Coming fixtures
Copa del Rey Semi-finals, 2nd leg 4 Mar
First division Day 26 6-9 Mar
Champions League Real Madrid v Schalke '04 10 Mar
Europa League Villarreal v Sevilla 12 Mar

Match round-up - First Division, Day 25

Monday night game: Celta 1 - Elche 1

Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid were both held to draws on Sunday by teams fighting for the European spots, leaving the title race a little bit more open. Real Madrid were last up, and they could only draw 1-1 with sixth placed Villarreal in the Bernabeu stadium, even though coach Marcelino left several of his star players out of the starting line up. Ronaldo put Ancelotti’s side ahead from the penalty spot early on in the second half after Eric Bailly pulled him down, but Gerard Moreno combined with substitute Vietto to equalize some twelve minutes later, and visiting keeper Sergio Asenjo made a string of saves to maintain the result. Madrid end the day just two points above Barcelona, who they have to visit in three weeks time. Earlier in the evening the game between fifth placed Sevilla and Atlético ended without goals, the result leaving Simeone’s side five points adrift of the leaders. Valencia are now just a point behind Atleti as well after they beat Real Sociedad 2-0 in this Sunday’s mid-day game, Piatti getting both goals in a five minute period early on in the second half. The Ches have a chance to move up to third next Sunday night when they travel to the Calderón stadium. Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao moved up into the top half of the table after they won 0-1 at local rivals Eibar. Like Marcelino, Valverde rested players for next Wednesday’s cup semi-finals, but Gurpegui headed in a De Marcos cross for the visitors with ten minutes to go to the break to hand their hosts a sixth defeat in a row. (01.03.15)

Barcelona put the pressure on leaders Real Madrid with a 1-3 victory at Granada on Saturday afternoon. Rakitic opened the scoring on the half hour mark after a Luis Suárez cross was only partly cleared, and Suárez got the second at the start of the second half after latching on to Rakitic’s return pass. Fran Rico got one back from the penalty spot soon afterwards, but Rakitic and Suárez combined again to set up Messi for the third. Granada stay in next to bottom spot, still three points behind Levante, who were beaten 4-2 by Rayo Vallecano. Casadesús put ther visitors ahead early on, but four goals in fifteen minutes by Alberto Bueno turned the scoreline around before the break, and a late strike by Kalu Uche was scant consolation. Almería and Deportivo are only just above the bottom three though after they drew 0-0, the locals (who are facing a 3 point deduction from FIFA for transfer irregularities) ending with nine men after Thievy and Macedo were sent off. And the once-again managerless Getafe are only a point above Deportivo after they lost 3-2 to Málaga in the last game of the evening, two goals by Alvaro Vázquez not enough to prevent defeat. Juanmi, Darder and Horta were the scorers for the Andalusians, who move to within three points of the European spots pending Sunday’s matches. (28.02.15)

Espanyol started off the week 25 round of games with a 1-0 victory over bottom club Córdoba on Friday evening, a result which takes them up to eighth pending the rest of the weekend games. The Catalans had the better of the first half, Abraham opening the scoring with a low shot after Caicedo headed back Héctor Moreno’s cross. The introduction of Bebé at the break changed things though, and only some good saves by Casilla prevented the Andalusians from picking up a point. (27.02.15)

Europa League, round of 32, second leg

Round of 16 draw: Villarreal and Sevilla were paired together, with the first leg in Villarreal on 12th March.

Sevilla and Villarreal made it through to the last sixteen of the competition after winning their respective second leg matches, although Athletic Bilbao were knocked out. Sevilla beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-3, Vitolo putting the tie beyond the Germans’ reach later on after Xhaka and Hazard had cancelled out strikes by Bacca and Vitolo in the first half an hour. Villarreal came from behind to win 1-3 at Salzburg, Djuricin opening the scoring for the Austrians but Vietto scoring a goal in each half and Giovani wrapping things up with ten minutes to go. Athletic Bilbao lost 2-3 to Torino however, Iraola and De Marcos levelling the tie after a Quagliarella penalty and a Maxi López header had twice given the Italians the edge, but Darmian volleying home the winner midway through the second half. (26.02.15)

Champions League, round of 16, first leg

Bayer Leverkusen 1 – Atlético Madrid 0

Atlético Madrid have an uphill battle to stay in the competition after they were beaten 1-0 by Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday evening. It was a hard fought match with few chances, the best in the first half a couple of efforts by Spahic, the first cleared off the line by Mandzukic and the second rattling the crossbar, and an effort by Tiago on the stroke of half time following a corner which Leno kept out. Some ten minutes in to the second half Calhanoglu got what was to prove the only goal after picking up Bellarabi’s back-heel pass, and the striker brought a good save out of Moyà soon afterwards with a well struck free kick. Simeone turned to Fernando Torres, who almost immediately tested Leno again with a shot on the turn, and then headed the ball into an empty net from a Griezmann corner only for the referee to rule that the ball had swung out of play. A few minutes later Tiago was sent off after picking up a second booking, and Atlético held on after that to protect the result, Moyà making further saves from Drmic and Papadopoulos . (25.02.15)

Manchester City 1 - Barcelona 2

Barcelona are looking good for a place in the quarter finals after beating Manchester City 1-2 on Tuesday night. The two sides were meeting for the second season in a row at this stage, and once again the Catalans were on top, Luis Suárez shooting wide early on before opening the scoring after Kompany failed to clear Messi’s centre. With half an hour on the clock Suárez got his second of the night, sliding a shot past Hart from a Jordi Alba cross, and before the break Neymar and Messi both had efforts blocked, and Dani Alves chipped an angled shot onto the crossbar. Ter Stegen didn’t have a real save to make until Nasri tested him on the stroke of half time, although soon after the restart he had to keep out a Dzeko header, and Nasri, Dzeko and Aguero all went close. Rakitic responded with a couple of long shots, but with twenty minutes to go Aguero picked up a David Silva assist and ran on to beat the keeper. However soon afterwards Clichy got himself sent off for a second bookable offence, and Messi had a strike disallowed for a borderline offside before winning an injury time penalty off Zabaleta. Hart guessed correctly though to save Messi’s spot kick, and the forward headed the rebound wide of the mark. (24.02.15)

Match round-up - First Division, Day 24

Levante moved to within a point of safety after coming from behind to beat fellow strugglers Granada 2-1 in the Monday night game. Camarasa and Barral got the goals in the last five minutes after El-Arabi had given the visitors an early lead from the penalty spot. (23.02.15)

Real Madrid opened up a four point lead at the top of the table after a 0-2 victory at Elche in the last match of Sunday evening. Barcelona’s defeat the day before had given Ancelotti’s side the chance to put some daylight between them and their arch rivals, and second half goals by Benzema and Ronaldo took them up to 60 points. Sevilla’s push for the Champions League spots took a set back when they were beaten 4-3 by Real Sociedad in Sunday’s mid-day game. Agirretxe opened the scoring for the locals early on, and although Kolodziejczak equalized before the break, Xabi Prieto restored the lead from the penalty spot soon after the restart. A Bacca header and a Gameiro penalty turned the scoreline around, but an Arribas own goal and a last minute Xabi Prieto header gave David Moyes’ side the three points. Sixth placed Villarreal are now just a point behind the Andalusians after they beat Eibar 1-0, Vietto coming on to score the only goal with twenty minutes to go. Curiously the three Basque sides are now all level on points in mid-table after Athletic Bilbao won 1-0 against Rayo Vallecano, Aduríz firing home a late winner after Balenziaga set him up. (22.02.15)

Barcelona’s run of eleven wins in a row came to a sudden halt on Saturday afternoon when they lost 0-1 at home to Málaga, and they missed out on a golden opportunity to move ahead of Real Madrid pending their game on Sunday. Juanmi got the only goal for the Andalusians in the seventh minute, intercepting a poor back pass by Dani Alves before running on to beat Bravo. But despite feilding a full strength line-up Luis Enrique’s side hardly managed a shot on goal after that, and they ended the day still a point behind the leaders in the table. Third placed Atlético Madrid closed the gap behind Barcelona to three points after they beat Almería 3-0 later in the evening. A Mandzukic penalty and two goals from Griezmann wrapped things up in the first half hour, and after that they limited themselves to conserving energy for their midweek Champions League tie. Valencia consolidated fourth spot after they won 1-2 at Córdoba, Piatti volleying in the winner near the end after a Ghlias penalty had cancelled out a fisrt half strike by André Gomes. And Celta ensured bragging rights over neighbours Deportivo, goals by Charles and Larrivey ensuring a 0-2 victory in the Riazor stadium which takes them back up to eighth. One match on Friday night as well, Getafe beating Espanyol 2-1 to move clear of the danger zone. Goals either side of half time by Sarabia and Alvaro Vázquez put the locals two up before Arbilla got a late consolation for the Catalans. (21.02.15)


Second division

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

Europa League, round of 32, first leg

Positive results for the three Spanish sides in tonight’s Europa League ties, although all of them still have work to do in next Thursday’s second legs if they are to make it through to the last sixteen. Athletic Bilbao were first up, and they came away from Torino with a 2-2 draw, despite leaving key players at home. Youngster Iñaki Williams gave the Basque side an early lead with his first senior goal, and although Maxi López scored twice to turn the scoreline around by the break, Gurpegui headed the eqaulizer later on. Later in the evening defending champions Sevilla beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0, Iborra getting the only goal from Diogo’s cross with twenty minutes to go. And Villarreal won 2-1 against Salzburg, Cheryshev scoring the winner after a Jonathan Soriano penalty had cancelled out Uche’s first half strike. (19.02.15)

Champions League, round of 16, first leg

Schalke '04 0 - Real Madrid 2

The Champions League is back, Real Madrid kicking off the knock-out stage with a 0-2 victory at Schalke ’04. Casillas had to make an early save from Huntelaar (who later went off injured), but Cristiano Ronaldo headed Ancelotti’s side into the lead from a Dani Carvajal cross midway through the first half. Young keeper Wellenreuther made good saves from a shot by Benzema and a Ronaldo free kick before the break, and Isco fired a shot over the top after Bale put him through early on in the second half. The German side went close to levelling it though with a quarter of an hour to go, Platte firing a shot against the crossbar and Uchida’s follow up deflecting off a defender into the hands of Casillas. However a few minutes later Ronaldo cut past two defenders and played the ball through for Marcelo to fire a right-foot shot in off the crossbar, giving his team a tenth win in a row in the competition. A victory in the return leg at the Bernabeu in three weeks time would make it eleven, beating the previous best set by Bayern Munich just over a year ago. (18.02.15)

Match round-up - First Division, Day 23

Elche move four points clear of the drop zone after a 0-1 victory at Eibar in the Monday night game. Jonathas got the only goal early on in the second half with a header which Irureta let through his hands, and visiting keeper Tyton made a string of saves to ensure the result. (16.02.15)

Barcelona stay a point behind leaders Real Madrid after a 5-0 victory over Levante on Sunday evening, an eleventh win in a row for Luis Enrique’s side. Messi crossed in for Neymar to score the first with just over a quarter of an hour gone, and then went on to complete yet another hat-trick before Luis Suárez rounded things off with an acrobatic scissors kick. Third placed Atlético Madrid drop six points behind the Catalans though after they were beaten 2-0 by Celta in the last match of the evening, Nolito opening the scoring from the penalty spot on the hour mark and Orellana adding the second a few minutes later. Valencia are back up to fourth, now just three points behind Atlético, after a 1-0 victory against Getafe in the mid-day kick-off, Negredo getting the only goal from the penalty spot. But sixth placed Villarreal are further behind the Ches after they lost 2-0 at Rayo Vallecano, Alberto Bueno and Kakuta getting the goals for Paco Jémez’s side after the break. (15.02.15)

Real Madrid bounced back from their defeat at Atlético last week, a 2-0 victory over Deportivo on Saturday evening keeping them top of the table for another week. Isco opened the scoring for Ancelotti’s side midway through the first half, and Benzema added the second later on. Sevilla are back up to fourth after they beat regional neighbours Córdoba 3-0 earlier in the afternoon, Krychowiak and Bacca putting them two up at the break and Iborra heading a third with a quarter of an hour to go. Seventh placed Málaga lost more ground on the teams above them however after they were beaten 0-2 by Espanyol, Alvaro heading the first, and Casilla saving an Amrabat penalty before Sergio García wrapped things up in injury time. Córdoba’s defeat left them at the bottom of the table after Granada picked up a point in a 0-0 draw against Athletic Bilbao. And on Friday night Almería and Real Sociedad drew 2-2 to edge further away from the relegation zone, a Verza penalty and a Hemed strike twice putting the locals ahead before Agirretxe and Canales cancelled them out each time. (14.02.15)


Second division

Copa del Rey, semi-finals, first leg

A city of Barcelona cup final is on the cards after good results by the two teams from the Condal city in their semi-final first legs. FC Barcelona kicked off the evening with a 3-1 victory over Villarreal, Messi opening the scoring after Luis Suárez set him up shortly before the break. Trigueros made it all square at the start of the second half with a long shot which went through the hands of Ter Stegen, but less than two minutes later Iniesta restored the lead with a low shot past Asenjo, and Piqué headed the third from a Messi corner a quarter of an hour later. It could have been more though had Asenjo not saved Neymar’s penalty later on after Musacchio handled in the area. Espanyol meanwhile drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao in the second match of the evening, although they will probably feel that they should have come away with a victory after failing to convert several chances after the break. Aduríz celebrated his 34th birthday with the opening goal, running on to a De Marcos pass to chip Pau López in the tenth minute, but Víctor Sánchez volleyed in a spectacular equalizer some ten minutes before the interval. (11.02.15)

Latest transfers

The winter transfer window closed at midnight last Friday, not so much with a bang as with a gentle push. There was the usual last day rush though, with 26 moves between the top two divisions, Levante the last in to present Fulham’s Bryan Ruíz just seconds after the shutters came down. That deal is now in the hands of FIFA, who must decide whether to allow it or not given that the papers were presented earlier but with a mistake as to the length of the contract. Elsewhere the main moves were by teams struggling to avoid the drop, Granada signing seven new players, and Córdoba and Deportivo five each. Of course three transfers stood out amongst the rest during the whole period, those of Fernando Torres (Chelsea / AC Milan to Atlético), Lucas Silva (Cruzeiro to Real Madrid), and Enzo Pérez (Benfica to Valencia). Some old flames have also returned, such as Javi Guerra, Colunga and Oriol Riera, and others have left us, including Gabriel Paulista, Roque Santa Cruz, Teerasil Dangda and Mike Havenaar. That’s it though folks until the end of the season, although signings can still be made to replace players with long term injuries, or where the player himself is unemployed. In fact a couple of moves did go through over the weekend, given that the window in other countries stayed open a little longer. All of that, and details of more of those last minute moves, can be followed at the links given below. (03.02.15)

Date Player (Country) Old club New club Position/Comments
30/01/15 Colunga
Brighton (ENG) Granada FW Ex Getafe striker last minute loan signing. Sissoko left out of squad to make room.
30/01/15 Zuculini (ARG)
Manchester City (ENG) / Valencia Córdoba MF Didn't have any success at Mestalla, but will be staying on in Spain on new loan deal.
30/01/15 Rafa Paez
Liverpool (ENG) / Bolonia (ITA) Eibar DF Signed by Reds from Real Madrid in 2013, and joins on loan to end of season.


Post-window transfers

Mid-season transfers - first division
Mid-season transfers - second division
First division squads
Second division squads
Regional 2B grouping

Friendly fixtures

As usual during the festive season, several friendly encounters took place over the last few days. The regional sides from the Basque country (Euskadi) and Catalonia met in the San Mamés stadium on Sunday night, the game ending 1-1 after Athletic’s Aduríz opened the scoring for the locals and Espanyol’s Sergio García levelled it for the visitors. The following day the charity match “Champions 4 Life” was hosted by Atlético Madrid, with some 60 players from Spain’s first and second divisions playing out 3 periods of 30 minutes between “West” and “East”. And on Tuesday Real Madrid met AC Milan in an invitation game in Dubai, the Italians running out 2-4 winners against the new “World Champions”. Ronaldo and Benzema got the goals for Ancelotti’s side. Further details on those games and more via the above link. (30.12.14)

Pre-season fixtures

Club World Cup

Real Madrid 2 - San Lorenzo 0

Real Madrid are World Champions after they beat Argentina’s San Lorenzo 2-0 in the final in Marrakesh! Once again Sergio Ramos was the hero of the night, the Spanish international defender shrugging off an injury and heading in another Kroos corner to open the scoring shortly before the break, a goal which won him the “player of the tournament” award. Before that Ancelotti’s side had been on top in a physical game, Ronaldo seeing a couple of free kicks deflected away by the defensive wall, and Benzema and Bale coming up against Torrico. Ronaldo felt he should have had a penalty when his shot hit Kannemann on the arm shortly before the interval, but some six minutes after the restart Gareth Bale added a second, shooting low under the keeper after picking up Isco’s pass. Benzema went close a couple of times after that, and Casillas wasn’t called upon until the last ten minutes, when he had to save long efforts from Kalinski and Mercier. A new trophy for Madrid, but their fourth title of the year, and after a record run of 22 consecutive victories they will be looking to add to their successes in the new year. (20.12.14)

Semi-final: Cruz Azul 0 – Real Madrid 4

Spanish Super Cup
European Super Cup

Friendly international

Spain 0 - Germany 1

A late goal by Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos gave Germany a 0-1 win over Spain in this friendly international between the reigning European and World champions. It was a wet night in Vigo, and with several key players missing, both coaches put out experimental sides. Celta’s own Nolito was making his full international debut, and he brought an early save out of Zieler. Isco fired a shot over the bar and Nolito forced a corner, but Casillas had to save from Götze, and Rudy struck his shot over the top when free on goal. Del Bosque gave first caps to Camacho and Kiko Casilla after the break, and in all he used no less than ten players who were not in his World Cup squad last summer. Morata, Nolito and Pedro all tested Zieler after the restart, but with a goal-less draw seemingly on the cards, Kroos caught Casilla off guard with a long shot which bounced past the keeper in to the net. It signalled a fifth defeat for “La Roja” this year, the worst record since the turn of the century, but with a wealth of new talent coming through that shouldn’t be too much to worry about just yet. (18.11.14)

Euro 2016 qualifier

Spain 3 - Belarus 0

An easy win for Spain in their fourth group match against Belarus, although victories elsewhere for Ukraine and leaders Slovakia meant that Del Bosque’s side stay in joint second place for now. Missing the likes of Iniesta, Silva, Costa and Fabrègas through injury, the coach called up several new faces to his squad, although his starting line-up was similar to previous games. Their opponents though had only picked up one point from three games, and Pedro put a good chance wide before Isco curled a shot in to the top corner of the net after Cazorla won the ball back on the edge of the area. Just a minute or so later Busquets latched on to a loose ball to drill home a second, and after the restart Alcácer headed against the bar before Juanfran and Cazorla combined to set up Pedro for the third. Casillas didn’t have a save to make until he collected a long effort by Nekhaychik late on, and with debutants Callejón and Morata on the park, Pedro turned a shot against the upright in the last minute. (15.11.14)

Full and under 21 squads
Group C table
Euro 2016 fixtures
Friendly internationals

Under 21 friendly international

Spain 1 - Belgium 4

Spain’s new under 21 side were resoundingly beaten by a stronger, more physical Belgium team on a rainy night in Ferrol. After failing to reach next summer’s European finals, coach Alberto Celades called up a new generation of youngsters, based largely on the previous under 19 team as well as several of the younger players from the previous squad. However they fell behind when Kabasele turned Cissé’s cross past Kepa, and Tielemans made it two with a long shot which bent away from the Athletic Bilbao keeper. Saúl and Sandro both hit the bar shortly before the break, and soon after the restart Munir got one back after a persistent Sául won the ball on the edge of the area. A few minutes later though Kayembe got in front of Costas to intercept a short pass from Iñiguez and run on to beat substitute keeper Whalley, and with a quarter of an hour to go Raman wrapped things up with an impressive shot from left of the area. (12.11.14)

Under 21 Euro 2015 play-offs:
First leg: Serbia 0 - Spain 0 / Second leg: Spain 1 - Serbia 2

Under 17 European qualifiers / Match reports

Under 19 invitational tournament:
Spain 2 - Germany 0 / Spain 5 - France 1 / Greece 2 - Spain 3

Summary of 2013/2014

League champions Atlético Madrid
Spanish cup winners Real Madrid
Promoted to the first division Eibar, Deportivo, Córdoba
Relegated to the second division A Osasuna, Valladolid, Betis
Promoted to the second division A Racing Santander, Albacete, Llagostera, Leganés
Relegated to the second division B Hércules, Jaén, Castilla, Murcia

Clubs taking part in European competitions in 2014/15 season
Champions League Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao
Europa League Sevilla, Villarreal, Real Sociedad
European Super Cup Real Madrid and Sevilla

  Borja Pantzov and his side-kick Goran Arsic are in Poland! You can follow their latest adventures in Borja's Blog. Borja's Blog

First Division
Málaga 3-2 Getafe
Espanyol 1-0 Córdoba
Valencia 2-0 Real Soc
Sevilla 0-0 Atlético
Almería 0-0 Deportivo
Celta 1-1 Elche
R Madrid 1-1 Villarreal
Eibar 0-1 Athletic
Rayo 4-2 Levante
Granada 1-3 Barcelona
Day 25 - Mar 1

Getafe 2-1 Espanyol
Córdoba 1-2 Valencia
Real Soc 4-3 Sevilla
Atlético 3-0 Almería
Deportivo 0-2 Celta
Elche 0-2 R Madrid
Villarreal 1-0 Eibar
Athletic 1-0 Rayo
Levante 2-1 Granada
Barcelona 0-1 Málaga
Day 24 - Feb 22

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