A Lionel Messi penalty rescued Barcelona as it was held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia before its lead at the top was cut to nine points when Atletico Madrid clinched a 1-0 win over Real Betis in the Spanish League on Sunday.

The four-time ‘World Player of the Year’ extended his record scoring run to 12 matches in the league with a penalty after 39 minutes with Valencia having taken the lead through Ever Banega.

The results:

Spanish League: Malaga 1 (Isco 23-pen) drew with Real Zaragoza 1 (Postiga 13); Sevilla 2 (Rakitic 45+2, Negredo 54) bt Rayo Vallecano 1 (Dominguez 51-pen); Valencia 1 (Banega 33) drew with Barcelona 1 (Messi 39-pen); Atletico Madrid 1 (Diego Costa 61) bt Real Betis 0; Real Sociedad 3 (Castro 55, Vela 70, Ifran 88) bt Real Mallorca 0.

Italian League:

Chievo 1 (Thereau 52) lost to Juventus 2 (Matri 10, Lichtsteiner 42); Palermo 1 (Nelson 83) lost to Atalanta 2 (Carmona 54, Denis 71); Pescara 2 (Weiss 30-pen, G. D’Agostino 45-pen) lost to Bologna 3 (Diamanti 34-pen, Gilardino 50, Kone 66); Siena 3 (Emeghara 21, Sestu 24, Rosina 55-pen) bt Inter Milan 1 (Cassano 22); Genoa 3 (Borriello 16, Bertolacci 22, Rigoni 90+5) bt Lazio 2 (Floccari 58, Mauri 82-pen); Fiorentina 2 (Toni 27, Jovetic 50) bt Parma 0; AC Milan 2 (Balotelli 25, 90+4-pen) bt Udinese 1 (Pinzi 55).

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