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Real Madrid sealed a comfortable El Clasico win over a below-par Barcelona to keep their La Liga title defence in rude health earlier today.

It was the Ballon D’or-elect Karim Benzema who got Real Madrid up and running ahead of tomorrow’s ceremony when he slotted home after Marc Andre ter Stegen denied Vinicius Jnr, and Federico Valverde had Madrid cruising with a stunning drive from the edge of the box before half-time.

Ferran Torres gave Barcelona hope seven minutes from time with a wonderfully-worked goal following Ansu Fati’s weaving run and Robert Lewandowski’s near-post flick, but Rodrygo sealed the points for Los Blancos with a spot-kick in injury time to cement their three point lead at the summit of La Liga.

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RB Leipzig continue to blow hot and cold in the Bundesliga, exemplified perfectly by a win over Hertha that saw Marco Rose’s side almost surrender two points despite being 3-0 up at half-time.

Emil Forsberg added to his strike at Celtic Park in midweek with the opening goal, converting Dominik Szoboszlai’s lethal cross, and the Hungarian was involved in Leipzig’s second and third goals as an Abdou Diallo header and Willi Orban tap-in saw the Red Bull side seemingly home and hosed by the interval.

However, Hertha roared back to life in the second half, a Dodi Lukebakio penalty and sweet Stevan Jovetic volley gave them hope but Leipzig held on to secure a much-needed three points that keeps them 10th in a suffocating Bundesliga table on goal difference.

Shakhtar Donetsk keep in touching distance with Dnipro at the top of the Ukranian Premier League with a 3-1 win over ten-man Dynamo Kyiv.

Oleksandr Zubkov opened the scoring for Igor Jovicevic’s men in the first half but they needed star man Mykhaylo Mudryk to restore their lead after Vladyslav Vanat equalised for Kyiv just after half-time.

Danylo Sikan made the points safe for Shakhtar after Illya Zabarnyi was sent off for the away side, with Celtic’s Group F rivals remaining two points behind Dnipro in second in the Ukrainian Premier League.

Celtic themselves, of course, hammered Hibs 6-1 yesterday to maintain their two point lead at the summit of the Scottish Premiership.

Group F concludes with two matchdays in eight days on October 25th and November 2nd, with Celtic facing Shakhtar in Paradise and Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu to finish their group stage campaign.

In other news: “Special player, even better person”; Joe Hart pays tribute to Celtic teammate on Instagram

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