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ronaldo-benzema-jonesReal Madrid look set to be without Karim Benzema on Wednesday against Manchester City Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play.

Ronaldo managed to complete training with the full team on Monday, and at the same level as the rest of his teammates, meaning that the Portuguese star will line up for the game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, it looks more and more unlikely that Benzema will feature in the semi-final. The French attacker trained alone on grass on Monday, which is an improvement over his recent gym work, but there is less and less time left until the match and his recovery is going slowly.

suarez-neymar-messiWith three games remaining this season, Barcelona’s famous MSN have already broken their goalscoring record set last year.

Last season the Barcelona triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar scored 122 goals in 151 matches, an average of .81 goals per game.

This season the trio have been even better and they all sit near the top of La Liga’s goalscoring chart. Luis Suarez is top of that table with 35 goals, with the Uruguayan netting 54 in all competitions, while Lionel Messi has 40 and Neymar has 29.

Suarez-CelebratesBarcelona are two games from winning La Liga after beating Real Betis 2-0 but far from bursting through the tape they are stumbling over the finishing line.

For 35 minutes they were frustrated by the home team whose supporters taunted the faltering leaders with chants of ‘Atletico Madrid’. Diego Simeone’s side were top when this game kicked off after beating Rayo Vallecano but once again find themselves trailing Barça on head-to-head goal difference, now with two games left to play.

gareth-bale-newIs there a better header of the ball in Europe at the moment than Gareth Bale? The statistics say no after his ninth headed goal this season kept Real Madrid in the Spanish title race for another week.

Once again it was Bale who earned Real Madrid the three points – leading from the front in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems the only thing that Ronaldo does that Bale cannot do is stay fit, and even that has changed in the last week.

griezmannIn the 54th minute Antoine Griezmann came on. In the 55th he blasted home a goal which could end up taking Atletico Madrid to the title. But who takes the credit for his substitution?

Diego Simeone was banned, sitting in the presidential box like a caged tiger as his three-game suspension started, given to him for encouraging a ball-boy to throw a ball on the pitch last weekend to stop a Malaga counter-attack.

His assistant Mono Burgos was on charge on the touchline, but some have suggested that through goalkeeping coach Pablo Vercellone, whom Simeone was sitting next to and who was wearing a headset, he was communicating with Gabi in the second half.

zidane-newDespite being in a title race, Zinedine Zidane has his eyes firmly on the Champions League semi-final next week against Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabéu as the Real Madrid coach has decided not to risk Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema against Real Sociedad this week.Instead, Zidane hopes they’ll be at 100 percent for the match against Manchester City on Wednesday.

“The important thing is that they [Ronaldo and Benzema] recover as soon as possible in order to play on Wednesday,” he told reporters.

“Hopefully that happens.”

Zidane anticipates a tough game against Real Sociedad on Saturday but believes they can win if they defend properly.

europa-league-drawOn a dramatic night of Europa League semi-final action Liverpool lost out to a late Villarreal winner while Sevilla secured a thrilling 2-2 away draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

A fortnight after an added-time winner put Liverpool into the last four of the Europa League, roles were reversed in Spain as it was Villarreal who got the all-important late goal to secure the 1-0 victory.

Jurgen Klopp opted to leave Daniel Sturridge on the bench for the entire 90 minutes and in his absence the Reds looked cautious and laboured in attack.

cr7-ballon-dorAccording to AS (h/t Sport), Cristiano Ronaldo is upset with the Real Madrid medical department after suffering a relapse of the injury that he picked up against Villarreal recently. The injury caused the striker to miss Los Blancos’ Champions League semi-final first leg at Manchester City on Tuesday.

Ronaldo reinjured himself in a training session at the Etihad Stadium the night before the game and the setback was described as the “straw which broke the camel’s back” for Ronaldo, per Sport, breaking the player’s trust in the Galacticos’ doctors.

atleti-fans-champions-leagueSaul Niguez’s wonder strike proved enough to hand Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Vicente Calderon.

The Spain Under-21 international took on the Bayern defence alone from 40 yards out, dribbled the ball past three more opponents before curling it into the bottom corner with a beautiful finish past the diving Manuel Neuer to hand his side the lead after 11 minutes.

Bayern almost levelled two minutes later before Arturo Vidal’s header was sent out for a corner and Xabi Alonso’s resulting set-piece was finally made safe after Vidal’s further effort was collected by Jan Oblak.

simeone-newestAtletico Madrid will be without manager Diego Simeone for the crucial three final games of the Spanish league season after the Argentine boss was handed a three-match ban by La Liga

The 45-year-old was sent off by referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz during his side’s 1-0 win over Malaga after a ball boy to threw a ball onto the pitch as Malaga were counter-attacking in first-half injury-time.

The move came to nothing but it didn’t stop the officials from making the decision to send Simeone to the stands for the second half, despite the Atletico boss saying he had nothing to do with the incident.