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Soccer-European roundup-Pedro fires Barcelona, Liverpool top

Reuters

Dec 22 (Reuters) - Barcelona and Atletico Madrid continued to set the pace in Spain's La Liga with come-from-behind wins and Real Madrid stayed five points adrift by grabbing a late winner against Valencia.

Liverpool moved top of the English Premier League as Luis Suarez scored twice in a 3-1 win over Cardiff City but Arsenal can move back to the summit by beating Chelsea on Monday.

Juventus ended the year five points clear at the top of Italy's Serie A following a 4-1 win at Atalanta and Inter scored late to win the Milan derby 1-0.

SPAIN

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had to come from behind for victories which kept them neck-and-neck at the top of La Liga with the Catalan side ahead on goal difference.

Barca were without leading strikers Lionel Messi and Neymar through injury and suspension but Pedro came to the fore with a quickfire hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Getafe.

Diego Costa struck twice for Atletico who started slowly but maintained their 100 percent home record with a 3-2 win over Levante.

Third-placed Real Madrid needed a late winner by substitute Jese to beat Valencia 3-2 and they trail the top two by five points.

ENGLAND

Liverpool went top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez scoring twice to celebrate signing a new contract with his 18th and 19th goals of the season.

They are on 36 points from 17 matches, with third-placed Arsenal and Chelsea, in fifth, meeting on Monday.

Manchester City moved up to second, hitting back after a bizarre Vincent Kompany own goal to win 4-2 at lowly Fulham and champions Manchester United continued their recent revival with a 3-1 home victory over West Ham United.

Recalled Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as managerless Tottenham Hotspur put a tough week behind them with a 3-2 win at Southampton and Everton's Ross Barkley scored a stunning late free kick to secure a 2-1 victory over Swansea City that lifted his side to fourth.

GERMANY

Bayern Munich stayed seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga despite not playing a league game this week as title rivals Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund lost their final matches before the winter break.

Leverkusen, in second spot with 37 points from 17 games, went down to a 74th-minute goal on the break from Santiago Garcia, while third-placed Borussia Dortmund remain 12 points off the pace as they slumped to their third straight home defeat as promoted Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1.

European champions Bayern added the Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet with a comfortable 2-0 win over Morocco's Raja Casablanca on Saturday.

ITALY

Juventus ended 2013 five points clear at the top of Serie A after a 4-1 victory at Atalanta stretched their winning league run to nine games on Sunday.

Unbeaten AS Roma remained their closest challengers following a 4-0 crushing of bottom club Catania including two goals from defender Mehdi Benatia.

A delicate backheel from Rodrigo Palacio's earned Inter the spoils four minutes from the end of the Milan derby, a 1-0 win moving them up to fifth on 31 points.

FRANCE

Paris St Germain avoided their first home defeat in over a year when Marko Basa's second-half own goal salvaged a 2-2 draw against Lille and gave them a three-point Ligue 1 lead heading into the winter break.

French champions PSG, unbeaten at the Parc des Princes in all competitions since November 2012, have 44 points from 19 matches while Lille stayed third four points off the pace, one behind second-placed Monaco.

Monaco could have been level on points with PSG had they not conceded a 2-1 home defeat against lowly Valenciennes on Friday.

The fight for the title looks like a three-way battle with fourth-placed Girondins Bordeaux sitting nine points behind Lille after a 2-2 draw at Olympique Marseille. (Compiled by Josh Reich, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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