Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final clash with Cruz Azul has been moved to Marrakech due to a waterlogged pitch in Rabat.
The Mexican side reached the competition’s final four courtesy of a 3-1 extra-time victory over Western Sydney Wanderers in torrential conditions in Rabat on Saturday.
Iacopo La Rocca looked to have put the A-League side through, but Matthew Spiranovic’s sending-off left them short and Gerardo Torrado’s 89th-minute penalty took the contest to extra-time.
Spiranovic’s defensive partner Nikolai Topor-Stanley was also dismissed in the additional periods as Mariano Pavone’s strike and another Torrado spot-kick did the damage.
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Barcelona captain Xavi rued his side’s missed chances as they were held to a goalless draw against Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with the veteran playmaker describing the result as “a step backwards”. Luis Enrique’s men, who had won their previous eight matches in all competitions, slipped four points behind Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid after failing to find the breakthrough against mid-table Getafe.
The result means Real are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas, while Atletico Madrid could go level on points with Barcelona if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.
Barcelona slipped four points behind Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid after drawing a blank on a damp and luckless afternoon at Getafe. Luis Enrique’s side could even have lost the game in the final seconds of stoppage time as substitute Alvaro Vazquez muscled his way towards goal, but the final whistle was blown before the striker could get his shot away, with the game ending 0-0.
The closest the Catalans came to scoring was from a Lionel Messi free-kick that hit the woodwork. The result means Real Madrid are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas, while Atletico Madrid could go level on points with Barça if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.
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Two late Cristiano Ronaldo goals helped Real Madrid make it 20 consecutive victories in all competitions as they saw off Almeria 4-1 at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos.
In their final La Liga game of 2014, Los Blancos stretched their lead over Barcelona, who travel to Getafe on Saturday, at the top of the table to five points. First-half goals from Isco and Gareth Bale either side of Verza’s stunning equaliser sent the visitors in ahead at half-time, but they needed a big save from captain Iker Casillas when he parried Verza’s penalty on the hour mark. Ronaldo then sealed the win when he turned home crosses from Karim Benzema and Dani Carvajal to take his La Liga tally to 25 goals this season.
FC Barcelona claimed first place in UEFA Champions League Group F at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalan club’s exceptional firepower ensuring they will avoid the other section leaders in Monday’s draw.
The essential objective for each of these clubs was a result which guaranteed winning Group F; only a victory would do for Barcelona while Paris needed just a point. But anticipation was also high at the prospect of blue-riband football, and the night duly provided moments which will stand comparison with anything else the season provides.
Barcelona have tied teenager Munir El Haddadi to an improved contract which includes a buy-out clause of €35m.
The 19-year-old forward scored on his league debut against Elche in August and has since then made 12 appearances for Barcelona’s senior team.
The new deal does not extend El Haddadi’s contract beyond its current expiry date of 30 June 2017, but it has improved the Spain international’s wages as well as increasing the amount buyers will have to stump up if they want to sign him.
A statement from Barcelona read: “Munir El Haddadi has signed an updated contract in which his release clause, in accordance with the ne
Real Madrid made it six victories from six in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season with a comfortable defeat of ten-man PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.
Looking for a Spanish record 19th consecutive win, the Merengues flew out of the blocks at high speed, showing their attacking intent from the off. Captain for the night Cristiano Ronaldo delivered the game’s first effort within the first minute, visiting goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov beginning what would prove to be a busy evening with a good save down to his right.
With both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo impressing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, we compare the goalscoring exploits of both players from La Liga and the Champions League from the 2009/10 season to the present day
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Lionel Messi continued his ‘anything you can do I can do better’ battle with Cristiano Ronaldo with three goals that helped Barcelona to a 5-1 win over neighbours Espanyol.
On Saturday night Ronaldo scored league hat-trick number 23 to become the player with most La Liga trebles in history. But on Sunday night Messi scored his 29th hat-trick in all competitions to go past Alfredo Di Stefano and leave himself with only Telmo Zarra’s 31 hat-trick haul to beat.
Messi’s magic covered a multitude of first-half sins for Barca. They fell behind and made hard work of getting back into the game but the Argentine turned the match on its head with goals either side of the break.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored all of Real Madrid’s goals in a 3-0 win against Celta Vigo on Saturday, breaking La Liga’s long-standing hat trick record with his 23rd for Real Madrid.
His third goal was also his 200th of his La Liga career, a feat he achieved in just 178 games, faster than any other player.
Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot after he dove when Celta full-back Jonny Castro applied the slightest of touches to Ronaldo’s back as they both chased a Marcelo cross and referee Alberto Undiano pointed to the spot. The full-back was booked, as was forward Nolito, as Celta players surrounded the referee.