Coming fixtures
First division Day 32 (remaining games) 19/20 Apr
Champions League Barcelona v Paris St Germain
Real Madrid v Atlético
21 Apr
22 Apr
Europa League Sevilla v Zenit 23 Apr
First division Day 33 24-27 Apr
First division Day 34 28-30 Apr

Match round-up - First Division, Day 32

No change at the top this week as the three leading teams all won. Barcelona had a tricky game against fourth placed Valencia to start off the Saturday programme, but goals from Luis Suárez and Messi in the first and last minutes of the match gave them a 2-0 victory. The Ches put up a good fight though, especially in the first half when Bravo had to save a Dani Parejo penalty. Real Madrid stay two points behind the leaders after they beat Málaga 3-1 later in the evening. Sergio Ramos opened the scoring midway through the first half and Ronaldo fired a spot kick against the post before James added a second after the restart. Juanmi headed one back a couple of minutes later, but Ronaldo wrapped things up in injury time with his 50 th goal of the season. Atlético Madrid took advantage of Valencia’s defeat to open the gap on their rivals to four points following a 1-2 victory at Deportivo, Griezmann netting twice in the first half before Oriol Riera headed a late consolation for the Galicians. And Athletic Bilbao are back up to eighth after a 4-0 win over Getafe, Aduríz getting the first from the penalty spot after Velázquez was sent off for bringing down Viguera on the stroke of half time. The striker added a second just a minute in to the second half, and Ibai Gómez and Susaeta completed the scoring later on. (18.04.15)

Levante and Espanyol drew 2-2 in this week’s Friday night game, a result which takes the locals out of the bottom three pending the rest of the weekend fixtures, and leaves the visitors still four points behind seventh placed Málaga. The Catalans went ahead twice in the first half through Lucas Vázquez and then Caicedo, but Simao equalized the first time, and Víctor Casadesús levelled the scores once again with three minutes to go. (17.04.15)

Europa League, quarter finals, first leg

Sevilla 2 - Zenit 1

Defending champions Sevilla came back from a goal down against Zenit to take a narrow lead into next week’s second leg. Gameiro went close for the Andalusians early on, but Shatov brought a good save out of Sergio Rico, and Ryazantsev headed wide before beating the keeper at the second attempt to put the Russian side ahead on the half hour mark. Emery made two changes at the break though, and soon after the restart Garay had to clear off the line from Denis Suárez, and Krychowiak headed past the post. With twenty minutes to go Bacca levelled the scores with a header from an Aleix Vidal cross, and just two minutes from the end Suárez drilled home an impressive winner after M’Bia headed a corner back to the edge of the area. (16.04.15)

Champions League, quarter finals, first leg

Paris Saint Germain 1 - Barcelona 3

Barcelona are close to a place in the semi-finals after a 1-3 victory at Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of their quarter final! Laurent Blanc’s side won the tie when the two teams met in Paris in the group stage earlier in the season, but Messi hit the post before slipping the ball through for Neymar to open the scoring with just under twenty minutes gone. Cavani caused a few problems for the visiting defence before the break, and Ter Stegen had to keep out Pastore and Rabiot after the restart, but midway through the second half Luis Suárez picked up a Montoya pass and cut past three defenders to poke a shot past Siriglu. Stegen kept out Cavani again and Messi shot wide following a good run, but with ten minutes to go Suárez collected a return pass from Mascherano and ran on past David Luiz to make it three. A couple of minutes later the locals got one back when Mathieu sliced a Van der Wiel shot past his own keeper, but even so Barça are odds-on favourites to make it through to the final four once again. (15.04.15)

Atlético Madrid 0 – Real Madrid 0

Honours even in the first leg tie between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, and everything will be decided next Wednesday in the Bernabeu stadium. The two neighbours had met six times since Real won the “decimo” in Lisbon last summer, with Simeone’s team winning four times and the other two matches drawn, and once again the Merengues were unable to get the better of their city rivals. However the visitors were by far the better outfit this time around, and only a brilliant performance by Oblak prevented them from coming away with a victory. The local keeper made a string of top class saves, in particular before the break from Bale, Ronaldo, James and Modric, and only a couple of speculative efforts by Griezmann caused any problems for Casillas at the other end. Atleti did come away unscathed in the end though, and Madrid know they will have to score at least once next week if they are to go through to defend their title. (14.04.15)


Match round-up - First Division, Day 31

Valencia are back to within a point of Atlético Madrid after a 3-0 victory over city rivals Levante in the Monday night game. The Ches went two up at the break with headed goals by Paco Alcácer and Feghouli, and Negredo added a late third in injury time. (13.04.15)

Sixth placed Villarreal have been faltering recently, and they dropped points again after a 1-1 draw at Getafe in the Sunday mid-day game. Uche did give Marcelino’s side the lead from the penalty spot early on in the second half, but Diego Castro headed the equalizer a few minutes later. With Málaga also losing ground, several teams are still in with a chance of reaching the last European spots, Espanyol getting the edge on the rest with a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao later in the evening. Sergio García got the only goal shortly before half time to take his side a point above their opponents, and to give them a little bit of revenge for that semi-final cup defeat. Further down the table some seven teams are fighting to avoid the three relegation spots, although Córdoba already look doomed after they lost 0-2 to fellow strugglers Elche in the last match of the day. Enzo Roco and Pasalic got the goals either side of half time to leave the Andalusians nine points away from safety. The win takes Elche out of the bottom three, and Deportivo also climb out of the drop zone after a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad, a good start for new coach Víctor Sánchez del Amo. A Xabi Prieto penalty and a spectacular strike from Chory Castro put the Basque side ahead twice, but goals from Lucas Pérez and Toché levelled it both times. (12.04.15)

Real Madrid closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to two points after Luis Enrique’s side were held to a 2-2 draw at fifth placed Sevilla on Saturday evening. The Catalans appeared to be cruising when Messi and Neymar put them two up within the first half hour, but Bravo let a long shot from Banega into the net shortly before half time, and substitute Gameiro equalized late on to keep up his side’s unbeaten home record this season. Real Madrid meanwhile beat Eibar 3-0 in the first game of the day, Ronaldo starting things off with a well struck free kick and Chicharito heading a second on the half hour mark, and Jesé running through to score a third with seven minutes to go. Ancelotti’s side meet Atlético Madrid in the Champions League next Tuesday, and the “Colchoneros” are now seven points behind their city rivals in the table after they also drew 2-2 tonight at Málaga. Griezmann’s early strike was overturned by a Torres own goal and a shot from Samuel, but Griezmann saved a point for the visitors near the end. Later in the evening Celta thrashed Rayo Vallecano 6-1, Larrivey scoring twice and youngster Santi Mina netting four after Manucho had given the visitors a first minute lead. And Almería climbed out of the relegation spots after a 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Granada, Thomas scoring twice and Espinosa getting one in between. (11.04.15)


Second division

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

Match round-up - First Division, Day 30

Fourth placed Valencia were held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Thursday evening, and the Ches end the midweek round of games three points behind Atlético and only a point above Sevilla. De Paul gave Nuno’s side the lead midway through the second half, but Otamendi was sent off a few minutes later, and Aduríz equalized from an offside position in the last minute of the match. Villarreal stay sixth, although they are now eleven points below Sevilla after a 0-3 defeat against Espanyol. Caicedo got a goal in each half for the visitors, and Víctor Sánchez rounded things off with ten minutes to go. The Catalans are just about safe for another season, and Getafe are also looking good for another year in the top flight after they beat Elche 0-1, Hinestroza heading the only goal near the end. However the result leaves the hosts just three points above the drop zone. (09.04.15)

Barcelona stay four points clear at the top of the table after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Almería on Wednesday evening. Messi started things off with the opener on the half hour mark, and after the restart Luis Suárez scored two more and Marc Bartra headed another in-between. Real Madrid keep pace with the leaders though after they beat neighbours Rayo Vallecano 0-2 later in the evening. The locals put up a good fight, but second half strikes from Ronaldo and James sank them in the end. The other two games on Wednesday finished all square, Deportivo saving a late 1-1 draw against bottom club Córdoba, who picked up their first point in eleven games. Andone Florin scored a goal at each end, giving his side the lead early on in the second half, but then putting through his own net near the end. Depor end the day just above the drop zone, and coach Víctor Fernández was fired soon after the final whistle. Granada meanwhile stay in the relegation spots after they too drew 1-1 against Celta. Robert Ibáñez put the Andalusians ahead in only the third minute, and they held on despite having Murillo sent off until the third minute of injury time, when Bongonda levelled the scores for the visitors. (08.04.15)

A mid-week round of league games this week, with Atlético Madrid consolidating third spot after a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Tuesday evening. Both goals came in the first ten minutes, Mikel González heading Koke’s corner into his own net, and Griezmann getting the second after Rulli could only push out Koke’s long shot. Later in the evening fifth placed Sevilla won 1-2 at Levante to move level on points with Valencia pending their game on Thursday, Gameiro and Reyes putting the Andalusians two up before Kalu Uche got one back in the second half. And Eibar beat Málaga 1-0 for their first win in eleven matches, Arruabarrena scoring the only goal early on in the second half. (07.04.15)


Friendly international

Netherlands 2 - Spain 0

Another disappointing night for Spain, Del Bosque’s side falling to a 2-0 defeat against Netherlands in their latest friendly match. The coach made nine changes to the line-up he put out against Ukraine four days ago, with only Piqué and Isco starting both games. That was probably too much though against the team who humiliated them in last summer’s World Cup, and within sixteen minutes they found themselves two goals down, De Vrij heading the first of those from Sneijder’s cross after a corner came back out to the ex Real Madrid midfielder. Depay had already tested De Gea before that, and with the defence in disarray Klaassen made it two, beating the keeper at the second attempt after Depay and Willems combined to set him up. Juanmi was making his international debut up front, and he and Pedro did cause a few problems for Vermeer and his back four before the break. But Martins Indi bounced a header over the bar with the goal at his mercy soon after the restart, and De Gea had to be at his best to keep out Depay a few minutes later. Vermeer had to save from a low Piqué free kick after that, new boy Vitolo fired a shot just wide of the post, and Silva got the ball in the net only to be pulled up for offside, but for the third friendly game in a row Spain had lost without scoring a single goal, and Del Bosque is running out of time in his quest to restore “la selección” to their former glory. (31.03.15)

Under 21 friendly international

Spain 4 - Belarus 0

Spain’s new under 21 side followed up their win against Norway with a 4-0 victory over Belarus on Monday evening. Team captain Gerard Deulofeu led by example, the Sevilla winger scoring the second goal himself and having a hand in the other three, the first midway through the first half with a cross from the right which Shastsilouski turned into his own net. After Munir put him through to score just after the break, Deulofeu returned the favour for the Barcelona striker to make it three soon afterwards. Six minutes later substitute Moi Gómez latched on to another Deulofeu assist for the fourth, and Williams could have added a fifth had his strike not been ruled out for a narrow offside later on. (30.03.15)

Spain 2 - Norway 0

Under 17 Euro qualifiers
Under 18 Atlantic Cup
Other youth international games:
Under 19 / Under 16

Euro 2016 qualifier

Spain 1 - Ukraine 0

A close thing in the end, but Spain beat Ukraine 1-0 to move three points clear of their opponents in their group. Starting the day level in the table with the East Europeans, and still three points behind group leaders Slovakia, this was a must win match. Silva and Isco went close early on, and Pyatov had to tip a long shot from Koke over the bar, but Fedestkiy and Rotan fired shots just wide in reply. With just under half an hour gone though Koke played Iniesta’s pass straight into the path of Morata, who held off his marker before lifting a deflected shot over the keeper and in to the net. Sergio Ramos came close to a second when he headed Silva’s wide free kick against the bar just before the break, but after the restart Casillas had to save three times from Rotan, once when he gave the ball away to the midfielder himself, and for a while it looked as if Ukraine must equalize. In the end though Del Bosque’s side held it together, and only a lungeing save by Pyatov prevented Cazorla from adding to the scoreline near the end. (27.03.15)

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

Copa del Rey, semi-finals, second leg

This year’s cup final will be between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao after both won through their respective semi-finals. Barcelona came into their tie at Villarreal 3-1 up from the first leg, and within three minutes Neymar put them further ahead from Messi’s cross. Jonathan Dos Santos equalized shortly before the break though, and they were the better team until Pina was sent off for a reckless tackle on Neymar midway through the second half. A few minutes later Luis Suárez ran through to make it two, and Neymar wrapped up a 1-3 victory with a header from Xavi’s cross with two minutes to go. Athletic Bilbao will be Barça’s opponents for the third time in seven years after they beat Espanyol 0-2 later in the evening. After the 1-1 draw in Bilbao, the locals were hoping for an all-Catalan final. However Aduríz opened the scoring for the visitors with just under a quarter of an hour gone, firing a shot on the turn past Pau López, and Etxeita headed in an Iraola corner shortly before the break to make it two. That left Espanyol needing three goals, which they never looked like getting. The final takes place at the end of season at a venue yet to be decided, and with Luis Enrique’s side odds-on for one of the Champions League spots, Athletic are all but mathematically sure of a place in the Europa League next season. (04.03.15)

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

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
Deportivo 1-2 Atlético
Elche - Real Soc
Villarreal - Córdoba
Athletic 4-0 Getafe
Levante 2-2 Espanyol
Barcelona 2-0 Valencia
Granada - Sevilla
Rayo - Almería
Eibar - Celta
R Madrid 3-1 Málaga
Day 32 - Apr 19

Málaga 2-2 Atlético
Real Soc 2-2 Deportivo
Córdoba 0-2 Elche
Getafe 1-1 Villarreal
Espanyol 1-0 Athletic
Valencia 3-0 Levante
Sevilla 2-2 Barcelona
Almería 3-0 Granada
Celta 6-1 Rayo
R Madrid 3-0 Eibar
Day 31 - Apr 12

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