European roundup: Barcelona, PSG continue dominance

Suarez, Neymar and Messi

Barcelona maintained their four-point lead at the top of La Liga on Saturday thanks to another clinical display from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez to down Real Sociedad 4-0.

Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on the European champions thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s solitary goal in a 1-0 win over Espanyol.

Real Madrid are now nine points adrift ahead of their trip to Eibar on Sunday.

Messi was making his first league start in two months as he continues his comeback from knee ligament damage.

But the Argentine was initially outshone by his strike partners as they each swept home from two Dani Alves crosses to put Barca in command at the break.

Neymar then added his second shortly after the half-time before teeing up Messi for his first league goal since September in stoppage time.

“They are constantly looking for one another and when they all score everyone is happy,” Dani Alves told Canal Plus about Barca’s front three.

“Without victories it doesn’t matter who scores or sets up the goals. If we all keep playing well, we will all be happy.”

Paris Saint-Germain are guaranteed to end 2015 on top of the Ligue 1 table after a 4-1 win against Troyes on a day marked by tributes to the victims of the recent Paris terror attacks.

It was a routine win for PSG with Edinson Cavani and Layvin Kurzawa finding the net either side of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty before youngster Jean-Kevin Augustin wrapped up the points.

Thomas Ayasse got one back for the away side but the win for Paris means they are still unbeaten domestically this season and are 16 points clear of Lyon.

“It is a good thing to be autumn champions because it confirms that we are picking up an enormous amount of points, but it does not mean we are certain to win the title,” tempered PSG coach Laurent Blanc, although it would take an incredible turnaround for them to fail now.

The match was also significant for being the first top-level game to be played in the French capital since the terror attacks in the city and outside the Stade de France during France’s game with Germany on November 13 that left 130 dead and many more injured.