Coming fixtures
First division Day 13 (remaining games) 29 Nov
Copa del Rey Fourth round, first leg 1-3 Dec
First division Day 14 5-7 Dec
Champions League Day 6 8/9 Dec
Europa League Day 6 10 Dec

Match round-up - First Division, Day 13

Barcelona kept up their recent great form with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon. Dani Alves set up Neymar and then Luis Suárez to put the Catalans two up at the break, and Neymar added a third before crossing in for Messi to complete the scoring in the last minute. Luis Enrique’s side remain four points clear of Atlético Madrid, who consolidated second spot with a 1-0 win over Barcelona’s neighbours Espanyol later in the evening. Griezmann got the only goal in the third minute, and after that they controlled the game to clock a third single-goal victory in a row. Celta are back up to fourth after beating Sporting Gijón in the last match of the evening, Nolito getting the winner after substitute Carlos Castro cancelled out Orellana’s early opener. And Deportivo are now fifth after they won 0-2 at Las Palmas, David Simón turning a Lucas Pérez centre into his own net before the break, and Pérez himself wrapping things up in injury time. Las Palmas stay in the bottom three, together with Levante and Málaga, who were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow strugglers Granada. The locals went two up with strikes by Charles and Fornals either side of half time, but they played most of the second half with ten men, and headed goals by El-Arabi and Rochina in the last ten minutes or so saved a point for the visitors. (28.11.15)

Betis moved up to the top half of the table pending the rest of the weekend games after a 0-1 victory at Levante on Friday evening. Rubén Castro combined with Joaquín to score the only goal early on, but the locals could have saved a point had Deyverson not missed a couple of simple chances either side of half time. The defeat leaves the Valencia based side in next to bottom spot. (27.11.15)

Europa League, day 5

The two Spanish sides are through to the knock-out stage of the competition after both won their respective matches on Thursday night. Athletic Bilbao made sure of top spot in their group after coming from behind to beat Augsburg 2-3 in the first match of the day. Susaeta’s early opener was overturned by strikes from Trochowski and Bobadilla either side of the break, but substitutes Iturraspe and Williams combined to set up Aduríz to score twice in the last ten minutes. And later in the evening Villarreal beat Rapid Vienna 1-0 to move above the Austrians to the top of their mini-league. A win by Minsk against Viktoria Plsen in the other group match earlier in the afternoon meant that both teams were already sure of qualifying, but Bruno tied up the three points following a Denis Suárez corner with twelve minutes to go. (26.11.15)

Group tables

Champions League, day 5

Both Madrid teams will be joining Barcelona in the knock-out stages after winning their respective matches on Wednesday. Real Madrid were already sure of a place in the last sixteen, but a 3-4 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk tied up top spot in group A. Rafa Benítez’s side raced into a four goal lead, Ronaldo opening the scoring in the first half, and Modric, Carvajal and Ronaldo adding three more after the restart. The Ukrainian side came back though to set up a frenetic finish, Teixeira converting a penalty and scoring again near the end, and Dentinho chesting a corner past Kiko Casilla in-between. Atlético Madrid share first place of group C with Benfica after beating Galatasaray 2-0, Griezmann scoring a goal in each half to tie up the three points. Simeone’s team will have to beat Benfica in their last match however if they are to finish first in their mini-league, as the Portuguese side won 1-2 in the Calderón stadium earlier this season. Sevilla’s Champions League campaign is over though after they lost 4-2 at Borussia Mönchengladbach, although they still have an outside chance of qualifying for the Europa League, a late strike by Vitolo and a Banega penalty giving them the head-to-head advantage over the German side. To do so however they will have to beat Juventus in two weeks’ time, and hope that Borussia don’t win at Manchester City. For the record, Stindl scored twice for the locals, and Johnson and Raffael got the other two goals. (25.11.15)

Barcelona made sure of top spot in their group after a resounding 6-1 victory over Roma on Tuesday night. A draw between BATE Borisov and Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the evening meant that Luis Enrique’s side were already sure of a place in the knock-out stage, but Luis Suárez and Messi put them two up in the first twenty minutes, and Suárez made it three before the break. Piqué, Messi and Adriano added three more after the restart, and Dzeko had a penalty saved by Ter Stegen before he finally headed a late consolation in injury time. Valencia though drop to third in their group after a 2-0 defeat at Zenit, strikes by Shatov and Dyzuba giving the Russian side a fifth win in a row. Gent’s victory over Olympique Lyon in the other group tie means that the Ches now have to beat Lyon in their last game and hope that the Belgians don’t win their’s against Zenit. (24.11.15)

Group tables

Match round-up - First Division, Day 12

Honours were shared in the South Madrid derby between Getafe and Rayo Vallecano on Monday night, a 1-1 draw leaving the two teams down in the lower half of the table. Curiously both goals were scored by the same player, Rayo’s Jozabed putting through his own net early on in the second half, and then making it all square a few minutes later on the follow up after Guaita saved a Trashorras penalty. (23.11.15)

Atlético Madrid moved up to second spot, two points above city rivals Real Madrid, after a 0-1 victory over Betis in the last game on Sunday night. Koke got the only goal of the match early on after Adán saved from Fernando Torres, but Griezmann came close to a second when he hit the post near the end. Villarreal are back up to fourth despite being held to a 1-1 draw by sixth placed Eibar earlier in the evening. Sergi Enrich opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the first half, and Areola saved a Dani García penalty before Jaume Costa levelled the scores with two minutes to go. Málaga meanwhile find themselves at the bottom of the table after the two teams below them both won, Levante beating Sporting Gijón 0-3 in the mid-day kick off thanks to first half strikes from Deyverson (2) and Feddal, and Granada winning 2-0 against Athletic Bilbao, Laporte putting through his own goal in the fifth minute and Isaac Success adding the second after the restart. (22.11.15)

The latest “clásico” ended in a big win for leaders Barcelona, Luis Enrique’s side beating hosts Real Madrid 0-4 to move six points clear of them in the table. The Catalans were the better team throughout, Luis Suárez latching on to a Sergi Roberto pass to open the scoring in the eleventh minute, and Iniesta setting up Neymar for the second and then firing home the third himself either side of half time. Messi started on the bench following his long injury lay-off, but he came on in the second half and had a hand in the fourth goal, Jordi Alba playing his pass into the path of Luis Suárez for him to chip Keylor Navas with a quarter of an hour to go. Claudio Bravo had to make important saves in particular from Ronaldo and Benzema later on, but substitute Munir missed a couple of easy chances, and a frustrated Isco got himself sent off near the end for kicking out at Neymar.

Fourth placed Celta missed out on a chance to draw level with Madrid though after they lost 2-0 at neighbours Deportivo in the last match of the evening. Lucas Pérez opened the scoring for the locals midway through the first half, and Jonny turned a long clearance past his own keeper and in to his own net right at the end. Valencia could have leapfrogged Celta had they been able to beat Las Palmas, but in the end they were lucky to get away with a 1-1 draw, Paco Alcácer’s early opener cancelled out by a strike from Jonathan Viera, and local keeper Jaume Domenech having to make a string of saves after that. The point takes the Canary Islanders out of the relegation spots, above Málaga, who were beaten 2-0 at Espanyol. Hernán Pérez got both goals for the hosts in the first twenty minutes of the game. And earlier in the afternoon Real Sociedad beat Sevilla 2-0 with strikes in the last quarter of an hour or so by Agirretxe and Xabi Prieto to get new coach Eusebio off to a good start. (21.11.15)


Second division

Heroes & Villains section: Top scorers, keepers, red & yellow cards, referee

Friendly international

Official notice. The Belgian authorities have decided to call off tonight's friendly international between Belgium and Spain as they can't guarantee security after last Friday's terror attacks in Paris. (17.11.15)

Under 21 Euro 2017 qualifier

Croatia 2 - Spain 3

Spain’s under 21 side moved to the top of their group after a 2-3 victory over leaders Croatia, although it was a close thing in the end as the East Europeans fought back from three down with ten men to come within a whisker of saving a point. Things swung in Spain’s favour early on when Kolinger was sent off for bringing down Williams in the area, Deulofeu converting the spot kick. That was the first goal they had let in during the group stage, but with the first half coming to a close Marco Asensio made it two after Dani Ceballos laid the ball back from the by-line. When Deulofeu intercepted a poor clearance by Livakovic to turn a shot back into the net it appeared to be all over, but Kepa had to make the save of the evening from Pasalic soon afterwards, and some twenty minutes into the second half the ex-Elche midfielder got one back after a Radosevic free kick came back off the defensive wall. A few minutes later Caneta-Car had a strike ruled out for offside, and with ten minutes to go substitute Jorge Meré was red carded for pulling back Tudor in the area, Radosevic slotting home the resulting penalty. The match went into injury time, and Tudor and Halilovic both hit the woodwork. But then Mikanovic stupidly got himself sent off with a second yellow card for taking out Ceballos, and the game ended seconds later. A brilliant battle between two excellent sides, but a lesson to all that it’s not over until the final whistle. (17.11.15)

Thursday night game: Spain 5 - Georgia 0

Group 6 table

Other youth international games:
Under 19 / Under 18 / Under 17 / Under 16

Friendly international

Spain 2 - England 0

Spain began their warm up for the Euro 2016 finals with a 2-0 victory over England in this friendly game in Alicante. With Sergio Ramos, Juanfran and Isco all pulling out of the squad with injuries, Del Bosque lined up with Diego Costa and Paco Alcácer up front, and Iker Casillas making a European record 165 th appearance in goal. Neither keeper was particularly troubled though in the first half, Piqué, Busquets, Alcácer and Costa just missing the target with long shots, and Barclay and Kane trying their luck at the other end. The introduction of Nolito at the break livened things up, and Hart had to make a couple of saves from the Celta forward and Jordi Alba before Mario opened the scoring with a spectacular strike, the Villarreal right back connecting with Cesc’s lifted pass to hook an acrobatic volley past the visiting keeper. With seven minutes to go Cazorla made it two with a low shot after Nolito laid the ball back to him, the referee waving away claims for offside, and England came close to getting one back near the end, substitute Rooney bouncing a shot against the crossbar, and Kane bringing a last minute save out of Casillas, who with this result has now clocked up 100 clean sheets for his country. (13.07.15)

Full and under 21 squads
Euro 2016 qualifying group games
Qualifying group C table
World Cup 2018 fixtures

Copa del Rey, fourth round first leg

A depleted Barcelona line-up made up of reserves and B team players could only draw 0-0 at second division B side Villanovense in their first leg tie, although they will be expected to make it through to the next round when the two teams meet again in the Nou Camp later this year. The fixture was brought forward by six weeks or so to free up time for Barça’s participation in the Club World Cup in December, and although Luis Enrique left all of his star players at home, the population of the small town of Villanova de la Serena in Extremadura turned out en masse. In the end though it was a dull game, Munir and Sandro wasting the best chances for the visitors, and Calatrava hitting the bar for the part-timers shortly before the break. The fans didn’t mind however, and they cheered their players off the pitch at the end. The record books will show that their boys drew against the reigning European champions! (28.10.15)

Latest transfers

Post-window transfers

A sensational end to this summer’s transfer window, Manchester United and Real Madrid agreeing a swap deal on the last day for David De Gea and Keylor Navas, but eventually seeing the operation fall through as the documentation was not registered in time! The two keepers were valued at around €40 Mio and €15 Mio respectively, but delays in the drafting of contracts meant that the final papers didn’t reach the LFP until a few minutes after the midnight deadline. Conspiracy theories rapidly abounded on internet, United paying back Madrid for squeezing them on previous deals, the LFP taking it out on Madrid for the conflict over TV rights, Navas delaying the deal as he wasn’t keen to move, and at first Madrid saying they would appeal to FIFA as they had proof that they had presented everything before the deadline, later retracting their statement and blaming United for the failing. Whatever the case, the fallout is likely to go on for weeks!

The De Gea deal overshadowed all other operations on the closing days, but as usual there were frantic movements as teams scrambled to get in their late signings. Athletic Bilbao for example managed to tie up Atlético’s Raúl García at last, Valencia replaced Otamendi with Abdennour and Aderlan Santos, Joaquín sealed his return to his old club Betis, and Adrían López also agreed to come back to Spain, joining his ex Spanish international team-mate Soldado at Villarreal. With Llorente, Fernando Torres, Javi Guerra and Santa Cruz also back in Spain, it’s a bit of an old strikers’ reunion! That’s it though for the next few months, and hopefully things will quieten down until battle recommences at the beginning of January. (01.09.15)

Date Player (Country) Old club New club Position/Comments
31/08/15 De Gea / Navas (CRI) Manchester United (ENG) Real Madrid GK Swap deal agreed between 2 clubs, but everything fell through as documentation presented too late!
31/08/15 Raúl García Atlético Madrid Athletic Bilbao
MF Have been trying to sign nº 8 for some time, and Atleti finally allow him to go for fee of around €10 Mio.
31/08/15 Adrián López Porto (POR) Villarreal FW Betis miss out again! In the end Villarreal step in to take player on loan, joining Soldado & Bakambu.
31/08/15 Joaquín Fiorentina (ITA) Betis MF Local hero will be returning home after long negotiations.Also signed Van Wolfswinkel..


New season transfers - first division
New season transfers - second division

First division squads
Second division A squads
Second division B groups

Spanish Super Cup, second leg

Barcelona 1 - Athletic 1

Athletic Bilbao won the Spanish Super Cup after beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate! The 4-0 result from the first leg had virtually ended the contest, but Luis Enrique put out his strongest available side hoping for a miraculous turnaround in a packed Nou Camp. At half time it looked as if they may just do that, Piqué hitting the bar and Messi firing a free kick over the top before Luis Suárez chested back a Rakitic cross for Messi to open the scoring on the stroke of half time. But Eraso had missed a good chance shortly before that, and Bravo had to save from Susaeta and Aduríz early on in the second half as the visitors looked to score on the breakaway. Soon afterwards Barça were left with ten men when Piqué was shown a red card for insulting a linesman, and although Rakitic and Suárez went close, Aduríz took advantage of some sloppy defending to wrap things up after De Marcos headed a long punt into his path with a quarter of an hour to go. That ended Luis Enrique’s hopes of emulating Guardiola’s six cups in a calendar year, and Athletic had won their first trophy since their league and cup double way back in 1984. (17.08.15)

First leg: Athletic 4 - Barcelona 0

European Super Cup

Barcelona 5 - Sevilla 4 (after extra time)

Barcelona won the European Super Cup for the fifth time following an incredible match in Georgia, substitute Pedro scoring the winner in extra time after Sevilla came back from 4-1 down. The first three goals all came from free kicks in the first fifteen minutes of the match, Banega putting the Andalusians ahead, bu Messi striking twice in ten minutes to turn the scoreline around. Luis Suárez had a goal ruled out for a borderline offside soon afterwards, and with the first half coming to a close Beto managed to stop the striker on a quick breakaway, only for him to pass through the legs of Krohn-Dehli for Rafinha to make it three. When Suárez himself added a fourth after Busquets intercepted a poor pass by Tremoulinas, it appeared to be all over, but just five minutes later Reyes got on the end of Vitolo’s cross to pull one back. A quarter of an hour later Gameiro closed the gap to one goal when he converted a penalty, and with ten minutes to go substitutes Immobile and Konoplyanka combined for the latter to equalize. Luis Enrique turned to the unsettled Pedro though as the match went in to extra time, and the striker fired home the winner after a first Messi free kick was blocked, and a second shot by the Argentinian forward was pushed out by Beto. Even so however Sevilla didn’t give up, and Coke and Rami both failed to convert easy chances in the dying minutes. (11.08.15)

2014 Club World Cup final: Real Madrid 2 - San Lorenzo 0

Summary of 2014/2015

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Barcelona
Promoted to the first division Betis, Sporting Gijón,
Las Palmas
Relegated to the second division A Elche, Almería, Córdoba
Promoted to the second division A Nàstic, Oviedo,
Athletic Bilbao B, Huesca
Relegated to the second division B Racing Santander, Recreativo, Sabadell, Barcelona B

Clubs taking part in international competitions in 2015/16 season
Champions League Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla
Europa League Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao
European Super Cup Barcelona and Sevilla
Club World Cup Barcelona

First Division
Getafe - Villarreal
Eibar - R Madrid
Barcelona 4-0 Real Soc
Sevilla - Valencia
L Palmas 0-2 Deportivo
Celta 2-1 Sporting
Levante 0-1 Betis
Atlético 1-0 Espanyol
Málaga 2-2 Granada
Rayo - Athletic
Day 13 - Nov 29



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