Coming fixtures
First division, day 23 Espanyol v Real Sociedad 8 Feb
Copa del Rey Semi finals, second leg 10/11 Feb
First division Day 24 12-14 Feb
1st divn (rescheduled) Sporting v Barcelona 17 Feb
Champions League Roma v Real Madrid 17 Feb
Europa League Round of 32 18 Feb

Match round-up - First Division, Day 23

Barcelona stay top for another week after a 0-2 victory at Levante in this Sunday’s mid-day game. It was not an easy win though, a first half David Navarro own goal the only difference between the two teams before Luis Suárez wrapped things up in injury time. Later in the evening Real Madrid beat Granada 1-2 to stay in touch with the leaders. They too had problems however, Modric only firing home the winner with five minutes to go after El-Arabi had cancelled out Benzema’s first half strike. Sevilla stay in fifth place after they drew 1-1 at Celta, the second match between the two teams in three days after they met in the cup midweek. The visitors had Fazio sent off midway through the first half, but Carriço gave them the lead before Beauvue equalized after the break. Valencia’s poor form continues though, Gary Neville’s team losing 1-0 at Betis. Rubén Castro got the only goal at the start of the second half to take the Andalusians level with their opponents in the table. (07.02.16)

Atlético Madrid moved level with leaders Barcelona pending their game on Sunday after beating Eibar 3-1 in the first game on Saturday evening. They had to come back from behind to do so though, Keko giving the visitors the lead in the first minute of the second half. However headers by Giménez and Saúl from Koke corners turned the scoreline around, and Fernando Torres wrapped things up in injury time with his 100th goal in an Atlético shirt. Later in the evening fourth placed Villarreal extended their unbeaten run to ten games after a 0-0 draw at a rainy Athletic Bilbao, the result leaving the Basque side still ten points below them in sixth spot. It was a hard match though, with twelve yellow cards, including two each for Williams and Bonera, who were sent off in injury time. Elsewhere Rayo Vallecano beat Las Palmas 2-0, Miku getting the opener early on and Bebé the second after the break. The Madrid based side climb out of the bottom three, now two points above the Canary Islanders, who themselves ended the day in the relegation zone after Sporting Gijón drew 1-1 against Deportivo in the last match of the day. Both goals came in the first half, Jony giving the Asturians the lead with a deflected shot, and Luis Alberto equalizing after Lucas Pérez set him up. (06.02.16)

Málaga’s revival continues, and they made it six wins in nine games after they beat Getafe 3-0 on Friday evening. All the goals came in the first half, Juanpi starting things off early on, and Charles setting up new signing Atsu for the second before scoring the third himself. Having started the season at the bottom of the table, the Andalusians are up to tenth, now four points above their opponents in the table. (05.02.16)


Copa del Rey, semi-finals, first leg

Sevilla 4 - Celta 0

This season’s Copa del Rey final is almost certainly going to be a repeat of the European Super Cup after Sevilla hammered Celta 4-0 on Thursday evening! Rami headed the opener from a Banega corner on the stroke of half time, and Gameiro (who had missed an earlier penalty) added two more on quick counter-attacks in a three minute period around the hour mark. The Galicians tried their best to get the away goal they needed, but with the match coming to an end Krohn-Dehli wrapped things up against his old side after a shaky defence failed to cut out a long centre from Vitolo. (04.02.16)

Barcelona 7 - Valencia 0

Barcelona sentenced their semi-final cup tie in the first leg on Wednesday night, a humiliating 7-0 victory over Gary Neville’s Valencia making the return match a pure formality. Luis Suárez scored twice in the first twelve minutes, and Messi added a third on the half hour mark. Neymar fired a penalty against the post after Mustafi was sent off for bringing down Messi on the stroke of half time, but Messi scored two more in the second half to complete his hat-trick, and Suárez netted another two in the last ten minutes to take his personal tally for the match to four. (03.02.16)



Latest transfers

Post-window transfers

The usual mad rush as the transfer deadline approaches, with over 30 signings on the last day! In the end neither Real Madrid nor Atlético took on new players despite the FIFA transfer ban hanging over their heads, both clubs managing to get a temporary suspension which may at least allow them to sign in the summer. Their movements in fact went the other way, Cheryshev and Siqueira both being allowed to leave on loan to Valencia, and as we go to press news is coming in that Jackson Martínez has been sold to China’s Guangzhou Evergrande for a fee of around €42 mliion, which is €7 million more than they paid Porto for him in August! The idea is apparently to bring Diego Costa back in the summer, if they are allowed to! Barcelona also didn’t sign anyone else after the Nolito deal fell through, the reason given being the financial fair-play restrictions which the club themselves imposed. Still, with Messi, Neymar and Suárez, who needs him? Otherwise the big movers on the last two or three days were Granada, Málaga, Levante, Eibar and Rayo Vallecano, with two or more signings each, and also Sevilla, who brought back Fazio and Diogo to shore up a depleted defence. That’s it now though until the window opens again in July, although clubs can still sign players if they are out of work, or to replace long term injuries. As always, we will bring you all the news on these pages as and when (or maybe just a little be later than?) it happens! (02.02.16)

Date Player (Country) Old club New club Position/Comments
02/02/16 Jackson Martínez (COL)
Atlético
Madrid
Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) FW Late news after window closed! Striker is moving to China for €42 Mio fee!
01/02/16 Cheryshev (RUS)
Real
Madrid
Valencia MF Zidane allowing him to move on loan to get playing time. Ches got ahead of Sevilla.
01/02/16 Uche (NIG)
Tigres (MEX) Málaga FW Experienced striker was last minute loan signing. Already played for 5 clubs in Spain.
01/02/16 Ricardo Costa (POR)
PAOK (GRE) Granada DF Ex Valencia defender rescinds contract with Greek side, and will be returning to Spain!

2015/2016 Mid-season transfers - Div 1
2015/2016 Mid-season transfers - Div 2A

First division squads
Second division A squads
Second division B groups


Match round-up - First Division, Day 22

The relegation battle looks like being closely fought this season, with only two points separating six clubs after next to bottom side Rayo Vallecano drew 2-2 at Deportivo on Monday evening. The visitors took the lead twice in the first half through Miku and Jozabed, but strikes by Lucas Pérez and Fayçal Fajr saved a point for the Galicians, who stay in ninth spot. (01.02.16)

Third placed Real Madrid closed to within a point of Atlético after a comfortable 6-0 victory over a depleted Espanyol in the last game on Sunday. Once again Zidane’s team got off to a quick start, a Benzema header, a Ronaldo penalty and a deflected shot from James putting them three up with just over a quarter of an hour gone. Ronaldo added two more to complete a hat-trick (having already scored five against the Catalans earlier in the season!), and new signing Oscar Duarte put through his own net near the end. Earlier in the day Sevilla beat bottom club Levante 3-1 to move up to fifth spot, Gameiro opening the scoring with less than a minute gone. Iborra made it two after the restart, and although Rossi got one back, Konoplyanka wrapped things up with fifteen minutes to go. Celta drop to seventh however after they lost 2-1 at Las Palmas. Bongonda gave the Galicians an early lead, but Jonathan Viera levelled it from the penalty spot, and Willian José poked home the winner in the last minute. The Canary Islanders climb out of the relegation spots, as do Sporting Gijón, who beat Valencia 0-1. Negredo in particular missed a hatful of chances, but Sanabria converted a second half penalty to hand the Ches their first home defeat since November 2014. Gary Neville’s side drop to twelfth having not won now in eleven league games. (31.01.16)

Barcelona move three points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand after a 2-1 victory over their closest rivals Atlético Madrid on Saturday afternoon. The two teams started the match level on points, but the visitors took an early lead when Koke turned in Saúl Ñíguez’s cross in the tenth minute. By half time though strikes by Messi and Luis Suárez had turned the scoreline around, and Atleti had to play the last quarter of the match with nine men after Filipe Luis and Godín were sent off. Later in the evening Villarreal consolidated fourth spot with a 1-0 win over Granada, Bruno getting the only goal from the penalty spot to take Marcelino’s team level on points with Real Madrid pending their game on Sunday. Athletic Bilbao are up to fifth after they beat Getafe 0-1, Williams heading in a Balenziaga cross midway through the first half to give the Basque side the three points. Athletic are now a point above neighbours Eibar, who drop out of the European spots after they lost 1-2 to Málaga. Juanpi and Santa Cruz got the goals for the Andalusians at the end of the first and second halves, and an injury time strike from Borja Bastón came too late to change the result. The other Basque side Real Sociedad also played on Saturday, a 2-1 victory over Betis taking them above their opponents and up to thirteenth spot. Headed goals by Xabi Prieto and Iñigo Martínez put the locals two up at the interval, but Rubén Castro got one back soon after the restart, and the result was in doubt right up uuntil the final whistle. (30.01.16)

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


Copa del Rey, quarter-finals, second leg

Semi-final draw: Barcelona v Valencia; Sevilla v Celta

Sevilla and Valencia will join Barcelona and Celta in tomorrow’s semi-final draw after both won through their ties on Thursday evening. Sevilla were already two goals to the advantage against second division Mirandés, and an Iborra penalty with less than ten minutes gone in the Anduva stadium virtually ended the contest. Salinas did head against the post after the restart, but a Juan Muñoz strike and a Coke header in the last twenty minutes made it 0-3 in the end. Valencia though had more problems against Las Palmas, the 1-1 draw in the first leg giving the Canary Islanders the edge for the return leg. However Rodrigo turned in an André Gomes cross with twenty minutes gone for a 0-1 victory, and Mat Ryan and his defence held off a late flurry of attacks to ensure their place in the last four. (28.01.16)

A big surprise in Wednesday night’s cup games, Celta beating Atlético Madrid 2-3 in the Calderón stadium to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 15 years! After the scoreless draw a week ago, Simeone’s side were favourites to go through. However Pablo Hernández headed the visitors in front following a short corner midway through the first half, and although Griezmann equalized soon afterwards after Rubén Blanco could only parry a shot from Carrasco, Guidetti restored the lead with an impressive shot a few minutes after the restart. Pablo Hernández headed a third with just over an hour gone, and a strike from substitute Correa came too late to change the result. Barcelona join Celta in the semi-finals after they beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 later in the evening, although they too suffered before winning through in the end. Williams put the visitors ahead early on after Aduríz set him up, and it was not until early on in the second half that Luis Suárez made it all square. However a Piqué header and a strike from Neymar in the last ten minutes gave the Catalans what was in the end a flattering result. (27.01.16)

More...


Match round-up - First Division, Day 21

Bottom club Levante kept their hopes of salvation alive with a 3-2 victory over fellow strugglers Las Palmas on Monday evening. Morales gave the locals a first half lead, and Deyverson and Morales added two more after the interval, with Willian José replying for the Canary Islanders both times. The result takes Rubi’s team to within a point of their opponents in the table. (25.01.16)

Barcelona end the weekend at the top of the table after last week’s leaders Atlético Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla on Sunday. The Andalusians played the last half hour with ten men after Vitolo was sent off, but Sergio Rico pulled off a string of saves to ensure a point for his side. Atlético are now level on points with Barça, who they visit next Saturday. Real Madrid are still four points behind Simeone’s team though after they too could only draw 1-1 against Sevilla’s neighbours, Betis. Cejudo put the locals ahead early on with an impressive volley, and although Benzema equalized with twenty minutes to go, Adán kept out the visiting forwards after that. The top four are now seven points clear of the rest, sixth placed Eibar comprehensively beaten 5-2 by regional rivals Athletic Bilbao in this Sunday’s mid-day game. Borja Bastón did give the visitors an early lead, but strikes by Aduríz, Sabin and Laporte turned the scoreline around by the interval. Borja got another one back from the penalty spot after the restart, but a second from Aduríz and a Dos Santos own goal put the game beyond their reach. Athletic are now eighth, two points below Eibar and Sevilla, and two above Deportivo, who drew 1-1 against Valencia in the Riazor stadium. Lucas Pérez opened the scoring for the Galicians midway through the first half, but Negredo headed the equalizer in the third minute of injury time. The Ches have still to win in the league however under Gary Neville, and they are now eight points off the European spots. (24.01.16)

Barcelona moved back to the top of the table pending Atlético’s game on Sunday after a 1-2 victory at Málaga on Saturday afternoon. Munir connected with a Luis Suárez centre to open the scoring with just over a minute gone, but Juanpi made it all square later in the first half, and although Messi restored the lead with an acrobatic volley, the result was in doubt right up until the end. Later in the evening fourth placed Villarreal extended their unbeaten record to eight games after a 2-2 draw at Espanyol. Caicedo and then Gerard Moreno twice put the locals ahead in the first half, but Trigueros levelled it the first time, and Musacchio headed the equalizer from a corner with two minutes to go. Marcelino’s side are now seven points clear of fifth placed Celta though after the Galicians lost 3-0 at Rayo Vallecano in the last game of the evening. With a key cup match coming up midweek, Berizzo left out several of his key players, and his team paid the price, first half goals by Miku, Tito and Jozabed giving the locals their first win in ten games. That took Rayo out of the drop zone, and Granada are also out of the bottom three after they won 3-2 against Getafe. Sporting’s victory on Friday had left the Andalusians down in the relegation places, but first half strikes by Fran Rico and El-Arabi seemed to have put them on track for the three points. However Scepovic and Moi Gómez scored two for the visitors in as many minutes midway through the second half, and there was great relief for coach Sandoval and the home fans when Rochina fired home the winner a few minutes later. (23.01.16)

Last weekend saw the highest scoring round of matches this season, and this week started in the same vein, Sporting Gijón thrashing Real Sociedad 5-1 on Friday evening. Carmona and Ndi put the Asturians two up with less than ten minutes gone, and after Vela got one back, Sanabria added his second hat-trick of the season to take Abelardo’s team out of the bottom three. (22.01.16)

More...

Second division



Club World Cup, final

Barcelona 3 - River Plate 0

Barcelona are World Champions for the third time after they beat River Plate 3-0 in this year’s final in Japan! Luis Enrique was able to put out a full strength line-up after Messi and Neymar recovered from their respective problems, and Messi tested Barovero a couple of times before he opened the scoring with ten minutes to go to the break, poking a shot past the keeper after Neymar headed back a Dani Alves cross. Luis Suárez drove a shot wide when free on goal just before the interval, but four minutes after the restart he ran on to a long ball from Busquets to fire a shot under the keeper for the second. That broke River’s resistence, and Messi and Neymar went close before Suárez ghosted in behind the defence to head Neymar’s cross back across the keeper, his second of the day and his fifth in the tournament. Backed by a fanatical following though the Argentinians didn’t give up, and Bravo had to make late saves from Alario and Martínez to stop them from getting back in the match. But for the second year in a row the World champions are Spanish, and Barcelona take over the mantle from arch rivals Real Madrid. (20.12.15)

Semi-final: Barcelona 3 - Guangzhou Evergrande 0


Europa League, day 6

Round of 32 draw

Draws for the two Spanish sides in the last round of group games, although both will be in the hat for the knock-out stage after they assured their places a fortnight ago. Villarreal were vying for top spot of group E with Rapid Vienna, but in the end they had to accept the runners-up place after they were held to a 3-3 draw at Viktoria Plsen, and the Austrians won their tie against Dinamo Minsk. Athletic Bilbao though were already sure of finishing champions of group L, and a depleted line-up played out a 2-2 draw against AZ Alkmaar later in the evening. (10.12.15)

Group tables


Champions League, day 6

Round of 16 draw

Valencia are out of the Champions League! The Ches had to beat Olympique Lyon in their last group game to have any chance of finishing second, but a 0-2 defeat left them in third spot, and they have to make do with a place in the Europa League. New coach Gary Neville saw his team fall behind when Cornet beat Jaume Domenech with an impressive shot shortly before half time, and Lacazette added a second on a quick breakaway after the restart. As it happened even a victory would not have taken them through, as Gent beat Zenit in the other group game, but it was a disappointing performance all the same. Barcelona meanwhile drew 1-1 in their last match at Bayer Leverkusen, a result which keeps up their unbeaten record in the mini-league. With top spot already assured Luis Enrique made eight changes to his line-up, but Rakitic and Messi were still there, and the former put the striker through to open the scoring in the twentieth minute. Chicharito Hernández equalized three minutes later though, and only a string of great saves by Ter Stegen preserved the result. (09.12.15)

A successful night for Spanish sides on Tuesday, all three winning in the last round of group games. Atlético Madrid came into their tie at Benfica knowing that both were already qualified for the last sixteen, but they still needed a victory to finish above their hosts as group leaders. In the end however they ran out 1-2 winners, strikes either side of half time by Saúl Ñíguez and Vietto putting them two up before Mitroglou got one back with a quarter of an hour to go. Sevilla were already out of the competition, but they needed to beat Italian champions Juventus and hope that Borussia Moenchengladbach didn’t do the same at Manchester City to finish third in their group. At half time things were looking grim, but after the restart Llorente headed a corner past Buffon to give the Andalusians a 1-0 win, and with the German side eventually losing 4-2 in Manchester, Emery’s team will at least be able to defend the Europa League trophy they have won four times already. Real Madrid meanwhile were already sure of finishing first in their group, but they beat Malmö by a massive 8-0 to silence their critics. Ronaldo got four of the goals in a twenty minute period either side of half time to take his tally in the group stage to eleven, two more than his own previous record, Benzema netted a hat-trick as well, and Kovacic got the other. Curiously the result matched the best ever in the Champions League, set by Liverpool when Rafa Benítez himself was their coach! (08.12.15)

Group tables


Friendly internationals

Euro 2016 draw: Spain in group D with Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey. more...


Belgium - Spain

The Belgian authorities decided to call off the friendly international between Belgium and Spain as they could not guarantee security after the recent terror attacks in Paris. (17.11.15)


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. (13.11.15)

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


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


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)


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
Rayo 2-0 L Palmas
Celta 1-1 Sevilla
Levante 0-2 Barcelona
Atlético 3-1 Eibar
Málaga 3-0 Getafe
Athletic 0-0 Villarreal
Granada 1-2 R Madrid
Espanyol - Real Soc
Betis 1-0 Valencia
Sporting 1-1 Deportivo
Day 23 - Feb 7

 

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