hiddink’s team in the quarterfinals.
Chelsea had just been humiliated by former striker Romelu Lukaku scoring twice in a five-minute span, including a breathtaking solo goal, when Costa was sent off in the 84th minute.
The fiery striker thrust his head at Gareth Barry, then sunk his teeth toward the Everton midfielder’s neck in a biting motion, and got a second yellow card. There was no immediate reaction from Barry to suggest he had been bitten but Costa was dismissed for the first time in two seasons at Chelsea.
“Without seeing, I don’t want to give judgment on this,” Hiddink said. “(Costa) was chased a bit in the game. They went after him. They knew it. It is within the rules.”
Chelsea is 10th in the league and the FA Cup exit follows its elimination from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
Manchester City remained fourth in the EPL, nine points behind surprise leader Leicester.
Elsewhere, Graziano Pelle scored twice as Southampton won 2-1 at Stoke and Bournemouth beat Swansea 3-2.
Lionel Messi scored one goal and figured in four more as Barcelona increased its Spanish record to 37 games without a loss in all competitions.
The only blemish on Messi’s superb display was a missed penalty in the first half.
Otherwise, the Argentina forward led a dominant performance that suggests problems for Arsenal as the London club bids to overturn a 2-0 loss in their Champions League round-of-16 second leg on Wednesday.
Atletico Madrid stayed eight points behind the defending champions in second place after a 3-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.
Third-place Real Madrid will trail Barcelona by 15 points when it visits Las Palmas on Sunday.
Also Saturday, Iago Aspas scored with a brilliant chipped shot to give Celta Vigo a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad and send it provisionally fifth.
Bayern, which hosts Juventus on Wednesday after drawing 2-2 in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg, moved eight points clear of Borussia Dortmund, which plays Mainz on Sunday.
Mario Goetze played for the first time since getting injured on international duty on Oct. 8 and the Germany forward had two efforts on goal.
Thiago Alcantara scored at either end of the match, while Kingsley Coman assisted both those goals as well as Mueller’s first.
Robert Lewandowski claimed his 24th goal of the campaign in the 86th minute.
“When you win 5-0, people think it’s easy,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. “We played well, we didn’t allow many counterattacks. Compliments to the team.”
Earlier, Borussia Moenchengladbach defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 as former Croatia coach Niko Kovac — who replaced the fired Armin Veh on Tuesday — got off to a bad start.
Frankfurt, now eight games without a win, remained in the relegation playoff spot, level on 24 points with Hoffenheim, which defeated Wolfsburg 1-0 at home. ‘Gladbach moved into fourth, three points behind Hertha Berlin.
Inter Milan beat Bologna 2-1 to move provisionally a point above Fiorentina into fourth place in Serie A.
Danilo D’Ambrosio set up Ivan Perisic’s 72nd-minute opener and scored four minutes later. Bologna substitute Franco Brienza netted a consolation in the final minute.
Fiorentina plays Hellas Verona on Sunday, while third-place Roma — which is two points above Inter — visits Udinese. Inter goes to Roma in a crucial match next weekend.
Inter will be without captain Mauro Icardi, who limped off in the ninth minute after injuring his knee when sliding in to try and intercept Eder’s angled drive.
Earlier, Empoli defender Vincent Laurini scored his first goal in professional football to help his team rescue a 1-1 draw against Sampdoria.
Marseille had goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to thank for scraping a 1-1 draw at Lorient.
While runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain can seal a fourth straight title in style with eight games to go if it wins at Troyes on Sunday, Marseille is in 10th place and trails PSG by 35 points.
Meanwhile, Nice moved provisionally up to third spot with a 2-0 win away to Montpellier, thanks to second-half goals from forwards Valere Germain and Alassane Plea, who was set up by winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
Saint-Etienne and Caen both lost ground in the chase for third place after defeats.