Daily Archives: May 15, 2017

Real Madrid keeps La Liga in sight with win over Sevilla

Published by:

Real Madrid kept their La Liga title campaign alive with a strong home win over Sevilla.

Real took the lead with a controversial free-kick from Nacho as he seized the initiative and struck the ball into an unguarded net while the Sevilla defenders were still remonstrating.

Cristiano Ronaldo then scored a brace to essentially put the game out of contention — first with a tap-in from six yards and then a strike from a tricky angle just inside the box.

Although Stevan Jovetic managed to pull one back for Sevilla in between Ronaldo’s goals with a spectacular finish, the Montenegrin was not as clinical with several other chances, allowing Real to round off the comfortable win with a late goal.

Defending champions FC Barcelona, who defeated Las Palmas on a same exact scoreline with Real, keep hold of the top spot in La Liga courtesy of their head-to-head advantage, but Real have a game in hand and need four points from their final two matches to lift their first title since 2012.

As for Sevilla, Jorge Sampaoli and his team are guaranteed the fourth spot and a playoff spot in the Champions League after fifth-placed Villarreal drew 0-0 at home to Deportivo La Coruna, who clinched survival.

Meanwhile, Real’s neighbours Atletico Madrid sealed the third automatic Champions League spot from the Spanish Primera division, despite drawing 1-1 at Real Betis.

Juventus fails to secure Scudetto early after defeat to Roma

Published by:

Juventus missed a golden chance to win their sixth consecutive Serie A title early after a 3-1 defeat to Roma, the only other challengers for the title.

The Bianconeri had started on the front foot at Stadio Olimpico, with Gonzalo Higuain setting up Mario Lemina for the lead midway through the first half.

However, just four minutes later Roma made their reply with an equalizer, with Daniele De Rossi pouncing on a loose ball for a firm shot on goal, and though the attempt was blocked by Juve keeper Rossi stayed alert to slot the rebound inside the far post.

Roma then got their deserved lead 10 minutes after the break, as El Shaarawy’s shot which appeared to take a nick off the boot of Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner deceived Buffon and the veteran keeper could only watched it curl into the far corner.

The game was then sealed by Roma ten more minutes later as Radja Nainggolan scored their third goal with an angled drive into the top corner.

Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri then brought on Paulo Dybala to attempt to rescue the game. Dybala was ultimately unsuccessful, and although the Argentinian appeared to have earned a penalty in added time but the referee said to play on.

The result meant that Juventus’s lead over Roma was reduced to four points, while third-placed Napoli are one point further back, after their 5-0 rout of Torino earlier.

However, it also remains that the Bianconeri stays four points clear on top of the table with two games left, and would claim their sixth-straight title with victory at home over Crotone next Sunday, after their game against Lazio in the Coppa Italia final midweek.

Crystal Palace thrashing relegates Hull City

Published by:

Crystal Palace confirmed their place in the Premier League next season with a resounding 4-0 thrashing over fellow strugglers Hull City, who were in turn relegated to the Championship next season.

In a match that determined the futures of both teams, Palace quickly and easily got the start they wanted as Hull’s Italy defender Andrea Ranocchia missed a simple clearance, allowing Wilfried Zaha to run clear and slot beyond goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic for Palace’s first goal.

With the wind in their sails, Christian Benteke’s header then doubled Palace’s lead while late goals from Luka Milivojevic, from the penalty spot, and substitute Patrick van Aanholt, completed a rout of the Tigers, who failed to register a shot on target on Sunday.

This meant that Hull will join Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the Championship next season, while Swansea City, who were bottom of the table and four points from safety at the start of 2017, stay up.

But that was not to say that Crystal Palace were not without their problems. They came into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats, leaving their survival in the balance — but once Zaha pounced on Ranocchia’s mistake to score Palace’s quickest league goal in three years, there were little doubts left who was staying in the League.

As for Hull, they had been heavily affected by the loss of £10m midfield summer signing Ryan Mason to a fractured skull as well as Scottish midfielder Robert Snodgrass, who remains the club’s leading league scorer this season with seven goals, joined West Ham for £10.2m.

Even after Marco Silva took over with the club rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table and despite six wins in eight home games, the Portuguese failed to mastermind an away win in nine attempts.

“Today we came here to play one final and we started in a bad way,” Silva said after the match. “It gave Palace what they wanted for the match. They knew what was in it for them.”

“We tried but conceded again and it finished the game. We tried to make changes at half-time for a small reaction. Possession is not enough. You have to take the right decisions. At this level it makes a difference.”