Posts Tagged ‘Real Madrid’
Real Madrid and Manchester City the current league champions in their respective countries having had a shaky start to the season, played against each other in their first Champion League match. The bets were on the English squad, but at the end it was Real Madrid the one that prevailed, winning (3-2)
All goals were scored 21 minutes from the end. Basically, Real Madrid dominated the match but Manchester City scored first, thanks to Edin Dzeko (68´). The goal proved to be the best motivator for “Los Blancos” who started to attack aggressively. They suffered but shortly after Dzeko´s goal, Marcelo (76´) scored the equalizer.
En el minuto 85, Aleksandar Kolarov marcó el segundo del City. Los ingleses apenas saborearon algunos minutos de victoria, debido al fantástico contraataque que realizaron los de Mourinho y que culminó con el gol de Benzema (87’).
But the one that put an end to the match was Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring the winner goal in the 90th minute. It was a very emotive moment for Real Madrid, not only because they had just won against Manchester City, and their first Champions match, but because its star player reconciled with his fans after a much talked comment the Portuguese made about being sad.
At the end both teams pleased their fans, because they played a spectacular match, putting on a great show on the field, but… Will they keep this attitude in their respective leagues?
On the other side of the Atlantic Messi continues being the king.
Last Wednesday night the American cable television network ESPN presented its ESPY awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) which recognizes the best individual and team performances in different sports categories.
And guess who won the Best International Athlete of the year? FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
He competed against big names like Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis player Novak Djkovic and LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng. At the ceremony, when the presenters call out all the candidates, they highlighted Messi´s “speed, agility and master skills” which has made him “one of the most relevant football players in the world”.
If you take a look at the numbers, there is no wonder Messi won over all the fans that voted online. He scored 50 goals in La Liga, and 73 goals in total last campaign. He also finished as the UEFA Champions League‘s top scorer for a fourth consecutive season with 14 goals.
Another well known player both in Spain and the UK got the Best MLS Player Award. We are talking about David Beckham. Maybe this recognition will ease his disappointement after he was left out of Great Britain´s Olympic football team set to participate in London this summer.
Thing is, football seems deep-rooted in the US, oh well; maybe we should call it “soccer”.
Chief Executive League Manager´s Association Richard Bevan says that Chelsea´s owner decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas is an embarrassment to the Premier League.
In nine years Chelsea´s owner Roman Abramovich has hired, and fired, eight managers, with Villas-Boas being the last of the saga.
According to Bevan “What´s for sure is the club, despite unlimited wealth, haven´t yet worked out how to build a successful football club”
On the other hand, Villas-Boas claims that he was not given enough time to connect with the players and to take his plan into the next level.
And now the question is… who will replace the Portuguese?
Roberti Di Matteo second in command up until now will be in charge of the team; at least until the end of the season, but the speculation dance has already begun. The two names that sound the most are right now the top rated managers in the world, playing in the same League: Real Madrid´s Mourinho and FC Barcelona´s Pep Guardiola. The first one has already made clear that he wants to return to the Premier, and Guardiola has not renew his contract with FC Barcelona yet, in fact, is taking him longer than ever to decide over his future in the club.
Who, at the end, will have the courage to become the ninth manager in nine years in a team full of aging players, owned by a capricious multimillionaire difficult to please?
Things did not look good for Real Madrid fans when Mourinho announced his final line-up to take over FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals. The list included Carvalho and Altintop .
But, still, in the 11th minute, thanks to a great assist from Karim Benzema, and the always appreciated help from Pinto (Barça´s eternal question-mark goalkeeper in the Copa del Rey competition), Cristiano Ronaldo scored and for a moment it looked like the conservative tactic planned by Mourinho was going to be successful.
Time only proved that Ronaldo´s goal was just good luck, and when Barcelona started to play the way they always do, Madrid started to shake.
Let´s just say that Barcelona did not crushed Real Madrid thanks to Iker Casillas and the posts. Instead, Barcelona scored in a very unusual way that only emphasizes that the whole team was really connected and concentrated on the work at hand. In the 49th minute Puyol shoot a powerful header after a corner kick. This goal, this way, really took Madrid players by surprise. So did the one by Abidal, who scored the coolest goal in the 77th minute after a wonderful play and assist by Messi.
And the Argentinean was, unintentionally so, one of the main characters in the bad play starring the overly aggressive Madrid defender Pepe, who showed us once again that something terrible in going on in his brain. The Portuguese stepped on Messi´s hand voluntarily, when the Argentinean was getting on his feet after falling down. Still, he saw no red card.
What did Mourinho said after the match? “I haven’t seen it, but obviously if it is deliberate he will be punished,”
And Pep Guardiola… well, he was extremely happy, politely saying that he did not see the aggression thanking instead all the players for their wonderful job and even taking the time to single out Alexis: “I want to especially thank Alexis [Sanchez],” He has played a fantastic game. He has stolen my heart”.
This result leaves Barcelona a comfortable leeway to prepare for second leg taking place next Wednesday at Camp Nou.
The most anticipated football game of the weekend, El Clasico, finished leaving behind any doubts that FC Barcelona continues to be the best team in the world, beating Real Madrid (1-3) at their own home.
The match started, surprisingly enough, with one of the fastest goals in El Clasico history. Víctor Valdés sent a pass into midfield that ended up in Benzema´s feet, scoring just 22 seconds from the start.
But Barça, far from going down, started to play the way they know, being always truthful to their own style. Slowly but surely they started dominating midfield and that´s how in the 30th minute, Alexis scored the equalizer after a great assist from Messi. Another mistake, this time on Madrid´s side, ended up with Marcelo scoring an own goal in the 53th minute. And then, in the 66th minute, a great team play finished up with a diving header by Cesc Fàbregas.
It was an easy win on Barcelona´s side, and a complete shock for Madrid. And now Barcelona is in Japan, ready to win the Club World Cup, but first would have to beat Al Sadd, the Asian Champions on Thursday´s semi-final in Yokohama.
Manchester City visits Stamford Bridge. The City are the Premier League leader, and after being kicked off the Champions, they will focus on maintaining their flawless league record. The Blues are 10 points behind and currently on fifth place, but, they did what the City couldn´t, and are still up and running in the European Realm.
Things are heating up just 8 days before the greatest match of the season: El Clásico between FC Barcelona & Real Madrid next December 10th.
One of the brightest stars of Barça´s squad, Andrés Iniesta, said to reporters that even though Madrid is ahead by 6 points, he believes that they can still win the Spanish League. According to him, they first have to win on December 10th at Santiago Bernabeu, a difficult feat, but not an impossible one for Mr. Iniesta. Some had speculated about the idea that Barça will, on this occasion, be more cautious, an insinuation that Iniesta denies by assuring that their strategy will be offensive, like always, and that they are not changing their attacking approach.
On the other side, that is, in Madrid, tickets for the match are scarce and their prize is soaring. Meanwhile one of Madrid´s players Karim Benzemà said that they are more than ready for the challenge and eager to play against Barcelona. He believes that he´ll be at the start of the match because according to him Mourinho has shown his trust on him.
But before December 10th there is another round of matches this weekend. Barcelona will play against the revelation team of the season: Levante, and Madrid will visit Sporting de Gijón, and even though they will have to focus on these matches, for sure the attention to the Clasico will only increase in days to come.
Plenty of goals and records in the last round of Champions League matches, all coming from FC Barcelona.
The highlight: Lionel Messi and his fabulous hat-trick, becoming the second 200 goal scorer in FC Barcelona´s history. It was also the day Pep Guardiola coached his 200th official game for Barça and goalkeeper Victor Valdes set a new Barcelona record for minutes without conceding a goal.
On Group G Zenit won Shakhtar Donetsk (1-0) with an only goal from Nicolas Lombaerts. And Apoel surprisingly remains the group´s leader after beating Porto (2-1)
On Group H an early and only goal from Ibrahimovic wasn´t enough for Milan, that had to settled with a draw against Bate Borisov (1-1). And now the match of records: Plzen players did whatever they could but still had to endure the whole force of FC Barcelona (hat-trick from Messi included ) losing (0-4)
On Group E Valencia beat Bayern Leverkusen (3-1) with one of the quickest goals to remember. The Brazilian Jonas scored after only 12 seconds from the start of the match. And Chelsea doesn’t seem to be at its best moment, getting just a draw with Genk (1-1)
On Group F there were few goals. Arsenal and Marseille finished with a draw (0-0). The euphoria after beating Chelsea (5-3) on the Premier did not last and even though they tried, Arsenal players did not score a single time.
The only goal in this group was from Borussia Dortmund ´s Kevin Grosskreutz, giving his team a victory over Olympiacos (1-0)
On Group A there were plenty of goals between Bayern and Napoli, (3-2) with a hat-trick from Mario Gomez that secured the victory for the Germans. On a sad note, Bastian Schwinsteiger fractured his collarbone in the 51st minute in an unfortunate collision with Gökhan Inler. Manchester City smashed Villarreal hopes, now eliminated from the tournament (0-3)
On Group B no goals in Turkey between Trabzonspor and CSKA Moskva (0-0). And Inter beat Lille (2-1), thanks to goals from Walter Samuel and Diego Milito.
On Group C Manchester United did their homework at Old Trafford beating Otelul Galati (2-0). Benfica got a home draw (1-1) against Basel, missing the opportunity to secure qualification.
On Group D Real Madrid did as expected of them in France, beating Olympique Lyonnais (0-2) with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice, thanks to a free-kick and and a penalty. Ajax also won easily, and with style, Dinamo Zagreb (4-0)
Next Champions activity on November 22nd and 23rd
Another round of Champions League matches went by without surprises.
AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester, CSKA Moscow, Manchester United, Ajax, Real Madrid, and Olympiakos beat their opponents as expected. The highlights were Madrid´s easy win over Olympique Lyonnais (4-0) and Chelsea’s 5 goals against Genk, two of them from Fernando Torres.
Let´s start with Group H, were AC Milan and Barcelona both shared the same result beating their team (2-0). Milan went ahead with a strong Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and after that the whole match was a stroll for the Italians that won effortless against Bate Borisov. Barcelona had multiple occasions, mostly came from Messi, but at the end it was Iniesta and later on David Villa the ones that ended up scoring.
On Group A, Bayer Munich dropped their first points of the Champions League against Napoli (1-1) and Manchester City beat Villarreal only a few minutes away from the end, thanks to Sergio Aguero that scored the second goal for the City (2-1)
On Group C, Benfica beat Basel, (2-0) and Manchester United registered their first Champions League win of the season against SC Otelul Galati (2-0)
On Group B, CSKA Moskva beat Trabzonspor (3-0) with a stellar performance from Seydou Doumbia who scored twice. Inter Milan won over Lille (0-1)
On Group D, Real Madrid was the highlight of Tuesday night matches beating easily Olympique Lyonnais (4-0). Ajax won away against Dinamo Zagreb (0-2)
The following day, on Group E it was Chelsea’s turn to hit the net on multiple occasions beating Genk (5-0) with two goals from Fernando Torres. Bayer Leverkusen wiped off Valencia´s hope beating the Spanish team (2-1)
On Group F Arsenal beat Marseille (0-1) and Olympiakos won Dortmund (3-1)
On Group G there were two draws, Shakhtar Donetsk against Zenith (2-2) and FC Porto-Apoel Nicosia (1-1)
The first qualifying round will continue on November 1st and 2nd.