Short Soccer, February 5, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 3:49am

Messi scores again, but Barcelona held to draw

Lionel Messi scored in his 12th consecutive La Liga game to help leaders Barcelona earn a 1-1 draw at Valencia, but that allowed second-placed Atletico Madrid to close to within nine points after a 1-0 win over Real Betis. World Player of the Year Messi grabbed his 34th league goal from the penalty spot just before half-time at the Mestalla after Ever Banega had given the hosts a 33rd-minute lead. Atletico substitute Diego Costa nodded in from a corner to maintain a perfect home record, lifting them seven points clear of third-placed Real Madrid. "It's possible we were suffering a bit from the Madrid game, but I would point out the work of our rival," Barca assistant coach Jordi Roura said. Reuters


Lennon happy with Celtic win over Rovers

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was pleased with his side's attitude as they overcame stubborn Raith Rovers defending to book their place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win at Starks Park. The Hoops were blasted by Lennon last weekend as "spoilt kids" after a lacklustre performance in their 3-2 defeat by St Mirren ended their hopes of landing a domestic treble this season. However, there was to be no repeat against their First Division opponents as Celtic dominated the match from the start. "We looked more like ourselves and our application was excellent from the first whistle," Lennon said. "We had to be patient but I thought we controlled the game. We dominated the first half without being brilliant in the final third. We just felt that once we got the first goal the game would open up for us and that's exactly what it did. We know the expectation levels and the pressure we face, particularly in these one-off games, but our attitude was a lot better." AFP