Late goals from Luis Suarez and Leo Messi gave FC Barcelona a 2-0 win at home to second place Atletico Madrid on Saturday night. The win gives Barca an 11 point lead at the top of the Liga Santander table with just seven games to play and they are now virtually champions elect in Spain. Atletico went to the Camp Nou Stadium knowing they needed a win to get back into the title race, but their task was made harder when Diego Costa was sent off 10 minutes before halftime for insulting the referee. Barca were below their best for much of the game and found it hard to break down a well-organized rival, whose goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, produced several excellent saves. Atletico even looked to take the three points in the second half, but in the end Suarez and Messi’s goals in the 85th and 86th minute the were enough to give Barca the win. Earlier on Saturday Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid needed two second half goals from Karim Benzema to come from behind to beat Eibar 2-1. Only the … [Read more...] about Update: Late goals give Barca a hand on title as Real Madrid win and Valencia slip up
Real madrid win
It was like old times at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Zinedine Zidane was back on the bench, and Real Madrid was winning again. The demanding Madrid crowd could finally rejoice on Saturday as Zidane brought the old guard back and began his second stint as coach with a 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Celta Vigo in the Spanish league. Francisco "Isco" Alarcon, who had been sidelined by former coach Santiago Solari, and Gareth Bale, a reserve before Zidane's return, scored to help Madrid end its four-game losing streak at home and recover some pride. Marco Asensio, another player who had few chances under Solari, set up Isco's goal while goalkeeper Keylor Navas, back in the starting lineup, made key saves for Madrid. Zidane's revamped starting lineup also included Marcelo, another player who had succeeded under the French coach but did not play often with Solari. "Nobody can erase what these players have done for this club in the past," Zidane said. "I'll count on the entire … [Read more...] about Spanish La Liga: With old guard back, Real Madrid wins on Zidane’s return
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has given his stars time off to celebrate their 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in El Clasico. In their second victory in the Bernabeu in four days, Barca claimed all three points thanks to Ivan Rakitic's first-half strike. And, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Valverde has cancelled a scheduled training session to allow his players time to bask in the victory. Rakitic decided a tempestuous affair which saw Sergio Ramos catch Lionel Messi with a stray elbow. The win came after Barca triumphed 3-0 at the same venue in midweek to reach a fifth successive Copa del Rey final. It leaves Real 12 points adrift in the title race, but Valverde is not counting out Los Blancos just yet. "We still have a whole world in front of us. We know Madrid can win a lot of consecutive games, Atletico Madrid are still there too," the Barcelona coach said. "Until (the title is) mathematically secure, we will keep battling. "We respect our rivals, like they do to us. … [Read more...] about How Lionel Messi and Barcelona teammates were rewarded for Real Madrid win
Real Madrid's revival continues. A 3-1 win for Santiago Solari's side in a controversial derby against Atletico lifts Los Blancos into second place in La Liga and all of a sudden, it is not inconceivable that they could challenge Barcelona for the title. The victory arrived amid much contention at the Wanda Metropolitano. Vinicius Junior won a penalty when the foul by Jose Gimenez looked to have taken place outside the area. Alvaro Morata was frustrated as a super lob was ruled out for offside when he may have been on, while the former Chelsea striker saw an appeal for a spot-kick turned down. Before that, Atletico's goal came after what looked like a foul by Angel Correa on Vinicius in the build-up. The video assistant was on hand and did not change any of those calls, validating Madrid's penalty and confirming Atleti's goal after a flag had initially been raised. The home side's supporters believed their team were hard done by and also raged at the referee as Thomas Partey … [Read more...] about Real Madrid win VAR derby: can they challenge Barca in La Liga?
Real Madrid is making it clear it's still in the fight for the Spanish league title. With a convincing victory in the Madrid derby on Saturday, Real Madrid returned to second place in the Spanish league for the first time since September and moved within five points of leader Barcelona, which has a difficult away match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. "We reached our goal, which was to regain second place and move closer to the lead," Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said. "The league isn't over yet. There are many points still up for grabs. We will keep fighting until the end and we will keep trying to make things difficult for Barcelona." In a derby marked by video review, Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 3-1 at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium with an overhead kick by Casemiro, a penalty kick converted by Ramos, and a second-half goal by Gareth Bale. "You need to play a complete match to win here, and we did that," manager Santiago Solari said. Antoine Griezmann scored for Atletico, … [Read more...] about Spanish La Liga: Real Madrid wins Madrid derby, rises back to 2nd