Coming fixtures
First division Day 13 28 Nov - 1 Dec
Copa del Rey 4th round, 1st leg 2-5 Dec
First division Day 14 6-8 Dec
Champions League Day 6 9/10 Dec
Europa League Day 6 11 Dec

Europa League group stage, day 5

Setbacks for the two Liga teams in the penultimate round of Europa League group games, although both are still well placed to qualify for the knock-out stage. Sevilla were beaten 2-0 at Feyenoord, Toornstra and El Ahmadi getting the goals in the second half to take the Dutch side above the defending champions in the table. The Andalusians only need a draw at home to Rijeka in two weeks’ time though to ensure their place in the last 32. Later in the evening Villarreal were held to a 2-2 draw by Borussia Mönchengladbach, a result which keeps Marcelino’s side in the second qualifying spot of their group. Vietto and Cheryshev twice gave the locals the lead, but a Raffael strike and a Xhaka free kick kept the Germans a point above their hosts in the rankings. Villarreal really need to win now at Apollon in Cyprus to be sure of going through, although a draw would do if Zurich don’t beat Mönchengladbach in the other group game. (27.11.14)

Europa League group tables


Champions League group stage, day 5

Four wins out of four for Spanish teams this week, Atlético Madrid making sure of their place in the last sixteen with a resounding 4-0 victory over Olympiacos. A defeat to the Greek side in the first group match had left things in the balance, but Raúl García opened the scoring early on after a bad mistake by the visiting keeper, and Mandzukic helped himself to a hat-trick after that. Atleti now go to Juventus in the last match looking to tie up top spot in their group. Real Madrid have already done that though after beating Basel 0-1, their fifth straight win in the group stage and their fifteenth in a row in all competitions. Ronaldo got the only goal after a good run by Benzema late on in the first half, taking him level as well with Raúl’s total, and Ancelotti’s side could have won by a bigger margin had Bale and Ronaldo not hit the woodwork in the second half. (26.11.14)

A comfortable 0-4 victory for Barcelona at APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday evening, although Luis Enrique’s side stay in second spot in their group after leaders PSG also won. For the second time in four days Leo Messi scored a hat-trick and broke an all-time record, this time passing Raúl’s 71 goals in the Champions League. Messi also set up Luis Suárez for the opener, the Uruguayan striker’s first goal for his new team. Barça need to beat PSG though in their last group game in a fortnight’s time to ensure top spot of their group. Athletic Bilbao were knocked out of the competition three weeks’ ago, but they are now in pole position for the consolation prize of a Europa League spot after a 0-1 win at Shakhtar Donetsk. San José got the only goal from a Beñat free kick midway through the second half, and a draw against BATE Borisov in their last game will now be enough for them to qualify. (25.11.14)

Champions League group tables



Match round-up - First Division, Day 12

The big three are starting to open up a bit of a gap over the rest, Valencia dropping two points behind third placed Atlético after losing 2-1 to city rivals Levante on Sunday evening. All the goals came after the break, substitute Dani Parejo cancelling out a Víctor Casadesús header, but then seeing another substitute Morales put the locals back in front just a minute later. Celta missed out on a chance to return to the European spots after they were beaten 1-0 by Rayo Vallecano in this Sunday’s mid-day kick-off, Alberto Bueno the scorer for the locals, and Villarreal took advantage of defeats of the three teams above them to close back to within three points of the top six, Mario Gaspar and Gerard Moreno giving them a two goal lead at half time against Getafe before Lacen got one back on the hour mark. Bottom club Córdoba thought they were on for a first win of the season when Fidel and Fede Cartabia put them two up at Elche with half an hour remaining, but a Lombán penalty and an impressive strike by Jonathas saved a 2-2 draw for Fran Escribá’s side. That dragged Granada and Almería down in to the relegation battle, but a 0-0 draw on Monday evening left both just outside of the drop zone. (24.11.14)

All four of Spain’s Champions League sides won this weekend Athletic Bilbao beating Espanyol 3-1 on Friday evening, and the other three clocking up similar victories on Saturday. Atlético Madrid were first up, and they beat Málaga 3-1 to put the pressure on the top two. Tiago and Griezmann gave Simeone’s side a two goal lead by the break, and although Santa Cruz pulled one back for the Andalusians, Godín headed a third near the end. Real Madrid stay in top spot though after a 0-4 win at Eibar, Ronaldo scoring twice including a penalty to take his tally for the season to twenty in only eleven league games, and James and Benzema getting the other two goals. And Barcelona remain in second place after they hammered fifth placed Sevilla 5-1, Messi helping himself to a hat-trick to pass Zarra’s all-time record as the highest scorer in the history of the league. A Jordi Alba own goal levelled the scores momentarily at the start of the second half, but headers from Neymar and Rakitic soon restored the lead. Later in the evening Deportivo and Real Sociedad drew 0-0 on a rainy night in La Coruña, a first point for Real’s new coach David Moyes. The result leaves both teams just above the bottom three pending the rest of the weekend games. (22.11.14)

More...

Second division

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


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


Copa del Rey, fourth round, first leg

Big wins for Real Madrid and Sevilla in the two first-leg cup games brought forward to this Wednesday. Real Madrid started the defence of their title with a 1-4 victory against second division B side Cornellà, Varane heading in two corners and Chicharito and Marcelo also on the scoresheet. Day-time electrician Oscar Muñoz did give the 30,000 or so fans in Espanyol’s Power 8 stadium some joy though when he momentarily equalized in the first half. Later in the evening Sevilla virtually made sure of their place in the last 16 as well after hammering Sabadell 1-6, with Iago Aspas helping himself to a hat-trick. Kolodziejczak, Gameiro and Reyes netted the other three goals, with Ernest Forgas scoring a late consolation for the hosts. (29.10.14)

Match reports ...

Fourth round draw, kick-off times & results
Draw for fifth & subsequent rounds


Friendly fixtures

Every year teams take advantage of breaks in the busy calendar to play friendly matches, be it charity games, invitational tournaments, regional internationals or just general kick-abouts. This Wednesday Barcelona and Espanyol found time to play the first ever Catalan Supercup, a new trophy which was brought in as the big two complained that they didn’t have time to take part in the regional Copa Catalunya. The game took place in Girona, with Piqué heading a Luis Suárez cross to open the scoring and Arbilla equalizing later on with a well struck free kick. That took the match to a penalty shoot out, Barça winning 4-2 with Rakitic firing home the winning spot kick after keepers Masip and Pau López had made saves. For information on other friendly games taking place later this season, see the above link. (29.10.14)

Friendly fixtures
Pre-season fixtures


Club World Cup

European Champions League winners Real Madrid return to the Club World Cup for the second time after finishing fourth in the pilot edition in the year 2000. The tournament, which takes place in Morocco this season from 10th to 20th December, includes the top clubs from all six of FIFA's regional federations plus the local champions, with the European and South American champions entering at the semi-final stage. Madrid’s rivals will be the winners of the quarter final tie between Mexico’s Cruz Azul and the Asian champions, with Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal still to play the final of their own regional competition. Madrid’s week 16 league game against Sevilla has therefore been postponed, provisionally to Wednesday, 4th February 2015. (11.10.14)

Spanish Super Cup
European Super Cup



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.

More...

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


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
Atlético 3-1 Málaga
Deportivo 0-0 Real Soc
Elche 2-2 Córdoba
Villarreal 2-1 Getafe
Athletic 3-1 Espanyol
Levante 2-1 Valencia
Barcelona 5-1 Sevilla
Granada 0-0 Almería
Rayo 1-0 Celta
Eibar 0-4 R Madrid
Day 12 - Nov 23

Real Soc 2-1 Atlético
Córdoba 0-0 Deportivo
Getafe 0-0 Elche
Espanyol 1-1 Villarreal
Valencia 0-0 Athletic
Sevilla 1-1 Levante
Almería 1-2 Barcelona
Celta 0-0 Granada
R Madrid 5-1 Rayo
Málaga 2-1 Eibar
Day 11 - Nov 9



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