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fernando-torres-amAtletico Madrid followed up their nail-biting penalty shootout win over Bayer Leverkusen by comfortably beating neighbours Getafe 2-0 at the Vicente Calderon.

Fernando Torres – who scored the final penalty against the Germans – opened the scoring in the third minute following a free-kick and Tiago doubled the advantage just before half-time, also converting from a set-piece.

This was Atletico’s first league win in four matches following three successive draws and keeps them one point behind third-placed Valencia, while Getafe slumped to a third defeat in four matches under interim coach Pablo Franco and are just four points above the relegation zone.

This Sunday we get arguably the biggest match up in world soccer at the moment when Barcelona and Real Madrid meet at the Camp Nou in the Clasico.

With Barca leading Real by a point heading into the match, Carlo Ancelotti’s side know that a defeat could all but hand Barca the title.

Here is a comparison of the teams heading into El Clasico.

Last season’s Champions League final will be repeated at the quarter-final stage this year, as holders Real Madrid were drawn out to play city rivals Atletico at the draw ceremony in today.


Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid Preview
This is the pairing that will focus all attention, and demand the most attention from those involved. It also feels like a particularly delicately poised tie; not just because the two teams are so close in geography and quality, but also because they’ve had so many meetings in such a short space of time — not least in last season’s final. It is precisely why, rather than the usual cliched intangibles of a local derby, form might go out the window.

sevilla-europa-leagueThe draw for the Europa League quarter-finals took place on Friday afternoon with defending champions Sevilla’s tie against Zenit St Petersburg the standout clash.

The pair have both won the tournament in the past with Sevilla winning the competition three times previously, while Zenit’s sole triumph came in 2008.

The odds are looking ominous for Zenit who have won only twice in 14 encounters with Spanish sides, and are without a victory in their last seven games against La Liga opponents.

The quarter-final first legs will be played on April 16, with the return fixtures scheduled a week later.

Thomas-Vermaelen-barcaBarcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen hopes to make his long-awaited debut with the Catalan giants in April after a nine-month injury lay-off. The former Arsenal captain has been out of action since sustaining a hamstring tear last summer while playing for Belgium at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

Vermaelen moved to Barça last summer in a £15m deal, and the injury has kept him waiting to make his first appearance with his new club.

Ahead of the Champions League meeting between Barcelona and Manchester City, we compare the performances of the two teams from the 2014/15 competition

torres-backAtletico Madrid progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the second successive season after squeezing past Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 on penalties after the scores were locked at 1-1 on aggregate.

The Spanish La Liga champions won 1-0 on the night thanks to Mario Suarez’s deflected first-half strike in 120 minutes short on clear-cut chances. And after a topsy turvy shootout including five missed penalties, Stefan Kiessling blazed Leverkusen’s final effort over the bar to hand Atletico a place in the last eight.

Ahead of the Champions League meeting between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, we compare the performances of the two teams from 2014/15 Champions League competition

Ancelotti-real-madridReal Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with his team’s performance against Levante but has warned his players they will need to improve if they are to beat Barcelona next weekend.

Los Blancos warmed up for the encounter at the Camp Nou with a 2-0 home victory over Levante on Sunday. Gareth Bale scored both goals as Real halted a three-match winless run to move one point adrift of league leaders Barça.

“It was a good first half, we played well, with intensity and quality,” Ancelotti told his club’s official website. “The tempo dropped off a bit in the second half. We lacked penetration. We were brimming with confidence in the first half.

David MoyesDavid Moyes’ Real Sociedad side ended their long wait for an away win in Spanish La Liga as they triumphed 1-0 at Getafe. Sociedad were the only La Liga side without a win on the road this season going into Monday’s clash at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but they finally got that monkey off their backs courtesy of Inigo Martinez’s second-half header. The Sociedad academy product rose highest to nod home Esteban Granero’s accurate free-kick off a post in the 66th minute, although Getafe keeper Vicente Guaita will be disappointed at not being able to stop it.