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:
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.
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.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique lauded the quality of strike duo Lionel Messi and Neymar after both were on target as the Catalans maintained their 100 per cent start to the La Liga season with a 5-0 win at Levante.
Messi fired a first-half penalty off target, but teed up Neymar and Sandro Ramirez to take his tally of assists to six in just five games this season and finally got his goal as he rounded off the scoring 18 minutes from time.
“With Leo Messi we are talking about a unique, special player. His team-mates know well that when he has the ball, he can not only beat players but assist them magnificently,” said Enrique.
Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti will switch his focus to improving the European Champions’s defence after seeing his attack click into gear in stunning fashion over the last week.
Real had come in for criticism following a disappointing start to the season which saw them lose two of their opening three La Liga games, having also been beaten by Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa. However, 13 goals in their last two matches, trashing Basle 5-1 and Deportivo La Coruna 8-2, suggests Real’s star-studded forward line is beginning to fire on all cylinders.
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La Liga Preview: Ancelotti Focuses On Defensive Problems
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Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, while Gareth Bale and Javier Hernandez both scored twice as Real Madrid ran riot against Deportivo La Coruna at Riazor. Although Los Blancos needed around 30 minutes to break the deadlock through Ronaldo, once Carlo Ancelotti’s side had got the first goal they went about mauling their hosts and buried the memory of last weekend’s defeat to local rivals Atletico Madrid by blitzing the Galicians 8-2.
While Ronaldo, Bale and substitute Hernandez contributed the majority of the goals, James Rodriguez also scored his first goal in the Spanish La Liga, while Haris Medunjanin and Toche replied for the hosts.
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Barcelona’s perfect start to the new Spanish La Liga season continued with a processional 5-0 victory over bottom side Levante at Ciutat de Valencia. Luis Enrique’s early leaders made it four wins from four and kept a fourth straight clean sheet as goals from Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, Sandro, Pedro and Lionel Messi demonstrated the wide gulf in class between the two sides.
There were, however, two moments of concern for the Catalan giants, with Messi missing a penalty after Loukas Vyntra was dismissed and Neymar making a premature exit in the second half having turned his ankle. Levante, meanwhile, remain in the basement with no goals and just one point from their opening four matches.
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La Liga Review: Barça Score Five While Almeria Earns First Win
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Results continue to come easy in the Spanish La Liga for new Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo, whose side beat Espanyol 3-1 on Sunday. A close-range finish from Pablo Piatti put them ahead eight minutes in, and second-half strikers from Dani Parejo and Paco Alcacer finished off a Espanyol side, although Sergio Garcia did manage to score a late penalty for the Catalans. Valencia now have seven points and seven goals from their opening three games and are playing with a confidence and fluidity not seen since Unai Emery was in charge.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted that his star-laden side needs to find a balance between attack and defence as they were again humbled by local rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Atletico have yet to be beaten by Real in three meetings already this campaign after suffering a heartbreaking Champions League final defeat to Los Blancos back in May as they also won the Spanish Super Cup last month 2-1 on aggregate.