Coming fixtures
Europa League Liverpool v Villarreal
Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk
5 May
First division Day 37 8 May
First division Day 38 13-15 May
Copa del Rey final Barcelona v Sevilla 22 May

Champions League, semi finals, second leg

Wednesday night game: Real Madrid 1 - Manchester City 0

Bayern Munich 2 - Atlético Madrid 1

Atlético Madrid are in to their second Champions League final in three years after they knocked out Bayern Munich on the away goal rule! Xabi Alonso cancelled out Atleti’s one goal lead with a deflected free kick on the half hour mark, and a couple of minutes later Oblak kept his side in the match with a penalty save from Múller. Some ten minutes in to the second half Griezmann scored a vital away goal after Fernando Torres put him through, but with a quarter of an hour to go Lewandowski headed Guardiola’s team back in front after Vidal headed back Alaba’s cross. Torres missed a chance to wrap things up though when Neuer saved his spot kick, and there were some tense moments before the referee finally called it a day. (03.05.16)


Match round-up - First Division, Day 36

Levante are the first team to be relegated after they lost 3-1 to Málaga in the Monday night game. Duje Cop put the locals in front midway through the half, but Morales levelled the scores before the break, and Cuero and in particular Morales had strikes ruled out for dubious offside decisions after that. However with the game coming to an end Cop and Chory Castro scored two more to send the Valencia based side down after six seasons in the top flight. (02.05.16)

Villarreal tied up the fourth Champions League spot after a 0-2 victory at neighbours Valencia on Sunday evening. Soldado set up Samuel and then Adrián López in the first half to take Marcelino’s side six points clear of their nearest rivals Athletic Bilbao, and with a superior head-to-head record against the Basque side they cannot now be caught. Athletic themselves beat Celta 2-1 in this Sunday’s mid-day game to move above the Galicians to fifth. Orellana gave the visitors an early lead, but an Aduríz penalty and a Raúl García strike turned the scoreline around. Sevilla meanwhile will join Athletic and Celta in next season’s Europa League, although (unless they win this year’s E-League final!) they will probably have to start the competition in the early rounds. Any real hope they had of catching either of the teams above them ended when they lost 1-0 at Espanyol, Caicedo getting the only goal to virtually ensure top flight football for the Catalans next season. Deportivo though are still not safe, a 0-2 defeat at home to Getafe dragging them down in to the relegation battle. Pedro León and Vigaray got the goals for the visitors to take them to within four points of their hosts, and only one point separates Getafe, Sporting, Rayo and Granada going in to the penultimate day. (01.05.16)

Two weeks to go to the end of the season, and the top three are still only a point apart after all of them won again on Saturday evening. Barcelona hold on to top spot though after they beat Betis 0-2, Rakitic and Luis Suárez getting the goals in the second half. By then though the Andalusians were playing with ten men after Westermann picked up a second booking shortly before the break. Earlier in the evening Real Madrid and Atlético both won by single goal margins to put the pressure on Luis Enrique’s side. Real Madrid were missing the injured Ronaldo and Benzema, but they still won 0-1 at Real Sociedad thanks to a headed goal from Bale with ten minutes to go. And Atlético Madrid stay a point ahead of their city rivals, level with Barça in the table, after they beat neighbours Rayo Vallecano 1-0. Simeone rested several key players for the upcoming Champions League tie in Munich, but he brought on Griezmann early on in the second half, and with his first touch of the ball the French striker scored what was to prove the winner. The defeat leaves Rayo just outside of the bottom three after Granada clocked up a 3-2 victory over Las Palmas in the last match of the day. Jonathan Viera actually put the Canary Islanders two up with only twelve minutes gone, but strikes by Rochina and El-Arabi levelled the scores, and Ricardo Costa headed the winner with twenty minutes to go. (30.04.16)

Sporting Gijón are out of the relegation zone, for 24 hours at least, after a 2-0 victory over Eibar in the Friday night game. Carmona headed the locals in to the lead just before the break, and Jony made it two late on to take the Asturians above Granada in the table. (29.04.16)

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



Europa League, semi finals, first leg

Good results for both La Liga sides in their first leg ties on Thursday, and an all Spanish final in both the Champions League and the Europa League is now a strong possibility! Villarreal appeared to be heading for a scoreless draw against Liverpool until Adrián López got on the end of a Denis Suárez assist to make it 1-0 in injury time. And defending champions Sevilla came away from Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-2 draw, Gameiro saving the day with a late penalty after first half strikes from Marlos and Stepanenko had overturned Vitolo’s opener. (28.04.16)


Champions League, semi finals, first leg

Atlético Madrid 1 – Bayern Munich 0

An early goal by Saúl Ñíguez gave Atlético Madrid the edge against Bayern Munich in their semi-final tie! The young midfielder picked up the ball in midfield and cut a swathe through the visiting defence to curl a shot wide of Neuer with just over ten minutes on the clock. Pep Guardiola’s side came close to levelling it, in particular with a long shot by Alaba after the break which rattled the crossbar, and an effort from Vidal which Oblak kept out, but Fernando Torres could have extended the lead when he hit the post later on. (27.04.16)

Manchester City 0 - Real Madrid 0

A dour 0-0 draw between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, leaving everything to be decided in next Wednesday’s return match in the Bernabeu stadium. In the end Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t recover from the injury he picked up last week in time to play, and Benzema only lasted 45 minutes before he too limped off. Even so Madrid had the better chances, in particular later on when Jesé headed against the bar and Hart produced first class saves from Casemiro and Pepe, and Keylor Navas didn’t have a real stop to make until he tipped a last minute De Bruyne free kick over the bar (26.04.16)


Match round-up - First Division, Day 35

Celta moved to within four points of Villarreal after beating Granada 2-1 in the Monday night game. Iago Aspas gave the Galicians a first half lead from the penalty spot, and although El-Arabi levelled it with a quarter of an hour to go, Aspas got his second of the night to win it soon afterwards. The defeat leaves the Andalusians just a point above the drop zone with three matches to go. (25.04.16)

Villarreal are making hard work of tying up the last Champions League spot, and they still have a bit to go after they could only draw 0-0 against Real Sociedad in the last match on Sunday. Their closest rivals Athletic Bilbao were also held to a 2-2 draw though at bottom club Levante in the mid-day kick off, maintaining the gap at six points, albeit that Celta could reduce that by two if they can beat Granada on Monday. The Basque side will be grateful for a point though after they came back from two down in the last five minutes, Susaeta and San José getting the goals to cancel out a Casadesús strike and an Exteita own goal. It was a major set-back for locals, although the defeats for Rayo and Sporting meant they didn’t lose ground on the teams above them, and their city neighbours Valencia also gave them a hand drawing 2-2 at Getafe later in the evening. Juan Eduardo Esnáider’s side seemed to be heading for victory after strikes from Medrán and Scepovic overturned Parejo’s opener, but Paco Alcácer levelled it again late on. Sevilla meanwhile moved eight points clear of the Ches in the fight for seventh spot after they beat Betis 2-0 in their local derby, Gameiro and Coke getting the goals late on to put the squeeze on Athletic and Celta. (24.04.16)

No slip-ups from any of the big three tonight, all of them winning to stay within a point of each other with three matches to go. Real Madrid were first up at Rayo Vallecano, and although they went two down in the first quarter of an hour to strikes from Embarba and Miku, they fought back to win 2-3. With Ronaldo rested and Benzema also limping off, Bale was the hero of the night, the Welsh wizzard heading one back and then getting the winner after Lucas Vázquez had levelled the scores. That took them top for two hours until Atlético Madrid beat Málaga 1-0, substitute Correa coming on to get the only goal with just over an hour on the clock. Simeone was sent to the stands at half time however as one of his coaching staff threw a ball on to the pitch to stop a Málaga attack, and he may be given a ban to the end of the season. That put the pressure though on Barcelona, who were hosting Sporting Gijón in the following match. In the end however they notched up a 6-0 victory to remain in top spot, with Luis Suárez scoring four for the second time in as many days to head up the top goalscorers chart. All of those came in the second half (including two penalties) after Messi had headed the Catalans in front early on, and Neymar converted a third penalty for the final result. The defeat leaves the Asturians down in the bottom three for another week at least. Later in the evening Eibar and Deportivo played out a 1-1 draw which left both safely in mid-table, Adrían González giving the locals the lead before the break, and Fede Cartabia saving what was an 18th draw of the season for the Galicians. (23.04.16)

Games are coming thick and fast right now, the week 35 fixtures starting on Friday evening, just a day after week 34 closed. Las Palmas and Espanyol were first up, the Canary Islanders running out 4-0 winners with strikes from El Zhar, Jonathan Viera, Bigas and Wakaso to move up the table to a heady eighth. The defeat leaves the visitors just five points above the drop zone pending the rest of the weekend matches, and with a difficult calendar to come they are not out of the woods yet. (22.04.16)

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Second division


Under 21 Friendly international

Spain 1 - Norway 0

Spain’s under 21 side bounced back from their unexpected defeat in their Euro qualifier against Croatia, a 1-0 victory against Norway in this friendly international at least getting them back to winning ways. Team captain Deulofeu got the only goal after picking up a Pablo Fornals clearance with just over a quarter of an hour gone, and there were chances later in the first half for Asensio, Santi Mina and Fornals. After the restart Deulofeu and Carlos Castro tested Rossbach, and Munir fired a shot against the post, with the visitors replying in particular through Aursnes, who brought a couple of good saves out of half time substitute Rubén Blanco. Promising debuts at this level as well for Pau López, Aritz Elustondo and Fornals, but with Croatia and Sweden both winning Euro qualifiers elsewhere today, Spain find themselves down in third spot in their group. (28.03.16)

Under 21 Euro 2017 qualifier: Spain 0 - Croatia 3

Group 6 table

Spain's Euro Elite round qualifiers:
Under 19 / Under 17


Friendly international

Romania 0 - Spain 0

Another draw for Spain in the second of their two warm-up games, this time without goals in Romania. Del Bosque gave a run out to most of the players he didn’t use against Italy, with Casillas earning a record 166 th cap and Sergi Roberto making his international debut. The Romanians have one of the best defensive records in Europe though, and there were few chances at either end before the break, Tatarusanu saving from a Bartra header and a Pedro shot, and Casillas having to keep out a couple of efforts from Stanciu. Piqué tested the local keeper again soon after the restart, and Popa, Andone and Stancu fired shots wide, and there were penalty claims from Morata, Fàbregas and Stanciu later on. The likes of the injured Iniesta, Busquets, Cazorla and (dare we say?) Diego Costa were sorely missed though, and the best that Del Bosque can take out of this week is that his team didn’t lose either match. (27.03.16)

Thursday night game: Italy 1 - Spain 1

Full and under 21 squads
Euro 2016 finals
World Cup 2018 fixtures


Copa del Rey, semi-finals, second leg

Celta 2 - Sevilla 2

This season’s Copa del Rey final is going to be a repeat of last summer’s European Super Cup after Sevilla won through against Celta on a rainy night in the Balaidos stadium. Despite the 4-0 scoreline from the first leg, the Galicians didn’t give up, and two strikes by Iago Aspas either side of half time gave them hope of an epic comeback. However just a couple of minutes later Banega scored a vital away goal for the visitors, and Guidetti missed a penalty before Konoplyanka wrapped things up with three minutes to go. Sevilla will be without N’Zonzi for the final though after he picked up two bookings late on. (11.02.16)

Valencia 1 - Barcelona 1

Barcelona completed the formalities on Wednesday evening, a 1-1 draw at Valencia taking them through to a sixth Spanish cup final in eight years. The tie was already over though after the 7-0 scoreline in the first leg, and both coaches used the occasion to rest key players and give a run out to some of their youngsters and lesser used squad members. Negredo gave the few local fans who turned up some joy when he ran on to force a shot past Ter Stegen shortly before the break, but Kaptoum got on the end of a cross from his fellow Barcelona B team mate Cámara to save the draw near the end. (10.02.16)


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



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


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
Real Soc 0-1 R Madrid
Valencia 0-2 Villarreal
Deportivo 0-2 Getafe
Sporting 2-0 Eibar
Betis 0-2 Barcelona
Espanyol 1-0 Sevilla
Granada 3-2 L Palmas
Athletic 2-1 Celta
Málaga 3-1 Levante
Atlético 1-0 Rayo
Day 36 - May 1

 

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