Category Archives: Spanish La Liga

SPain La Liga League Cup

10-men Atletico fights back from two-down to draw against Girona

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A 10-men Atletico Madrid team rallied despite being two-goals down to secure a 2-2 draw La Liga newcomers Girona.

Catalonia-based Girona, who were making their debut in the Spanish Primera division had a dream start against Atletico with two headed goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Things then went from bad to worse to Atletico when their forward Antoine Griezmann was dismissed in the second half for two bookings, the first for to try to win a penalty and another for dissent.

However, substitute Angel Correa then gave a lifeline to the visitors with a thumping long range strike after a solo run, before Jose Gimenez earned a point for the visitors by heading in Koke’s inswinging free-kick.

Not to be denied, Girona tried to steal an injury-time winner through Olarenwaju Kayode, but the striker saw his header stopped by Atletico keeper Jan Oblak’s quick reactions.

It ended as a lesson fro the home side, as the Catalan team had switched off following a substitution.

Meanwhile, Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid also had another player sent off in Sergio Ramos, although Los Blancos did secure victory beforehand by three goals to nil against Deportivo.

While Deportivo pressured Real heavily from the start, Gareth Bale scored Real’s first La Liga goal with a tap in against the run of play, and for the third time in three consecutive seasons. Casemiro then followed suit after a 44-pass move, and Bale himself then set up a Toni Kroos goal in the second-half.

Keylor Navas then saved Florin Andone’s penalty late on, before Ramos was dismissed with a second yellow for a high elbow in an aerial challenge, having received his first for shoving Fabian Schar’s face.

The captain’s latest red meant that Ramos, 31, was now sent off 23 times for Real with 18 of those occasions in La Liga, an inglorious record he shares with ex-Sevilla defender Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado, formerly of Real Zaragoza.

Cristiano Ronaldo banned for five games after Supercopa red card

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Cristiano Ronaldo will be banned for five Spanish games after he was sent off in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win against FC Barcelona in the Supercopa first leg on Sunday.

Ronaldo was handed a one-match ban for being shown two yellow cards and a further four for pushing the referee in the back after he had been sent off.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) released a statement that read: “On the first account, Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo will be suspended for one game after receiving two yellow cards, the first for taking off his jersey while celebrating his goal and the second for simulation. The club have also been fined €350 and the player €800.

“On the second account, Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for another four games for infraction of article 96 of the disciplinary code, with a €1,400 fine for the club and a €3,005 fine for the player.”

The first booking against Ronaldo at the Nou Camp was for taking off his shirt to celebrate his goal after making it 2-1 and the second was for an alleged dive, meaning that he will miss the second Supercopa leg on Wednesday.

However, the player will still have 10 days to appeal against the sentence.

Should he failed to appeal or waive the opportunity to do so, Ronaldo will still be able to play in the Champions League but will not return to domestic action in La Liga until 20 September against Real Betis.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid had already signalled their intent to appeal against Ronaldo’s second yellow card shown for diving eight minutes from time when he went down inside the area under pressure from Samuel Umtiti.

“Ronaldo’s sending-off annoys me because even if it is not a penalty, the card is harsh,” said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane after the game. “We will see if we can do something so that he is available on Wednesday.”

Diego Simeone plays down Diego Costa transfer links

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has refused to be drawn into speculations that links Chelsea’s Diego Costa with his club.

Costa, who had been a part of Simeone’s team before his switch to Chelsea in the summer of 2014, became unsettled with the Blues at the turn of this year, with current Chelsea coach Antonio Conte informing the player that he does not play a part in the Italian’s plans.

At present, Costa looks headed for a return to the Spanish capital, and even went live on social media wearing an Atletico jersey during his summer break at Brazil.

However, he does not look headed for a return to La Liga anytime soon as Atletico are currently under a FIFA transfer ban. With the club already forcing through a controversial move for Sevilla winger Vitolo, Simeone seemed reluctant to entertain the links for a Costa move when addressing the media after a 3-2 friendly win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I don’t want to comment too much,” he said during the press conference after the game. “The fact is he is still with Chelsea. The most important thing to me is the work of my club in general, not only in training. I have to work with what I have.”

“When I found there was no other possibility to get new players at the club I accepted it. Maybe I could improve the quality, but for the moment with this team I can work very well and I’m satisfied with that.”

But there could yet be hope for Costa even as Chelsea insists that the player has been aware of their position on his future since January this year, with AC Milan sporting director Marco Fassone saying that he has held talks with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes.

 

Gareth Bale: Welsh forward told he is future of Real Madrid

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Gareth Bale has been assured that he is the future of Real Madrid and they will not try to buy Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe until next summer.

Bale has acknowledged that he is content about his situation at Real and have signed a contract extension last autumn.

However, despite the contractual agreement that ends in 2022 that also made Bale become one of the the world’s highest-paid players, Real have expressed a firm interest in Monaco youngster Mbappe throughout the summer.

Still, Los Blancos just stopped short of going all-out by informing Bale that they are unlikely to attempt to buy the 18-year-old striker in the near future.

Real’s move, however temporary would assure Bale’s status as one of Real’s prime assets and, with Cristiano Ronaldo turning 33 in February, the European champions view the Welshman as having a long‑term future in Zinedine Zidane’s side.

There had been many an obstacle against Bale’s flourishing at Real. Despite a fruitful debuting season in Spain, the former Tottenham star had been limited to rare appearances as injuries plagued his playtime, with another injury scare occurring last Tuesday after he was forced out of Tuesday’s training session with an ankle complaint.

Zidane had since provided assurance, one week ahead of Real’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Manchester United, that Bale has been showing encouraging signs both in terms of fitness and form during pre-season.

“He looks good to me, little by little,” he told a news conference. “He’s had a long injury, (but) the pre-season has been very good since the beginning. I’m not worried about his performance, because the whole team has had good moments and not as good moments.”