Carlos Bacca’s injury-time penalty crowned a late Sevilla comeback and 2-1 win against Villarreal that sent them level on points with Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division.
The hosts looked on course for a defeat when substitute Luciano Vietto’s neat finish put Villarreal ahead after 79 minutes.
But Denis Suarez pounced on a loose ball to slam home the equaliser two minutes from time and, after Giovani dos Santos tripped Benoit Tremoulinas just inside the corner of the area, Bacca stepped up to slot home the penalty.
Real Madrid arrived having at the Clasico having had one day less of rest, but it was Real who got stronger as the game progressed as they dominated the game in the second half.
Barça once again failed to live up to expectations. They have lost both their big games this season, the Champions League defeat in Paris and Saturday night at the Bernabéu.
Once again it was Barça’s defence that looked shaky under pressure and it was three defensive mistakes that gifted Real their goals. Barca has spent the last two summers spending big to add world class strikers, all but ignoring their defense, Once again, in a big game, Barca defensive problems were exposed and ruthlessly punished.
This is a preview of
Are Real and Barca Heading In Different Directions?
. Read the full post (333 words, 1 image, estimated 1:20 mins reading time)
Pepe dismissed criticism from Xavi Hernandez that alleged Real Madrid are only a counter-attacking team and that’s why they won El Clasico.
The centre-back scored Madrid’s second goal to confirm the reply to Neymar’s opener, Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty levelling the scores before Karim Benzema sealed the win.
Xavi argued it was Barca’s inability to deal with Madrid’s breaks that led to the victory but Pepe suggested Madrid were much more dominant than that.
“I don’t think that’s right. Our fans chanted ‘ole’ and that says it all,” he insisted, AS reports.
Real Madrid overcame Neymar’s early goal to see off arch rivals Barcelona 3-1 at the Bernabeu as Luis Suarez suffered defeat on his long-awaited debut for the Catalan giants. Neymar put the visitors ahead in El Clasico after just four minutes but Madrid were level by half-time thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 35th-minute penalty.
That was Ronaldo’s 19th goal of the season in all competitions and 15th consecutive league goal at the Bernabeu. It was also the first Spanish La Liga goal Barça had let in under new coach Luis Enrique, having gone 776 minutes without conceding. Barça’s defence would be breached twice more in the second half as in-form Madrid extended their winning streak to nine matches in league and Europe. Pepe headed them in front in the 51st minute before Karim Benzema slotted home a third ten minutes later.
Celta Vigo added to struggling Levante’s woes with a 3-0 victory at Balaidos that lifts them to within a point of fourth-placed Valencia ahead of this weekend’s fixtures. Joaquin Larrivey opened the scoring in the 27th minute and the Argentinian made it 2-0 with seven minutes to go, taking his league tally for the season to six.
Substitute Alex Lopez then wrapped up Celta’s biggest league win since April with a late third following a glaring mistake by visiting goalkeeper Diego Marino, leaving Levante – who this week sacked Jose Luis Mendilibar and replaced him with Lucas Alcaraz – stuck in the bottom two on five points.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernanbeu. The Italian took charge at Real last summer and successfully led the team to La Decima as they won the European Cup for a record tenth time.
Ancelotti is relatively young for a manager who has won three UEFA Champions League titles in a 19-year career, he does not turn 56 until next summer, but he is already eyeing retirement in the Spanish capital.
When asked by Spanish radio station Cadena SER if he would like to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson, who spent over a quarter of a century at Manchester United, Ancelotti said:
We compare the performances of Real Madrid and Barcelona from the 2014/15 La Liga season ahead of El Clásico
2015 El Clascio Tickets
March 22: Barcelona v Real Madrid – Buy Barcelona v Real Madrid Tickets
Permanent link to this post
(37 words, 1 image, estimated 9 secs reading time)
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has confirmed that Luis Suarez will make his debut during El Clásico at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The clash between Barça and Real Madrid has always been the biggest event on the Spanish calendar but Suarez’s return from his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at last summer’s World Cup adds extra spice to an already highly-anticipated encounter.
The manager now has a decision to make as to whether he starts his marquee signing on the bench or goes with a three-pronged attack with Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo has played down the significance of his personal duel with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after helping Real Madrid to a morale-boosting pre-Clásico triumph at Liverpool.
The Portugal forward broke his six-match duck at Anfield with a superb opener to edge within one goal of club icon Raul’s all-time UEFA Champions League goalscoring record on Wednesday, with Karim Benzema’s brace wrapping up a 3-0 win before half-time. The result kept Carlo Ancelotti’s side perfect in Group B and allowed them to turn their full focus to Saturday’s mouthwatering first clash of the season with arch-rivals Barça.
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has acknowledged there is much more than just three points at stake in Saturday’s first Clasico of the season at the Bernabeu. Luis Enrique’s unbeaten side head to the Spanish capital top of the Spanish La Liga and knowing a win would open up a seven-point cushion over arch rivals Real Madrid nine games into the season.
Iniesta accepts victory would provide a big psychological boost.
“It’s not just any other game – it never is. If you win, it makes you feel great,” the Spain international was quoted as saying at a press conference on Thursday.