Tag Archives: Cristiano Ronaldo

Real close gap at top- Weekend Round-Up

Real Madrid close the gap at the top of La Liga to just one point, following their 2-0 win over Valencia and Barcelona’s 0-0 draw in Saturday’s catalan derby with Espanyol at the Nou Camp.

Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo either side of half time proved enough for Real to overcome Valencia, and give themselves a strong chance of winning the title just a week on from “El Clasico” disappointment, as Barca still have to negotiate tough trips to Villarreal and Sevilla in the run-in.

With five games remaining, Barca will have to re-discover their recent hot run of form against bottom side Xerez this weekend, which deserted them during the bore draw with Espanyol on Saturday.

Malaga now sit just one point above the relegation zone, as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to fellow strugglers Valladolid, whilst Tenerife below them scored an impressive 3-2 victory over Getafe.

Bottom side Xerez held Racing Santander to a 2-2 draw, as they continued their good run of form, which is likely to have come just too late to dig them out of trouble.

In the race for fourth, Sevilla took apart Sporting Gijon 3-0, thanks to goals from Freddie Kanoute, Luis Fabiano and Cala. They are one point behind Mallorca, who beat Osasuna 2-0 on Monday night and still hold the initiative for the fourth Champion’s League spot.

Villarreal beat a jaded Atletico Madrid 2-1, as the Madrid side now look to have sacrificed any league form they once had for their Europa League campaign, with a semi-final against Liverpool coming up this week.

The other two Primera Division clashes didn’t set the pulse racing, with a 0-0 draw between Deportivo and Almeria, and another goal-shy clash, this time involving Athletic Bilbao and Real Zaragoza.

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Shock wins for Tenerife, Valladolid and Xerez- La Liga Midweek Round-up

The bottom three in La Liga all pulled off impressive wins on Matchday 32, as each side battles to preserve their Primera Division status, coming into the final few fixtures of the campaign.

With only six games remaining Tenerife, Valladolid and Xerez all picked up another three points in their bid for survival and now the gap between Malaga in 17th and Tenerife in 18th stands at just three points, giving a few other sides above them a cause for concern.

Xerez, who have hit a good run of form in recent weeks by picking up 11 points from their last six games, continued their purple patch by upsetting Europa League semi-finalists Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home with goals from Mario Bermejo and Emiliano Armenteros.

Tenerife scored two late goals to win 2-0 away at Sporting Gijon, and now look the more likely out of the three to survive.

Valladolid saw off out of sorts Sevilla 2-1 at the Jose Zorrilla, thanks to strikes from Diego Castro and Manucho, with Cala’s stunning 25-yard strike coming to late to salvage anything for the visitors.

Sevilla are now going to face a struggle to claim fourth place, with Mallorca a point clear of them following a 1-1 draw at Zaragoza.

At the top Barcelona remain three points clear of Real Madrid after coasting to a 3-0 victory over Deportivo at the Nou Camp, with Pedro scoring the pick of the goals from 40 yards. Real also won their fixture, but made hard work of it as they overcame Almeria 2-1, with Cristiano Ronaldo on the score sheet with a brilliant solo effort.

Meanwhile Valencia strengthened their case for third spot with an easy 2-0 over Athletic Bilbao at the Mestalla.

Elsewhere Malaga and Osasuna played out an exciting 2-2 draw, Racing Santander beat Espanyol 3-1 and Getafe brushed aside Villarreal 3-0.

Ronaldo to sue over party allegations

Judging by their performance at the Bernabeu last weekend, Real Madrid’s players might as well have gone out on the town the night before! Soundly beaten by Barcelona 2-0 in their own back yard, and now looking well out of the race to win back the La Liga Crown, it looks like the season may be over for Madrid, with their end of season shindig the only thing to look forward to!

Claims this week though suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo had preempted the club’s plight, throwing all-night parties before and after “El Gran Clasico” at his Madrid home, a story angrily dismissed by the former World Player of the Year.

Whether or not the Madrid players did or didn’t get boozy in the early hours either side of the clash, I couldn’t help but laugh at the wording of Ronaldo’s “official” statement on the subject.

Although fluent in English, comments such as “not one iota of truth in it” and “intolerably depreciating to my dignity”, made me feel that the Portugeezer may have had a little assistance in piecing together his comeback.

Here is Ronaldo’s plead of innocence, in his own words!

“It has come to my attention that in the programme ‘Salva-Me’ on Spanish television channel Telecinco, there were references made to alleged parties held at my house, one on Friday, the eve of the game against Barcelona, which reportedly lasted until five in the morning, and one on Saturday night itself, interspersed with several comments which were intolerably depreciating to my dignity and my professionalism.

“I categorically refute such accusations, which are completely false and delusional: there is really not even one iota of truth in them.

“With a game the next day, it is more than obvious that I spent Friday night resting and, on Saturday night, my spirit was anything but festive.

“Considering the gravity of the charges, I have instructed my lawyers to, without any reflection, use all legal means to restore the truth of the matter and ensure that those responsible are punished to the fullest extent legally provided.”

“El Gran Clasico” Preview

Real Madrid face Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Saturday in one of the most eagerly awaited ‘El Gran Clasico’ contests in recent years.

 With the sides locked at the La Liga summit on the same number of points, Real lead their rivals by just one goal, meaning that this game will go a long way in determining whether the league title will be re-acquainting itself with Catalonia or wrestled back to the capital by the Madrid giants.

 Substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s second half strike separated the two sides back in November, as Barcelona ran out 1-0 winners at the Nou Camp, with the Swedish forward scoring just moments after coming off the bench.

 That meeting holds great significance, as if the two sides end the campaign on the same points total, then the destination of the Primera Division crown will be decided by their head-to-head record, as opposed to their prolificacy in front of goal.

 Heading into their biggest match of the season, Real Madrid have won 12 successive league games and are not only hoping to gain a foothold in the title race, but also intent on avenging last season’s embarrassing 6-2 defeat at the hands of their much loathed rivals.

 Amazingly, neither side has lost at home so far in this campaign. Real hold a 100 per cent record at the Bernabeu, and Villarreal are the only side to have stopped Barca taking maximum points at the Nou Camp, after gaining a 1-1 draw there in January.

 It is a huge task that awaits Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday night, and one that will be made all the more difficult, should Ibrahimovich not recover in time from the calf injury that he picked up during the warm-up just before last weekend’s 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.  

 However, Guardiola will take confidence from the fact that his side ended a similar Madrid patch of form last term, when the current league leaders went unbeaten for 18 games between the two “El Clasico” games, only for that to run end miserably in the same fixture.

 Last season will not have made comfortable viewing for those within the Bernabeu walls, as Barca achieved a clean sweep of trophies at home and on the continent, culminating in their World Club championship victory back in December.

 That dominance triggered a summer spending spree, which saw the arrival of the next generation of Galacticos, led by the marquee signing of Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million from Manchester United

 Real Madrid are hopeful that their other bank busting signing, Kaka, will return for the clash, after having spent the last month on the sidelines with a troublesome thigh injury.

 The Brazilian has been working round the clock with the club’s physio team this week in a bid to prove his fitness, and hopes to play some part in the game, even if it means a place on Manuel Pelligrini’s bench.

 Barcelona coach Guardiola will again be able to call upon the services of Andres Iniesta, after he returned from injury as a substitute in the 4-1 demolition of Arsenal.

Xerez run of form continues in hunt for survival / Weekend La Liga Round-Up

Xerez picked up a valuable point in their relegation battle in La Liga, with a 2-2 draw away to Sporting Gijon. It has been a spirited attempt at a revival from the Primera Division’s bottom side in recent weeks, having won two and drawn two of their last four, in what is unquestionably their best run of form this season.

It remains highly unlikely that Xerez have what it takes to overhaul the eight point gap which stands between them and 17th placed Racing Santander, but it is still impressive form given the ground they have made on Valladolid and Tenerife, who also make up the bottom three.

The bottom three are heavy favourites to go down given the six point gap between Racing in 17th and Tenerife in 18th, and all of the strugglers, other than Xerez, endured miserable weekends. Luis Fabiano was back among the goals as Sevilla finally found their form with a 3-0 victory at home to Tenerife, whilst Villarreal won 2-0 away to Valladolid thanks to goals from Angel Lopez and Nilmar.

Real Madrid and Barcelona were both ruthless ahead of next weekend’s eagerly anticipated El Clasico at the Bernabeu. Real stay top thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty and another goal from Gonzalo Higuain in a 2-0 victory away to Racing Santander.  Barca took apart Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp 4-1, with two goals from Bojan and one each from Messi and Jeffren. In doing so they also gained ground on their rivals in the goal difference stakes, with the sides now separated at the top by just a single goal.

Valencia continue to look great value for third place after they saw off Osasuna 3-0 at the Mestalla, to move eight points clear of fourth. Another brace from David Villa helped them on their way and the club must be geared for some offers for the in-demand Spain forward this summer, as he took his domestic tally to 20 for the season.

A last gasp equaliser from Pierre Webo kept Mallorca level on points with fourth placed Sevilla, as they were held 1-1 by Almeria. 

Atletico Madrid dealt Deportivo’s European hopes a huge blow with a 3-0 victory over Miguel Angel Lotina’s men at Vincente Calderon, with goals from Juanito, Diego Forlan and Tiago.

Elsewhere, relegation threatened Zaragoza overcame Malaga 2-0 and Getafe and Espanyol played out a 1-1 draw.

Untouchable Messi?

Lionel Messi lit up the weekend’s action in La Liga once more with yet another hat-trick, as champions Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 4-2 at La Romareda.

In my opinion and judging by the recent performances from Messi, we may well be looking at the best player of his generation, let alone on the planet right now. There is simply nothing he cannot do. If he can carry this form into the World Cup then Argentina have to be taken seriously, because at the moment the man is destroying teams single handedly. Arsenal beware!

Elsewhere, his rival for individual and club accolades Cristiano Ronaldo turned in another man of the match performance of his own but without scoring, as Real Madrid stay at the top thanks to a 3-1 victory over Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu.

Sevilla went down to a 2-0 defeat at Espanyol as their disappointing week continued following their Champions League exit at the hands of CSKA Moscow. Mallorca made the most of that slip, by leaping above them and into 4th place with a 4-1 demolition of Atletico Madrid, who also seemed to be suffering from a European hangover after Thursday’s draw in Lisbon.

Down at the bottom there were priceless wins for Racing Santander, who won 3-1 away to Osasuna and also Valladolid who shocked Deportivo with a 2-0 victory at the Riazor.

Bottom placed Xerez scored a rare result with a 2-1 victory over Tenerife, the side directly above them, but it looks as though it will do little in preventing them for the drop unless they can put together some kind of miracle run of form between now and the end of the season.

Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao and Getafe played out an exciting 2-2 draw, which will do little to boost either sides european ambitions though and Valencia saw off Almeria 2-0 thanks to goals from Juan Mata and David Silva, as they now look almost certain to finish in 3rd place.

In the final game of the weekend on matchday 27, Malaga beat Villareal 2-0 at home to give themselves a little breathing space from the relegation battle, as they moved seven points clear of the bottom three, up onto 30 points.