Monthly Archives: November 2016

Real pulls away on top of La Liga with Calderon domination

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A sublime Real Madrid team dominated at the Vincente Calderon, winning against Atletico Madrid by 3-0 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

The Portuguese captain who had gone 33 shots without beating Atletico keeper Jan Oblak, ended the streak with a deflected free-kick which wrong-footed the Slovenian.

Ronaldo then added a second from the penalty spot after being fouled by Stefan Savic, before completing his treble by tapping in Gareth Bale’s cross.

Real Madrid’s undisputed top scorer, Ronaldo would also level his goal tally with Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at eight La Liga goals. Additionally, he goes one goal of clear of legendary Real forward Alfredo Di Stefano’s individual total of 17 goals in the Madrid derby.

Credit also goes to Real manager Zinedine Zidane, who has often been branded a ‘lucky’ manager by some.

However, the Frenchman showed strategic acumen as Real advanced to 29 games unbeaten. Knowing that his team often get crowded out in midfield against Atletico and their runs, Madrid began with something close to a 4-4-2. “The middle is fundamental,” Zidane admitted.

It payed off, and the result of what was the last La Liga Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon could also be a blow to Atletico’s title hopes –Diego Simeone’s side is now nine points adrift of table leaders Real.

Since the Argentinian took charge, Atletico had been beaten by Real only once in 11. Defeat was possible, but a resounding defeat like this was more than unexpected.

Meanwhile, Los Blancos will also widen the gap against their fiercest rivals FC Barcelona to four points. The Catalan giants could not manage to find a way past Malaga just hours before, and looked lacking going up front without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, needing even defender Gerard Pique to move forward during the dying minutes.

Premier League: Diego Costa goal sends Chelsea up top

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Diego Costa’s 10th Premier League goal of the season brought Chelsea to the top of the league as their sixth straight win saw off Middlesbrough.

After a solid for both sides, Chelsea upped their tempo and deservedly took the lead just before the break when Costa reacted quickest to drill in a loose ball inside the Boro box.

The Blues continued to dominate and create chances, with Pedro going closest when he found the crossbar, while Boro’s best chance came when Alvaro Negredo’s 78th-minute volley was saved.

That was the only time the home side forced Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois into a serious stop as Boro were defeated for the first time in four matches.

Chelsea, who had endured a chastening 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal earlier this season, has won all of their six league matches since without conceding any goals. The measure of their improvement would be tested in upcoming League matches against Tottenham and Manchester City, with fierce fixtures expected as each club contends for dominance in the English top flight.

But as this match ended at 1-0, Boro stays just one point above the relegation zone in 15th place, while Chelsea was able to leapfrog Liverpool and Manchester City to go a point ahead.

Liverpool, who was top of the league before the international break, were perhaps affected by the change in surroundings as they showed a lack of the fluency that had characterised their impressive start to the season. Dropped to second place, the Reds now remain ahead of third-placed Manchester City by virtue of scoring more goals.

City themselves were rescued by the returning Yaya Toure, whose shock selection at Selhurst Park for his first Premier League game this season bore fruit, scoring a brace and winning the match against Crystal Palace.

VP dominates against OG to win Summit 6

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Virtus.pro are The Summit 6 champions following their dominating 3-0 sweep of OG in the Grand Finals of the tournament.

VP and OG had previously met in The Summit 6’s Winners’ Finals, where VP triumphed 2-1. OG then took down Evil Geniuses for another crack at the CIS champions, but they didn’t fare much better in their second attempt.

None of the games were particularly even, with VP finishing Game 2 and 3 in under 30 minutes. Minenko “No[o]ne” Vladmir’s Ember Spirit was the star of Game 3 with a 15/1/18 scoreline.

VP, who qualified for The Summit 6 through the European qualifiers, will take home $45,000 for their victory.

They have been on a strong streak in Europe recently, taking first place in the ESL Genting qualifier, second place in the European qualifier for The Boston Major and first place in the Dota Pit League Season 5 CIS Qualifier.

 

Last year, Virtus Pro wasthe subject of great scrutiny after they admitted to a rule violation in the grand finals of the Summit 5 qualifiers against Ad Finem.

Tainted with the incident, the former VP squad then went to ESL One Frankfurt 2016 where they placed last and then team disbanded. The new roster however, has went a long way to rebuild their reputation.

As hype for the coming Boston Major continually grows with the end of summit 6, and only the tournament will tell if VP can continue their success they had here at the Summit.

It could also prove fascinating to see how strategies change from now and the Major, as teams rewatch the replays from this tournament, and adjust their picks, bans and lanes accordingly.

 

Wenger looks for first win against Mourinho in Old Trafford

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Arsene Wenger will be in search of his competitive victory against longtime rival Jose Mourinho as both managers meet in the Arsenal-Manchester United clash in Old Trafford.

Gunners manager Wenger also defended his record against the Portuguese manager, saying: “You know, we didn’t lose always. We have beaten them and there were many draws as well.”

“I think I have won against every manager in the world during my 20 years here and I do not make of this game a competition between two managers.”

“It’s between two clubs and two teams and I think I can understand that people want to create controversy, but it’s not that that makes the audience. What will make the audience is the quality of the game.”

Wenger also revealed that Arsenal will continue to assess Alexis Sanchez’s condition.

Sanchez had started for Chile on Tuesday in their World Cup qualifier against qualifier despite suffering a hamstring problem earlier in the international break. The forward had scored two goals for Chile’s victory.

“I know him so well, like all my players that I observe every day, so I will be able to see if he was playing with a restriction or not. But the first goal he scored he ran from the halfway line and resisted two defenders – if you are really injured with a hamstring you cannot do that. It is a very difficult one because I am sure he will come back saying he is all right.”

However, Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin will be missing for four weeks because of an ankle injury, while Santi Cazorla remains out with an Achilles problem.

Manchester United is not that better off, with striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic serving a one-match ban, while Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney are all injury doubts.

Prediction:

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal