≡ Menu

Real Madrid Fans Staying Away In Droves

Almost 30,000 empty seats at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night told the story of the season so far.

The league table after the 2-0 defeat by Real Sociedad also made miserable reading for Real Madrid supporters. They are out of the Champions League places and 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

Santiago Solari has lost the aura of the confidence he had a couple of months ago. He was chastised by Marca last week for saying: ‘We mustn’t underestimate the draws’.

On Sunday night everyone at the Bernabeu would have taken a draw as 10-man Madrid slipped to their sixth league defeat of the season.

Real Madrid Sign Brahim Diaz

Brahim Diaz beamed as he kissed the badge during his unveiling at Real Madrid on Monday afternoon after sealing a €17 million move from Manchester City.

The promising 19-year-old, who has put pen to paper on a six-and-a-half-year deal at the Bernabeu, played just 414 minutes of senior football for City having moved there from Malaga back in 2013 at the age of 14.

“This is the most important day in my life,” Diaz told reporters on Monday.

“I have joined the club which I have dreamed of playing at since I was a child,” he added.

Barca Extend Lead At Top Of La Liga

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored as Barcelona stayed clear at the top of La Liga. They now have 28 goals between them – more than 16 teams in the division.

Suarez’s former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho continues to struggle for minutes one year on from his £145million move and he watched from the sidelines as the usual suspects did for Getafe.

Coutinho came on with seven minutes left but by then the job was done. Not that Getafe laid down against the leaders and they could have taken the lead after just eight minutes when Jaime Mata scored but the referee disallowed the goal for Angel’s challenge on Clemente Lenglet.

Sevilla and Atletico Madrid Share The Points

A stunning free kick goal from Antoine Griezmann earned Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw against Sevilla in an entertaining game between La Liga’s second and third-placed sides on Sunday which weakened both sides’ pursuit of leaders Barcelona.

Sevilla took a deserved lead at a packed and rocking Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in the 37th minute with a close-range strike from Wissam Ben Yedder following a clever team move, shortly after striker Andre Silva had also smacked the post for them.

Ben Yedder missed a clear chance to double Sevilla’s advantage but was thwarted by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, before Atletico pulled themselves level right at the end of the first half through Griezmann’s sizzling set-piece.

Sergio Ramos slammed the referee after Real Madrid lost to Real Sociedad at home.

The Spanish giants slipped in the race for title after falling to a 2-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu. Vinicius Junior was denied a penalty and Lucas Vazquez was sent off for a foul on the outstanding Mikel Merino.

The winger was shown a second yellow in the second half before Vinicius was seemingly brought down by Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli without being given a decision.

And the Real captain labelled the performance of Spanish referee Jose Munuera ‘scandalous’ as a result, also slamming the lack of VAR.

Former Real Madrid striker Predrag Mijatovic criticised Gareth Bale for lacking leadership qualities and hit out at manager Santiago Solari after the club’s La Liga title ambitions were dented by Thursday’s 2-2 draw at Villarreal.

Real’s record signing Bale had to be substituted at half time after a knock when his side were 2-1 up and Solari later took off playmaker Luka Modric, who had been ill with flu in the build-up to the game.

Veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla then scored for the second time in the game by heading in an equaliser with eight minutes remaining, leaving Madrid in fourth place in the standings and seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

Real Madrid Drop More Points

Santi Cazorla proved his class as he scored twice for Villarreal to deny Real Madrid a chance to make further inroads on La Liga leaders Barcelona.

The visitors, who made a pre-Christmas trip to the Club World Cup, looked tired and faced a rejuvenated Cazorla, who has suffered a long injury lay-off.

His curler earned an early lead before Karim Benzema’s header made it 1-1.

Raphael Varane nodded in to put Real ahead, but Cazorla’s late header moved Villarreal out of the relegation zone.

Santi Solari’s Real remain fourth, seven points behind Barcelona, four behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and two behind third-placed Sevilla.

Uncertainty Surrounds Atletico Madrid

As Atletico Madrid prepare to resume their La Liga title chase with a mouthwatering trip to Sevilla next Sunday, uncertainty surrounds the future of their defence, which has been the bedrock of their sustained success under Diego Simeone.

Captain Diego Godin leads a list of four players who have all been the fulcrum of that reliable rearguard in recent years but have an unclear status at the club whose fortunes they have transformed.

Diego Costa has stepped up his rehabilitation from a foot injury, with Atletico Madrid hoping to have the striker fit for their Champions League last-16 clash against Juventus on February 20.

The Spain international had struggled with the injury for much of this season, before undergoing surgery in his native Brazil in December.

The club are confident the operation was a success and believe he will be back in action by mid-February.

A club statement said:

‘Diego Costa has entered the second phase of his recovery after returning from Brazil, where he underwent an operation on his left foot on December 5,’ a statement said.

Christmas may only just be over, but Barcelona have already unveiled their first signing of the January transfer window in centre back Jeison Murillo.

The Colombian international arrives on loan from fellow La Liga side Valencia for the remainder of the season. The agreement includes a purchase option worth €25million (£22.6m).

Murillo will wear No 17, previously worn by Barcelona stars including Gaizka Mendieta, Mark Van Bommel and Pedro.

He was unveiled in full Barcelona kit on the Nou Camp pitch on Thursday morning, where he performed the traditional tricks and flicks, including a series of keepy-uppys.