Section: Real Madrid

Champions League: Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid (agg 1-0)

Real Madrid’s Javier Hernandez scored an 88th-minute winner to settle a tense Champions League quarter-final against neighbours Atletico in the Bernabeu.

The visitors frustrated Real for the majority of the match, but the game opened up when Atletico’s Arda Turan was sent off in the 75th minute.

With the game heading for extra-time after the first leg ended 0-0, Cristiano Ronaldo drove forward and squared for Hernandez to slot home.

Real will join fellow La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, plus Germany’s Bayern Munich and Serie A side Juventus, in the final four yet none are likely to provide a sterner test of their attacking mettle than their cross-city rivals.

Atletico were well-drilled and extremely difficult to break down, but the tie turned in Real’s favour when Turan was sent off for a second bookable offence – the Turkish midfielder fouling Sergio Ramos.

Turan had been assigned to man-mark Ronaldo and he did the job to perfection during the time he was on the pitch.

With Real shorn of two of their attacking stars – Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema – through injury, they often looked short on ideas up front with Ronaldo struggling to escape Turan’s attentions.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid

Gareth Bale missed a glorious chance as Atletico Madrid held rivals Real Madrid to a goalless draw in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Wales forward Bale was through on goal in the third minute, but was thwarted by Jan Oblak, who was impressive for the home side throughout.

The goalkeeper also made a crucial save from James Rodriguez, as Mario Suarez missed a late chance for Atletico.

The sides meet again in the second leg at the Bernabeu on 22 April.

Real are aiming to become the first team to win back-to-back European Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990, having defeated Atletico in last season’s final.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men have now not beaten their opponents in seven meetings since claiming La Decima – their 10th European Cup – which includes a 4-0 La Liga thumping in February.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Schalke 0-2 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo help Real Madrid to victory over Schalke

Real Madrid are on course to make the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 victory at Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Schalke went into the game as huge underdogs, having lost 6-1 at home and 3-1 away when they met Madrid at the same stage in last year’s competition, but they had looked the more likely to make the breakthrough at the start of the match.

However, the home side found themselves trailing on 26 minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed the space to head home for his 58th goal in 58 Champions League appearances, the Portuguese ending a goal drought that had approached five hours.

Schalke’s prospects then receded further when former Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had to be substituted before the break with a leg injury.

However, Huntelaar’s replacement, Felix Platte, came close to an equaliser on his Champions League debut as he smashed a shot against the crossbar on 74 minutes, with Atsuto Uchida unable to beat Iker Casillas from the follow-up.

Soon afterwards, Madrid had extended their advantage, with Marcelo unleashing a stunning right-footed strike into the top corner.

Read more at ESPN

La Liga: Cordoba 2-1 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for lashing out at Edimar as Real Madrid beat Cordoba 2-1 thanks to a dramatic late Gareth Bale penalty.

Cordoba took an early lead when Bebe fired a shot from distance against the arms of Sergio Ramos, and the referee awarded a penalty. Nabil Ghilas calmly converted from the spot.

Real struggled to create many chances in response, but Karim Benzema equalised after stabbing home Gareth Bale’s flick-on from a James Rodriguez corner.

In the second half, Cordoba continued to play brightly, despite gradually dropping deeper, and they almost took the lead against when Florin Andone lifted a volley over the head of Iker Casillas, only to see his effort bounce off the crossbar.

Real Madrid went close when Juan Carlos saved Benzema’s shot from the left, but minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo saw red for kicking out at Edimar after the two tussled for a cross, and also became involved with Jose Angel Crespo.

Minutes later, Bale won a penalty when Federico Cartabia was given a second yellow after he handballed his free kick. He fired his shot down the middle to win the game with minutes to spare.

Read more at Yahoo Sport

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid 2-2 Atletico Madrid (agg 2-4)

Fernando Torres struck his first goals since returning to Atletico Madrid, firing a brace in a 4-2 Copa del Rey aggregate win over holders Real Madrid.

Atletico led 2-0 from the first leg and Torres stunned the Bernabeu, smashing in left-footed after 49 seconds.

Sergio Ramos’s header levelled but, in the first minute of the second half, Torres beat Pepe to slide in a second.

Real needed three goals to win after Cristiano Ronaldo’s header but Atleti will meet Barcelona in the last eight.

Barca cruised to a 9-0 aggregate win over Elche, but for Atleti, the last-16 stage provided a stiffer test and significant bragging rights.

The La Liga champions inflicted a first domestic cup defeat on Carlo Ancelotti since he arrived to manage their city rivals in 2013.

Los Rojiblancos can also boast being five games unbeaten against Real this season, a record which looked certain to continue after less than a minute’s play in the Spanish capital.

Soon after Ronaldo stopped parading his Fifa Ballon d’Or award moments before kick-off, Torres plundered the opener, sweeping into the top corner from 10 yards with a first-time shot following Antoine Griezmann’s cross.

Torres, who left Atleti in 2007, had never scored at the Bernabeu with his boyhood club but, in for the unwell Mario Mandzukic, he left Real needing four goals to progress.

Ramos netted a last-minute leveller which spurred Real on to a 4-1 extra-time win over Atletico in last season’s Champions League final and he was in the right place when goalkeeper Jan Oblak – making just his fifth appearance – flapped at a set-piece delivery.

Swarms of white shirts peppered the visitors’ area and Ronaldo’s goal-bound strike was only kept out by Mario Suarez on the goal-line as Real dominated with 76% of possession in the opening half.

But Diego Simeone’s side only had 27% of the ball in the first leg and they again demonstrated the resilience he has instilled in them since taking over in December 2011.

The Argentine has delivered successive league finishes of fifth, third and first along with Europa League success in 2012 and a Copa del Rey triumph in 2013.

In Europa League, Champions League and Copa del Rey fixtures, he now has 16 successes from 18 two-legged ties and Torres’s second came at the perfect time, killing Real’s second-half hope.

He again collected a Griezmann pass before wrong-footing Pepe to fire under home keeper Keylor Navas.

Ronaldo – voted the greatest player in Portugal’s history on Wednesday –  headed in from six yards to reduce the arrears on 54 minutes before Torres was substituted to jeers from the home fans.

Karim Benzema could not turn their frustration to hope when he fired over from four yards as La Liga leaders Real relinquished their hold on Spain’s coveted domestic cup.

Read more at BBC Sport

La Liga: Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s club record 22-match winning run was ended,  as Valencia came from behind to secure a famous victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty put Real in front, his 33rd goal of the season.

But Valencia made it 1-1 seven minutes into the second half through Antonio Barragan’s deflected shot.

Otamendi then powered the ball in from a corner but Madrid stayed top of La Liga thanks to Barcelona’s 1-0 defeat to David Moyes’s Real Sociedad.

It was Real’s first defeat since they lost to city rivals and La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on 13 September.

The result lifted Valencia, beaten just once at home all season, into the Champions League places.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side would not have envisaged that scenario when they took an early lead through Ronaldo.

After Gareth Bale had been fouled, a free-kick from Tony Kroos was flicked on by Bale against the arm of on-loan Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo.

Ronaldo converted from the spot but then missed an excellent chance to double Real’s lead when he rounded goalkeeper Diego Alves but, from a tight angle, shot into the side netting.

Valencia had five players booked in a niggly first half but struck a post through a deflected Andre Gomes shot in stoppage time.

And they were the better side in the second half, levelling when former Liverpool player Barragan scored his first league goal for the club with a shot which was diverted past Iker Casillas by defender Pepe.

Bale was then denied by an excellent Otamendi tackle at the other end before the Argentina international won it with a towering header with 25 minutes to go.

Negredo impressed for Valencia, who could have spared themselves some anxious late moments, notably when Isco’s close-range header was saved by Alves, had Barragan not wasted another excellent chance when he shot wide with just Casillas to beat.

Holders Real will now be looking to bounce back against their local rivals in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Wednesday night, when Fernando Torres could make his first appearance since re-joining Atletico on loan.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool

A much-changed Liverpool fought hard but came up short against Real Madrid as Karim Benzema scored the only goal in their Champions League match.

The Frenchman turned in Marcelo’s low cross after Simon Mignolet had done well to keep out efforts from Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez.

Liverpool threatened briefly after the break as Adam Lallana fired just wide.

But Real remained in control and Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling’s arrival off the bench could not turn the tide.

Despite the slimmer margin of victory, the game petered out in a similarly low-key style to when Real enjoyed a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture at Anfield a fortnight ago.

In possibly the biggest gamble of his managerial career, Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to the starting XI that lost to Newcastle at the weekend, with Mario Balotelli and Jordan Henderson joining Gerrard and Sterling on the bench.

Instead, Kolo Toure, who has seen less than a minute of Premier League action this season, started in defence, behind a midfield trio of Emre Can, Lucas and Joe Allen, with the willing Fabio Borini in attack.

Liverpool’s line-up seemed to suggest damage limitation, rather than a revenge mission, at the Bernabeu.

If minimising their losses was Rodgers’s aim, he succeeded, but some will struggle to understand his approach to such a big game.

The result, and team selection, will be thrown into even starker light should Liverpool fail to get a result at home to Chelsea on Saturday, when some of their rested first-choice players are likely to return.

And promising performances from several of Rodgers’s second string will not alter the maths of Group B, in which Liverpool find themselves three points behind second-placed Basel with two games to play.

Their line-up may have seemed more in keeping with the Capital One Cup than the Champions League, but the changes initially appeared to unsettle in-form Real.

Liverpool made a similarly promising start at Anfield, though, and Mignolet was still required to make sharp stops from Rodriguez and Ronaldo.

Read more on BBC Sport

Champions League: Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid

Liverpool were given a painful lesson in how far the Champions League has moved on in their absence as they were completely outclassed by holders Real Madrid at Anfield.

Television screens inside Anfield’s lounges relived Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Real in the last 16 in 2009 in an attempt to set the mood before kick-off – but there was never any hope of a repeat.

Cristiano Ronaldo led Real’s charge with a superb opener after 23 minutes and Karim Benzema added two before the interval to leave the hosts facing a desperate exercise in damage limitation.

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Rodgers bemoans ‘sloppy’ Liverpool

It was the first time Liverpool had been three down at half-time at Anfield in their long and glorious European history – a fact no doubt noted by Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005 when the Reds claimed the Champions League after facing a similar heavy deficit at the interval.

Here, in contrast, the Italian was able to enjoy a comfortable second half as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’s brave pre-match words about not being underdogs were put into context.

With just three points from their opening three games, Liverpool’s ambitions of reaching the knockout stage of a competition they cherish so much are in real peril.

And the performance of Mario Balotelli meant it was another night that left question marks over Liverpool’s decision to pay £16m for a striker who simply does not deliver when it matters.

Read more on BBC Sport

 

Super Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice in Real Madrid win

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid claimed the first European silverware of the season with a 2-0 Super Cup win over Sevilla in Cardiff.

Ronaldo, starting alongside new recruits James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, tapped in a cross from Cardiff-born Gareth Bale to give Real the lead.

The Portuguese doubled his side’s advantage with a drilled shot from the left when played in by Karim Benzema.

It is the first of six trophies Real are hoping to win this season.

The Champions League winners will look to defend the title they claimed by beating Atletico Madrid in May, while Bale said this week the team are also confident of winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Fifa Club World Cup and the Supercopa de Espana in 2014-15.

This match against fellow Spanish side Sevilla, who won the Europa League by beating Benfica on penalties, was a first chance for manager Carlo Ancelotti to see the most expensively-assembled squad in football history in action in a competitive match.

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