Tag: La Liga

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

La Liga: Real Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona

David Moyes’s Real Sociedad stopped Barcelona going top of La Liga thanks to an early own goal from Jordi Alba.

Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat at Valencia earlier in the day would have allowed the Catalans to edge ahead in the title race if they had won.

But coach Luis Enrique started with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Dani Alves on the bench following the festive break.

And they were unable to inspire a fightback as Moyes secured a memorable second win as Sociedad manager.

Messi, Neymar and Alves only returned to training last Friday after an extended break in South America during the league’s Christmas shutdown.

Enrique took the gamble of starting without them for a fixture that has proved tricky for Barcelona in the past.

And so it proved again with their winless run at Anoeta now extended to six games.

In Moyes’s previous two home La Liga games, former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela had struck in the opening five minutes.

And while there was to be no repeat for Vela, Sociedad were still ahead after just two minutes as Alba headed a cross from Sergio Canales past his own keeper.

For a team which had already beaten Real Madrid and defending champions Atletico Madrid in San Sebastian this season, it was the perfect start.

Sociedad have been difficult to beat under Moyes, with just two losses in their previous seven matches since the former Manchester United and Everton boss took over in November, and they clung tenaciously to their lead.

They were helped by an insipid first-half performance from Barcelona, who rarely threatened an equaliser.

Sociedad went closest to a second goal when Canales turned sharply and tested former Socieded keeper Claudio Bravo at his near post.

Not surprisingly, Enrique sent on Messi at the start of the second half and waited just a further 12 minutes to introduce Neymar to try and spark an improvement.

Barcelona increasingly dominated possession and began to camp around the Sociedad penalty area.

But with a wall of blue and white shirts to pass, they could not turn their pressure into any meaningful chances.

Sociedad defended superbly with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli making his one real save four minutes from time when dashing out to save at the feet of Luis Suarez.

Barcelona’s next La Liga game is against champions Atletico Madrid next Sunday.

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

La Liga: Barcelona transfer ban appeal rejected by Court

Barcelona will not be allowed to sign any players in 2015 after their appeal against a transfer ban was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Spanish club was handed a 14-month ban in April after being found guilty of breaching Fifa’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18.

Fifa rejected an appeal in August but the pending appeal to Cas allowed Barca to sign players including Luis Suarez.

Barcelona has expressed its “utter nonconformity with the resolution”.

The players concerned in the infringement of Fifa rules were registered and participated in competitions with Barcelona between 2009 and 2013.

Cas said: “The panel found in particular that FC Barcelona had breached the rules regarding the protection of minors and the registration of minors attending football academies.

“Accordingly, the Fifa decision is confirmed in full and the sanction remains in force.

“In view of the need to issue a decision before the opening of the next transfer window, the panel has issued its decision without the grounds. The full arbitral award, with the reasons for the panel’s decision, will be issued as soon as possible.”

A Barcelona statement added: “The errors that the club might have committed, and which have been recognised and argued before the corresponding authorities, are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the Fifa regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the club’s conviction that it was acting correctly.

“Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case.”

Barca went on a summer spending spree this year while the suspension went on hold during the appeals process, splashing out more than 150m euros (£117.5m) on Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic.

Read more at BBC Sport

La Liga: Messi breaks La Liga goalscoring record

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi broke Telmo Zarra’s all-time La Liga goal-scoring record of 251 goals with a hat trick in the 5-1 win over Sevilla.

Messi opened the scoring on 21 minutes to equal Zarra’s feat before netting again on 72 minutes to make it 252 Liga goals in 289 appearances and take him beyond the former Athletic Bilbao forward.

The key goal was a sliding tap in with his right foot from Neymar’s cross and Messi, 27, was subsequently congratulated by his team-mates and the crowd.

He then completed his hat trick with 12 minutes remaining, meaning his total now stands at 253 Liga strikes.

Barcelona’s 5-1 win against Sevilla took them back to within two points of Liga leaders Real Madrid, who beat Eibar 4-0 earlier in the day.

Read more at ESPN

La Liga: Ferguson told Moyes to take Sociedad job

David Moyes has revealed how he took the Real Sociedad job after advice from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Moyes was dubbed the Chosen One after Ferguson selected the then-Everton manager to take over at Manchester United when he retired last year.

That move failed in spectacular fashion after Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract at Old Trafford, with United floundering in seventh in the Premier League table.

Moyes was announced as Sociedad manager on Thursday and revealed that Ferguson told him to take the opportunity to rebuild his reputation abroad.

“I phoned Sir Alex about coming out and he spoke about the job and the opportunity, which he thought was a great one for me,” he told the Daily Mail. “He thought it would be a good chance and something very few British managers get the opportunity to do.”

The revelation would suggest Moyes harbours no ill feeling towards Ferguson after his dismissal from United, even after an updated version of the latter’s autobiography contained passage that were less than complimentary about his successor’s time at Old Trafford.

Moyes however, still insists he was the right man for the job at United, claiming he was not given enough time to shape the squad in his image.

He called on club officials to offer that time to his replacement, Louis van Gaal, who has presided over United’s worst start to a season since 1986.

“I still stand by what I said at the time that I was not given enough time at United to succeed or fail,” Moyes said. “I think there was nothing wrong with how we worked and everyone can see that whoever is in charge at Manchester United, it is quite a long job to do things. Nine months would never be enough time for any manager.

“I do think that most real football people understood that there would be a period of transition at Manchester United when you take over from Sir Alex. I always believed I was the right person for the job and I still believe that is the case. But Van Gaal now has to be given the time to do the job.”

Read more at ESPN

Everton 1-3 Celta Vigo: Nolito hat-trick sinks Toffees

Everton’s winless pre-season run continued as a Nolito hat-trick condemned them to a 3-1 defeat against Spanish side Celta Vigo.

The Toffees took the lead through an Aiden McGeady strike after 10 minutes.

But eight minutes later Nolito converted a deep cross, and he then gave Celta the lead when he robbed John Stones and chipped Tim Howard.

And the striker completed his 16-minute hat-trick when he curled a shot past Tim Howard before the break.

Read More on BBC Sport

Premiership: Liverpool sign Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo on loan

Liverpool have signed right-back Javier Manquillo on a two-season loan from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

The Spain Under-20 international is Liverpool’s seventh summer signing.

“I’m very happy to have signed for Liverpool,” said Manquillo, 20.

“I think it’s one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Any footballer would want to come and play here.”

Manquillo began his career with Real Madrid before joining their cross-city rivals at the age of 13.

He made his senior debut at 17 and played six times last season before suffering a vertebrae injury following an aerial challenge with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the Copa del Rey semi-final in February.

Read More on BBC Sport

La Liga: Spain midfielder Xavi retires from international football

Barcelona midfielder calls time with national team after winning 133 caps and helping Spain win 2010 World Cup and two European Championships.

The 34-year-old revealed at a press conference with Barcelona on Tuesday that he has decided to hang up his Spain boots after winning 133 caps and helping La Roja win the 2010 World Cup and back-to-back European Championships.

“I’ve taken the decision to leave the national team. My time there has finished,” he said.

“From now on I’m another fan of the Spain team.

“I’m grateful to everybody at the Federation (RFEF), it’s been a marvellous time for me to be there for so many years and have so much success. I’m leaving very proud and I wish them all the best.”

Read More on The Telegraph