Atlético Madrid have done it. A year after they went to the Santiago Bernabéu and took the Copa del Rey from Real Madrid, they came here and took the league title from FC Barcelona. It is their first in 18 years. Next they travel to Lisbon to play their first European Cup final for 40 years. What Diego Simeone and his side have achieved is barely believable. Barcelona's supporters recognised the magnitude of what they had witnessed: when the final whistle went here, they immediately broke into applause. Spain suffered a collective coronary as the season headed into the final minutes of the final day with a single moment sufficient to change the destiny of the title. Barcelona's goalkeeper, José Pinto, was even up for a corner that almost dropped his way. But in the end Diego Godín's header from a corner was enough to clinch a 1-1 draw that means that for the first time in a decade Spain has a champion that is not Real Madrid or Barcelona. Simeone's side have taken … [Read more...] about Atlético Madrid celebrate La Liga title after draw at Barcelona
Messi real madrid
Lionel Messi hurt his left knee in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas before Luis Suárez scored twice to lift the defending champions, temporarily at least, to the top of La Liga on Saturday. Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer asked to be substituted in the eighth minute after he had tried to return to the match following a collision with Las Palmas’ Pedro Bigas. The club said he has been taken to hospital for tests. With Messi gone, Suárez took charge of the hosts’ attack. The Uruguay striker headed in Barcelona’s first goal in the 25th minute before he struck again in the 54th. Neymar missed a penalty in the 66th before the Las Palmas forward Jonathan Viera scored in the 88th. Real Madrid can restore their position atop the league with a win over Malaga later. • Full match report to follow Topics La Liga Barcelona Las Palmas European club football Lionel Messi Luis Suárez match reports Share … [Read more...] about Luis Suárez sends Barcelona top but win overshadowed by Messi injury
Not even his most ardent critics – and there are plenty of them – dispute James Harden’s greatness. His numbers are undeniable, he efficacy is unimpeachable, and his continued evolution, still adding wrinkles to his game at 30, is inspiring. Yet it’s unlikely the Houston Rockets guard will ever be universally adored, at least not to the extent of a LeBron James or even a Stephen Curry. It is a question of style, rather than substance, that prevents so many basketball fans truly taking Harden into their heart. And, in this regard, there are parallels to be drawn between the NBA scoring machine and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course, Rockets fans worship Harden, just as supporters of Juventus and Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s current and former club respectively, idolize the Portuguese forward. Fans inside the Toyota Center have watched Harden blossom from the perennial sixth man traded from Oklahoma City to escape the shadows of Kevin Durant and Russell … [Read more...] about Is James Harden the NBA’s Cristiano Ronaldo?
Their manager described it as nothing more than anecdotal but it was historic too. This was an achievement, even for the club that reached a Champions League semi-final despite being from a town so small that every person resident there could go to the Camp Nou and they’d still leave 50,000 empty seats. The club that left behind a quarter of a century in tercera, Spain’s “third” division which is really anything from its seventh to its 24th, to play 16 seasons in primera and 12 in Europe, boasted a European Golden Boot and made three European champions and a World Cup winner. They’d been to the San Siro and Old Trafford but they’d never been here before: Villarreal are top of the league for the first time ever. Villarreal have been Copa del Rey semi-finalists, European Cup semi-finalists, Europa League semi-finalists and La Liga runners-up. In 2006, Juan Román Riquelme missed that penalty and they missed out on the European Cup final. Every time … [Read more...] about Villarreal sit top of La Liga for the first time in their history … and it matters
There was a glint in Nolito’s eye and grin on his face. “A turd,” he said. “A turdy turd”. It was the build up to Barcelona’s visit to Balaídos and the Celta Vigo forward was sitting in the sun at the club’s A Madroa training ground, a camera pointing his way. “If Messi, Neymar and Suárez are the MSN,” he was asked, “what does that make Aspas, Nolito and Orellana?” Going by the initials would have been bad enough – a, n and o spells anus in Spanish – but Nolito went further, before then adding: “OK, let’s just say we have a little something, we understand each other well and we try to score goals to help our team. [But] Messi, Suárez and Neymar are the best attackers in the world.” The fact that he was asked at all underlined that Iago Aspas, Nolito and Fabián Orellana have more than a little something; together they’re one of the most exciting, dynamic forward … [Read more...] about Celta Vigo cut Barcelona off at source as their attacking trio outshine MSN