≡ Menu

Ernesto Valverde has said the injury that has sidelined record Barcelona signing Ousmane Dembele for the next four months could have been partially caused by inexperience.

Dembele, 20, flew to Helsinki, Finland, on Monday to be operated on by specialist doctor Sakari Orava after rupturing a tendon in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Getafe.

Footage has since indicated that the France international appeared to have a slight problem in the warm-up.

But Valverde said: “I don’t think we should read too much into things like that.

Gareth Bale silenced his Spanish critics, scoring the goal of the game in Real Madrid’s win over Real Sociedad.

Bale waited an hour for a decent pass into space to run on to and when it finally came from Isco he nudged it forward powering past Real Sociedad left-back Kevin Rodrigues before clipping it over the dive of Geronimo Rulli to score.

No one combines blistering pace with composed finishing quite like Bale and it made it 3-1 and three points to Real Madrid, who go fourth in La Liga.

Philippe Coutinho has claimed he has no agreement to join Barcelona next summer and is committed to the Liverpool cause this season despite being denied a move to the Catalan club.

Coutinho made his first start of the campaign for Jürgen Klopp’s team on Saturday when he played 79 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Burnley.

The Brazil international, given a rousing reception when he returned as a substitute against Sevilla in midweek, was the subject of three failed bids from Barcelona during the summer transfer window and submitted a transfer request in an attempt to force a move from Anfield.

Ousmane Dembélé is set to miss up to four months with a thigh injury, Barcelona have said. The 20-year-old, who became the second most expensive player in the world after Neymar when he joined the Catalan side from Borussia Dortmund this summer, sustained the injury on his league debut against Getafe on Saturday.

On Sunday Barcelona issued a statement, saying:

“The tests have come back and show that Ousmane Dembélé has ruptured the tendon in his femoral bicep in his left thigh. The player will be operated on by Dr Sakari Orava in Finland this week. He is expected to be out for between three and a half months and four months.”

Paulinho paid back a chunk of that 40m euros transfer fee that raised so many eyebrows this summer, scoring the winner for Barcelona against Getafe.

Barcelona had to come from behind to keep up their 100 per cent record so far this season but substitutes Denis Suarez and Paulinho got the goals as the ran out 2-1 winners.

Things did not go according to the script early on when Gaku Shibasaki got a spectacular opener. The ball dropped to the Getafe number ten on the edge of the area; he drew back his left foot and cracked it like a whip to send and an unstoppable volley swerving into the roof of the net.

WandaIf anybody found the manner of victory disappointing, they don’t know much about Atletico Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann’s 61st minute goal divided Atletico and Malaga, with the Frenchman’s strike earning the hosts three points in the inauguration of their new stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano.

Under Diego Simeone these type of triumphs have been an Atletico hallmark and just because they now play in a swanky, cutting-edge arena, they aren’t going to let go of what has nourished them during the last half decade.

Real Madrid need their record signing Gareth Bale to improve amid criticism from supporters and Spanish media, admits Zinedine Zidane on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was pictured training with his Madrid team-mates at the weekend as they gear up for their clash with high-soaring Real Sociedad.

The suspended duo of Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo also took part in their training session but will both miss Sunday’s fixture.

Bale scored in the first La Liga game of the season at Deportivo La Coruna but has not found the net since and was whistled by Madrid fans on Wednesday during the 3-0 Champions League win over APEOL.

Isco has set his sights on winning more trophies at Real Madrid after signing a new five-year contract.

The 25-year-old, who scored 10 La Liga goals for Real last season, is tied to the Spanish champions until 2022 after renewing his deal on Thursday.

Isco has already won one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey trophy and three Champions League crowns since joining from Malaga in 2013.

However, the attacking midfielder, also a key cog for Spain, is not satisfied with his silverware collection just yet.

All eyes were on Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid training ahead of the prolific Portuguese’s expected return to action against APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

Ronaldo has missed Real’s last four games due to a suspension for pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona.

He still has one domestic game to serve of the ban, but he is free to face Cypriot side APOEL as Real begin their defence of the Champions League.

The long ban has prevented Ronaldo from making a single competitive start this season — but the former Manchester United star looks ready to go.

Gianluigi Buffon finally conceded against Lionel Messi, and then it happened again, as Barcelona put on a show of strength to beat Juventus 3-0.

Despite plundering Champions League goals for 12 year Messi has drawn blanks against the Italian great in two Champions League quarter-finals as well as the 2015 final, given another opportunity to end that run little genius did not waste it.

Messi netted in both halves in this comfortable win and with Ivan Rakitic also scoring Barcelona never looked like slipping up.