Coming fixtures
Europa League Day 1 18 Sep
First division Day 4 19-22 Sep
First division Day 5 23-25 Sep
First division Day 6 26-29 Sep
Champions League Day 2 30 Sep / 1 Oct

Champions League group stage, day 1

Mixed results for last season’s finalists in the opening day of this year’s Champions League, Real Madrid thrashing Basel 5-1, but Atlético Madrid beaten 3-2 by Olympiacos. The following day a much changed Barcelona side had more problems than expected to beat APOEL Nicosia, a first half header from Piqué giving them a 1-0 victory, and Athletic Bilbao began their group stage with a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in the new San Mamés stadium. (17.09.14)

Barcelona 1 - APOEL Nicosia 0

A much changed Barcelona side had more problems than expected before running out 1-0 winners against APOEL Nicosia. Luis Enrique made no less than nine changes to the starting line-up he put out at the weekend, giving debuts to keeper Ter Stegen and young midfielder Sergi Samper. The Cypriot team clearly came to defend and look to score on the breakaway, and once again Barça had most of the possession, with Messi bringing an early save out of ex Barcelona B keeper Urko Pardo with a well-struck free kick. A few minutes later Piqué headed the locals in front from another Messi free kick, and Messi and Neymar tested Pardo and his defence again before the break. However they were unable to get the second goal they needed to be sure of the result, and the visitors grew in confidence after the restart, De Vicenti seeing a shot deflected by Bartra, and then missing a good chance, and Ter Stegen having to save from Manduca in the dying minutes. Three points in the end though, and with Ajax and Paris St. Germain drawing in the other group game, Barcelona currently top their group. (17.09.14)

Athletic Bilbao 0 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0

Athletic Bilbao began the group stage with a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in the new San Mamés stadium. A capacity crowd turned up to see the Lions return to Europe’s top competition after a long absence, but they were up against an experienced team who were looking to get something from this match. Both sides had chances in the first half, Mikel Rico shooting wide and Ibai Gómez hitting the side netting with a free kick, and Stepanenko testing Iraizoz, and Luiz Adriano and Douglas Costa both going close. After the interval Pyatov had to save a Beñat free kick and a late effort from Susaeta, and Ibai Gómez and Muniain failed to find the target. But Laporte was lucky to be let off a penalty claim when a cross hit him on the arm at close range, Iraizoz had to push a long effort by Costa around the post, and Stepanenko got the ball in the net only for the play to be pulled up as Kuchar was offside in the build-up. Could have been better, but Athletic at least have a point on the board. (17.09.14)

Real Madrid 5 - Basel 1

The best possible start for defending champions Real Madrid, Ancelotti’s side bouncing back from their weekend defeat with a convincing 5-1 victory over Basel. With less than half the game gone they were already four up, Suchy deflecting Nacho’s cross in to his own net for the first and Bale running on to Modric’s long pass to lift the ball over the keeper and run it in to the net for the second. Just a minute later Modric and Bale combined to set up Ronaldo for the third, and James got the fourth after Benzema’s shot was saved. A moment of complacency allowed Derlis González to get one back on a quick break-away, and after the restart Casillas had to be at his best to keep out González again. But with ten minutes to go Benzema finally got his name on the scoresheet as well after a quick passing move involving Kroos, Benzema and Ronaldo, and the fans were back on their side. (16.09.14)

Olympiacos 3 - Atlético Madrid 2

Not the beginning last year’s losing finalists Atlético Madrid were looking for though, a 3-2 defeat against Michel’s Olympiacos leaving them at a disadvantage in what could be a tricky group. Once more Simeone had to watch the game from the stands, this time serving out a ban from the end of last season, but he decided beforehand to give a run out to Oblak instead of Moyà. The new keeper was beaten early on though by an angled shot from Masuaku following a short corner, and with just over half an hour gone ex Barcelona forward Afellay made it two after Chori Domínguez crossed in from the left wing. Mandzukic headed one back from Ansaldi’s cross before the interval, and substitute Griezmann came on to cause a few problems for ex Atlético keeper Roberto. However Mitroglou scored a third with a shot on the turn after picking up a Kasami centre, and although Griezmann got on the end of a Koke cross to score a second for the visitors with four minutes to go, the goal came too late to save the result. (16.09.14)

Champions League group tables


Match round-up - First Division, Day 3

Monday night game: Eibar 0 - Deportivo 1

Valencia end the weekend in second spot, two points behind leaders Barcelona, after a 3-1 victory over Espanyol on Sunday evening. The Ches went ahead early on, Rodrigo laying the ball across for Piatti to beat Kiko Casilla in the seventh minute, and after the restart Dani Parejo and Paco Alcácer added two more. Sergio García did get a last minute consolation for the Catalans from the penalty spot, but it was not enough to prevent them from dropping in to the relegation zone. Sevilla are level on points with Valencia and Atlético after they beat Getafe 2-0 later in the day. Bacca opened the scoring from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time after Guaita misjudged a corner and ended up hitting Krychowiak in the face, and Aleix Vidal got the second from Diogo’s cross with three minutes to go. Granada and Villarreal drew 0-0 in the last match of the evening, a result which leaves the Andalusians in sixth spot and their visitors in eighth, and Elche are just behind Villarreal in the rankings after they won 2-3 at Rayo Vallecano in this Sunday’s mid-day game. Edu Albácar got the opener with a well struck free kick, and although Kakuta equalized for the locals before the break, strikes by Jonathas and Mosquera put the game beyond Rayo’s reach despite Bueno’s injury time penalty. (14.09.14)

Barcelona made it three wins out of three after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 in the first game on Saturday afternoon. Luis Enrique’s side dominated for most of the match, but it was not until the last ten minutes that substitute Neymar got the goals, both from Messi assists. The Catalans are sure of top spot whatever happens in the other games, and they have still to let in a goal this season. Atlético Madrid are up to second pending Sunday’s games after a 1-2 victory over city rivals Real Madrid later in the evening. Tiago headed the visitors in to the lead from Koke’s corner in only the tenth minute, and although Ronaldo made it all square from the penalty spot on the half hour mark, Arda Turan came on to fire home the winner with a quarter of an hour to go. Celta kept up their unbeaten record with a 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad, although they will be disappointed with the result after goals either side of half time by Orellana and Larrivey put them two up. Agirretxe got one back though with twenty minutes remaining, and in the second minute of injury time Jonny Castro turned Granero’s cross in to his own net. The other match on Saturday also ended all square, Málaga and Levante drawing 0-0. It was a first point for the Valencia based side, although they stay in bottom spot without having scored a single goal in their first three games. (13.09.14)

Friday night game: Almería 1 - Córdoba 1

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


Copa del Rey

The second round of the Spanish cup took place over the last three days, with second division sides entering the competition for the first time. There were wins for Girona, Alavés, Valladolid, Betis, Recreativo, Las Palmas, Sabadell, Albacete, Numancia and Lugo, and in the ties involving lower ranked teams, Izarra were the only ones from the regional third division to qualify. The draw for the third round takes place on 22nd September, with the winners of that scheduled to play first division clubs in the fourth round of the competition later in the year. (11.09.14)

First round ties
Second round ties

Copa del Rey, 2013/14 final: Barcelona 1 – Real Madrid 2



Under 21 European qualifier

Spain 1- Austria 1

Spain’s under 21s missed out on a full house after they were held to a last minute 1-1 draw by Austria in their final group game. After making sure of top spot in their group a few days ago following a seventh win out of seven, new coach Albert Celades drafted in several of his newer players. For most of the first half they were on top, Sarabia in particular shooting wide and Darder bringing a good save out of the visiting keeper. The Austrians needed a result though to have a chance of qualifying as one the better second ranked sides, and Stöger and Djuricin put Kepa under pressure before the break. Some five minutes after the restart Sarabia finally broke the ice after a Denis Suárez corner was headed back in to the area by Puerto and a couple of defenders, the Getafe midfielder getting in front of Stankovic to run the ball in to the net. But Spain were unable to convert any number of chances after that, and in the fifth minute of time added on Kepa could only get a hand to Schaub’s header, and Gregoritsch was in the right place to turn in the equalizer. (09.09.14)

Group table


Euro 2016 qualifier

Spain 5 - Macedonia 1

A great start for the new-look Spain side, a convincing 5-1 victory over Macedonia dissipating any doubts about whether they would falter after a disastrous World Cup campaign. Sergio Ramos opened the scoring with a soft “Panenka” penalty on the quarter hour mark after Mojsov tripped Silva inside the area, and just two minutes later debutant Paco Alcácer made it two after Juanfran played a long centre from Fàbregas back across goal. Ibraimi got one back though with a second penalty after Juanfran brought down Trajkovski, but Silva and Alcácer both went close, and with the first half coming to a close Alcácer headed the ball on for Busquets to drill in a low shot which took a deflection off Sikov to wrong foot the keeper. Casillas had to save from Jahovic immediately after the restart, but a couple of minutes later Silva picked up a Jordi Alba assist before firing a shot on the turn through the legs of a defender and in to the far corner of the net. Fàbregas hit the bar soon afterwards, and with the game won Del Bosque used the occasion to bring on 19 year old Munir for his first cap. Casillas still had to be on his toes to keep out Ibraimi and Traikovski later on as Spain relaxed, but with the game in injury time Silva slipped the ball through for Pedro to chip the keeper and wrap things up. With second favourites Ukraine losing to Slovakia and Luxembourg getting a draw against Belarus, Spain are already well on the road to France. (08.09.14)

Group C table

Full and under 21 squads
Euro 2016 fixtures
2014 World Cup


Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 3

Girona are two points clear at the top of the second division after their nearest rivals Betis were beaten 4-1 by Ponferradina on Sunday lunchtime. The locals were on top from the start, Acorán hitting the crossbar early on, but the visitors went in at the break a goal up after Jorge Molina finished off a rapid counter-attack midway through the first half. Yuri levelled the scores however just two minutes in to the second half with a shot whilst lying on the ground, and soon afterwards Acorán put the locals ahead with a shot from the tightest of angles after Pablo Infante put him through. Yuri made it three with less than an hour gone, turning a shot past Adán after connecting with an Acorán cross, and the Brazilian striker completed his hat-trick with a quarter of an hour to go, steering the ball past the keeper with his heel from another Acorán assist. The result takes Manolo Díaz’s side past their opponents in the table. (07.09.14)

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Friendly international

France 1 - Spain 0

A renovated Spain side fell to a 1-0 defeat against France in the opening match of the new season. With the likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso and David Villa calling it a day at international level, Del Bosque is building a new squad based largely on the successful under 21 sides which won the last two European championships. The coach called up five uncapped players this time around, three of whom, Carvajal, San José and Raúl García all started this match, with Paco Alcácer coming on later on. It was clear though that there is still work to do, as the team hardly managed a shot on target throughout the ninety minutes against a more experienced French side. Benzema felt himself unlucky to have a strike ruled out for a questionable offside early in the second half, and a few minutes later Remy latched on to Valbuena’s cross to fire a shot past De Gea. Substitutes David Silva and Isco did cause some problems in the closing minutes however, the former clipping a shot just wide of the post and the latter having a penalty appeal turned down, and Alcácer also came close to scoring late on. In the end though it was a game with nothing at stake, and the real test comes on Monday night in the Euro 2016 opener against Macedonia. (04.09.14)


Latest transfers

Post-window transfers

That’s it for another few months, the summer transfer window closing at midnight last night with the usual flurry of last minute signings (see above link for full details). The most important moves since our last report were outwards from the Bernabeu stadium, with Di María signing at Manchester United for a British record fee, and Xabi Alonso opting to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich. “Chicharito” Hernández has come in from Old Trafford on loan, but despite the big name signings Ancelotti’s squad is looking a bit short this season. Meanwhile Atlético Madrid have convinced Torino’s Italian international forward Cerci to join on a three year deal, and Valencia tied up Negredo at the last minute, albeit that his injury will prevent him from playing for a few weeks yet.

Some creative accounting there by the way to get round the new “economic control” rules, the player joining on loan with an obligatory buy-out clause at the end, a loop-hole which others have used as well. The footballing authorities have been on top of things elsewhere though, and for example Getafe and Zaragoza were refused last minute signings as they took the clubs’ wages bills outside of the acceptable ratios. It still seems that the biggest sides have found ways (as always) to bend the rules, and it is the smaller teams who are having to pay the price, but at least something is being done at last to try and get the situation under control. (02.09.14)

Date Player (Country) Old club New club Position/Comments
01/09/14 Negredo Manchester City (ENG) Valencia FW Last second agreement to join on loan, with €27 Mio buy out option. Currently injured!
01/09/14 Alderweireld (BEL) Atlético Madrid Southampton (ENG) DF Had several offers from Premier League, but preferred to join Koeman on one year loan.
01/09/14 Cañas Swansea (WAL) Espanyol MF Moved quickly to replace David López. Rescinds contract and signs for 3 years.

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New season transfers - first division
New season transfers - second division
First division squads
Second division squads
Regional 2B groupings
First division fixtures
Second division fixtures


Europa League play-off round, second leg

Real Sociedad were unceremoniously dumped out of the Europa League after losing 3-0 to Krasnodar on Thursday evening. A 1-0 first leg lead was cancelled out when Joaozinho converted a hotly disputed penalty with twenty minutes to go, and late strikes by Pereyra and Ari took the Russian side through. Villarreal will be in tomorrow’s league stage draw though after they cruised through against Kazakhstan’s Astana. Already 0-3 up from a week ago, they ran out 4-0 winners on the night with two strikes either side of half time by Vietto, a Bruno penalty and a fourth goal by Nahuel. (28.08.14)

Europa League groups


Spanish Super Cup, second leg

Atlético Madrid 1 - Real Madrid 0

Atlético Madrid are this year’s Spanish Super Cup champions after they beat city rivals Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate. Defending a 1-1 draw from three days ago, Simeone’s side took the lead in only the second minute when Mandzukic ran on to beat Casillas after Griezmann headed on a long Moyà clearance. The coach himself was sent off for protesting midway through the second half, and before the break James and Raúl García went close at either end. Ancelotti had rested Ronaldo, who was nursing a knock from the first leg, and although he brought him on at half time, he only caused problems for Moyà with a couple of long range efforts. Raúl García fired another chance against the bar though, and Koke and Griezmann both went close, and with the game in injury time Madrid’s challenge ended when Modric was sent off for a second bookable offence. Atlético proved they are still a threat despite losing several key players this summer, and Ancelotti’s team miss out on one of the six titles they will be disputing this year. Not the most important, but a warning that they will have to do better next time. (22.08.14)

First leg: Real Madrid 1 - Atlético Madrid 1


Pre-season fixtures

Barcelona’s 6-0 victory over Club León in their own Gamper trophy just about wraps up the pre-season fixtures for another summer, although Real Madrid still have to find a date for their Bernabeu trophy, provisionally against River Plate. This year saw the inauguration of the LFP world Challenge, with La Liga sides playing international opposition around the world, and there were usual summer tournaments, such as the Ramón de Carranza in Cádiz, the Teresa Herrera in La Coruña and the Colombino in Huelva – for details follow the above link. All of that is now over though, and after a three month lay-off (World Cup excepted!) it all starts again this weekend! (20.08.14)


European Super Cup

Real Madrid 2 - Sevilla 0

Real Madrid won the European Super Cup for the second time in their history after they beat fellow Spaniards Sevilla 2-0 in this year's final. Ancelotti drafted James and Kroos in to his line-up, even though neither had featured in pre-season games, and his opposite number Unai Emery also included new signings Krychowiak, Denis Suárez and Aleix Vidal in his starting line up. Madrid had the better of the opening minutes though, Ronaldo firing a free kick over the top and then bringing a good save out of Beto before he got on the end of Bale’s long cross to open the scoring on the half hour mark. Casillas did well to save from Carriço shortly before the break, but just four minutes after the restart Ronaldo fired home his second of the night after Benzema put him through. The Andalusians did put in a late flurry, with Casillas having to keep out Krychowiak and Diogo volleying a shot just wide of the post, but the European champions were worthy winners in the end. (12.08.14)


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
Valencia 3-1 Espanyol
Sevilla 2-0 Getafe
Almería 1-1 Córdoba
Celta 2-2 Real Soc
R Madrid 1-2 Atlético
Eibar 0-1 Deportivo
Rayo 2-3 Elche
Granada 0-0 Villarreal
Barcelona 2-0 Athletic
Málaga 0-0 Levante
Day 3 - Sep 14

Valencia 3-0 Málaga
Espanyol 1-2 Sevilla
Getafe 1-0 Almería
Córdoba 1-1 Celta
Real Soc 4-2 R Madrid
Atlético 2-1 Eibar
Deportivo 2-2 Rayo
Elche 1-1 Granada
Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona
Athletic 3-0 Levante
Day 2 - Aug 31



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