La Liga

  • Ramos rejects claims of bad Real Madrid ...

    Sergio Ramos has rejected the suggestion that Real Madrid were punished for a poor attitude in their 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday. Goal from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana in the first nine minutes were enough to give the home side all three points at Mestalla, despite C...

    Ramos rejects claims of bad Real Madrid attitude

    Sergio Ramos has rejected the suggestion that Real Madrid were punished for a poor attitude in their 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday. Goal from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana in the first nine minutes were enough to give the home side all three points at Mestalla, despite Cristiano Ronaldo having halved the deficit shortly before the interval. It was the first time in nearly 14 years that Madrid conceded twice in the first 10 minutes of a league game, while they managed only one shot on target in the second half despite enjoying nearly 72 per cent of the possession. Sloppy Madrid give Barca a boost But Ramos has hit out at the idea that Madrid did not have the right mindset, blaming instead some simple errors on the ball that led to the two Valencia goals. "It was a high-intensity game. We wanted to take at least a point. It was a really good game in hand to increase the gap in the table," he said. "Two mistakes at the start penalised us. The team went out to play the game we wanted to from the first minute. Our attacking play sometimes is very risky and we lost the ball twice and conceded a goal each time. "For me, there was no lack of attitude at any moment. We have to turn the page and learn from those mistakes. LaLiga is very long and a lot of things can happen." The defeat - Madrid's third in 2017 - means they remain just a point above Barca at the top of the table ahead of a difficult trip to Villarreal on Sunday, though they do have a game in hand. Zinedine Zidane's side have now lost more matches this year than they did throughout 2016 and Ramos has urged his team-mates to put their success of last year firmly behind them. "We had very good numbers last year but we can't live in the past. You have to learn from mistakes," he said. "We're relaxed. It's still in our hands. We're in a privileged position and we have to know how to take advantage of it." Valencia boss Voro hopes his side take confidence into the rest of the season after only a second league win over Madrid in 15 attempts. "Not only did we get the goals, but we had another very clear chance and a shot from Dani Parejo that the keeper saved really well," he told beIN Sports. "It's true that Madrid dominated in the second half but we managed to hold out. "You don't beat Madrid every day. I congratulate the players for their effort. We have to turn Mestalla into a difficult place for teams to come. This will give us a lot of confidence for the coming games."

  • VIDEO: Barcelona youngster scores solo g...

    Jordi Mboula scored one of the best solo goals you will see this season as he helped Barcelona down Borussia Dortmund 4-1 to reach the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals. Sloppy Real give Barca title boost The Blaugrana fell behind to a Dominik Wanner strike after just six minut...

    VIDEO: Barcelona youngster scores solo goal which Messi would have been proud of

    Jordi Mboula scored one of the best solo goals you will see this season as he helped Barcelona down Borussia Dortmund 4-1 to reach the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals. Sloppy Real give Barca title boost The Blaugrana fell behind to a Dominik Wanner strike after just six minutes but Mboula was on target to help his side complete a fantastic comeback. Carlos Perez, Abel Ruiz and Seungwoo Lee all found the back of the net to put Barca 3-1 ahead in the tie before Mboula stepped up with a piece of individual genius. Collecting the ball down the right-hand side of the field, Mboula danced past one Dortmund defender before embarking on a solo run which Lionel Messi would have been proud of. Mboula showed brilliant pace and close control to drive into the penalty area before slotting calmly into the back of the net to seal Barca's passage into the last eight. Barca's U19s, coached by Gabri Garcia, will now take on Porto in the quarter-finals of the competition.

  • Real Madrid set club record goalscoring ...

    Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid set a new club record goalscoring run in all competitions when he found the net in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Valencia. After Los Che took a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, Ronaldo met a Marcelo cross and headed in to keep their run go...

    Real Madrid set club record goalscoring run

    Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real Madrid set a new club record goalscoring run in all competitions when he found the net in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Valencia. After Los Che took a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, Ronaldo met a Marcelo cross and headed in to keep their run going. Zinedine Zidane's side have now scored in 43 consecutive games. If Madrid manage to find the net against Villarreal on Sunday and then Las Palmas the following week, they will set a new record for a La Liga team for goals in consecutive games. The current record of 44 belongs to Barcelona, who reached it in 1944. But while Madrid are finding the net regularly, they have suffered a dip in form. Wednesday's loss was their third of the calendar year, which is one more than they suffered in all of 2016. The goals from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana marked the first time the capital club have conceded twice in the first 10 minutes of a Liga game since 2003, when they did so against Sevilla. It was also the first time Los Blancos have conceded two goals in a first half of a game this season in all competitions. There were positives for Ronaldo, though, who marked his 700th club appearance with a header - and the Portugal international has now scored more headed goals than any other player in Europe's top five leagues in last 10 seasons with 51. Madrid have made good use of his aerial ability, as their tally of 15 headed goals leaves them with the most in the top five European leagues this season.

  • Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Ronaldo goal n...

    Valencia handed a major boost to Barcelona and Sevilla in LaLiga's title race as they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Mestalla. Two goals in the first nine minutes allowed Voro's side to record only their second victory over Madrid in 15 league meetings and bring the leaders' six-game u...

    Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Ronaldo goal not enough for Zidane's men

    Valencia handed a major boost to Barcelona and Sevilla in LaLiga's title race as they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Mestalla. Two goals in the first nine minutes allowed Voro's side to record only their second victory over Madrid in 15 league meetings and bring the leaders' six-game unbeaten run in all competitions to an end. Simone Zaza's spectacular turn and half-volley after four minutes had the home fans on their feet, and they were sent into raptures when Fabian Orellana scored his fifth goal of the season following a clinical counter-attack soon afterwards. Madrid began to regain some composure and Cristiano Ronaldo headed home just before the end of a breathless first half of football to give his side some hope. Ronaldo saw a penalty appeal turned down as Madrid built some sustained pressure after half-time, but despite the visitors enjoying nearly 72 per cent of the possession, Diego Alves went largely unworried in the Valencia goal. A surprisingly toothless attack was unable to fashion a late equaliser, meaning Madrid remain just a point above second-place Barca in the table, though they still have a game in hand. Valencia climb to 14th. Zaza, who also scored in Sunday's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, put Valencia ahead with only four minutes played, collecting Munir El Haddadi's cross with his back to goal before blasting an unstoppable shot on the turn into the top corner, with the recalled Keylor Navas only able to stand and watch. Five minutes later, a shell-shocked Madrid found themselves two behind. Raphael Varane was dispossessed in the Valencia half and the home side raced through on the break, with Nani sending Orellana into the box to slot through the legs of Navas. Munir saw an effort deflect over the crossbar, before James Rodriguez - who had kept his place in the starting line-up - almost squeezed Ronaldo's low cross over the line at the far post in a breathless opening 20 minutes. Diego Alves reacted brilliantly to keep Karim Benzema's dipping effort from creeping beneath the crossbar but he could do nothing to stop Ronaldo halving the deficit before the break as Madrid made their mounting pressure count.  Marcelo was given time down the left to float a superb cross towards the penalty spot, where Ronaldo rose highest to power a header beyond Alves' right hand. Madrid's pressure was relentless after half-time and Ronaldo had a penalty shout waved away after going to ground over an outstretched leg from Eliaquim Mangala, before Zidane turned to Gareth Bale to add some extra dynamism to his attack. Zaza was aggrieved not to win a spot-kick of his own, having been barged aside by Dani Carvajal following an appalling piece of control from Varane, but Madrid's frustrations were nonetheless growing as Valencia broke up play by winning a number of cheap free-kicks. Zidane urged his players forward, but - despite several goalmouth scrambles in the closing stages - Madrid could not fashion any meaningful late chances to salvage a draw, meaning Barca - and under-fire Luis Enrique - can allow themselves a little more hope in the defence of their title.

  • Alba: Luis Enrique the best coach for Ba...

    Jordi Alba believes Luis Enrique remains the best coach for Barcelona despite heavy recent criticism. Luis Enrique has come under intense scrutiny following Barca's 4-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain, while they needed a penalty in the last minute...

    Alba: Luis Enrique the best coach for Barca

    Jordi Alba believes Luis Enrique remains the best coach for Barcelona despite heavy recent criticism. Luis Enrique has come under intense scrutiny following Barca's 4-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain, while they needed a penalty in the last minute of normal time to see off relegation-threatened Leganes 2-1 in LaLiga last weekend. CARTOON: Messi visits Egypt But Alba has faith in Luis Enrique, whose contract with the club expires at the end of the season. "He is the best coach that Barca could have today," said Alba, who was speaking at an event in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. Alba also retains belief Barca can overturn their mammoth first-leg deficit in the return fixture with PSG at Camp Nou on March 8, despite being thoroughly outplayed at the Parc des Princes. "The comeback is difficult, but if they were capable of scoring four goals, we can be too," Alba added. "If we did not believe in the comeback, we would not jump to play."  

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