Coming fixtures
First division Day 20 18-21 Jan
Copa del Rey Quarter finals, 1st leg 22-24 Jan
First division Day 21 26-28 Jan

Copa del Rey fifth round, second leg

Quarter final draw

Defending champions Barcelona will be in tomorrow’s quarter final draw after a 3-0 victory over Levante on Thursday, although their participation is still in the balance after the Valencia based side decided to lodge an appeal against the inclusion of B team player Chumi in the first leg line-up, as the defender should have been serving out a one match ban. Two strikes in as many minutes though from Dembélé around the half hour mark (both potentially own goals by Cabaco and keeper Aitor) overturned the 2-1 result from the first leg, and Messi picked up Semedo’s cross to complete the scoring early on in the second half. Barça’s city neighbours Espanyol are also through after a 3-1 win over Villarreal, Piatti and Borja Iglesias converting two penalties late on in the first half following fouls on Iglesias and Puado. Samu Chukwueze pulled one back with an angled shot just before the break, but Iglesias put the result beyond doubt after Didac headed on a corner with a quarter of an hour to go. Earlier in the evening Betis scraped through on the away goal rule after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad. Canales opened the scoring for the Andalusians against his old side with an angled shot shortly before the interval, but strikes either side of the break by Zubeldia and Merino appeared to have settled it in favour of the home side. However Loren turned in a cross by Barragán with twenty minutes to go, and the visitors held on despite having Lo Celso sent off later on. (17.01.19)

PS Levante's appeal was turned down, and Barcelona will be in the draw for the quarter finals. (18.01.19)

Atlético Madrid are out of the cup after losing to Girona on the away goal rule! Kalinic gave the locals the lead early on after Godín put him through, but a Valery strike and a Stuani header either side of half time turned the scoreline around. After the 1-1 draw in the first leg, Atleti needed then to score twice, which they did through Correa and substitute Griezmann, However with two minutes to go Doumbia deflected a Borja García shot past Adán to make it 3-3 on the night, taking the Catalans into the quarter finals for the first time in their history. Later in the evening Sevilla and Real Madrid both made it through despite losing their second leg games, the Andalusians capitalising on their 1-3 first leg victory at Athletic Bilbao despite being beaten 0-1 in the return match. The Basque side had beaten their opponents in the league at the weekend, but although Guruzeta headed in a Susaeta cross with a quarter of an hour to go, the result was never really in doubt. Real Madrid also lost 1-0 at Leganés, but again the 3-0 result from a week ago saw them safely in to Friday’s draw. New signing Braithwaite put the locals in front after his first header came back off the post on the half hour mark, and the ex-Middlesbrough striker brought several good saves out of Keylor Navas before Brahim Díaz hit the post later on. (16.01.19)

Once again there will be no lower ranked side in the quarter finals of the cup after Sporting Gijón lost 3-0 at Valencia on Tuesday evening. Local coach Marcelino was reportedly on an ultimatum after a 2-1 defeat in the first leg and a string of disappointing results in the league, and with no goals at half time there were whistles from the crowd. However Daniel Wass and Ferrán Torres set up Santi Mina to score twice after the break, and Ferrán wrapped things up with the third in the dying minutes. Earlier in the evening Getafe made it through to the last eight for the first time in four years after they drew 1-1 against Valladolid, an early Angel penalty after Antoñito tripped Hugo Duro in the area adding to their first leg lead. Verde made it all square on the night soon after the break however after Antoñito played the ball into the area, and local keeper Chichizola saved a late Alcaraz penalty following a foul by Bruno on Oscar Plano to prevent the visitors from getting back into the game. (15.01.19)



First division – day 19

Real Sociedad are up to eighth in the table after a 3-2 win over Espanyol in the Monday night game. A strike from Mikel Merino and a penalty from Willian José in the first ten minutes appeared to have put the Basque side on track for a victory, but the visitors came back with a Naldo header and a Diego Llorente own goal before the break. Willian José restored the lead however after the restart, and the locals held on despite having Merino sent off with a quarter of an hour to go. (14.01.19)

Barcelona stay five points clear at the top of the table after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Eibar on Sunday. Luis Suárez opened the scoring after Coutinho set him up with twenty minutes gone, and after the interval Messi added a second (his 400 th in the league) before Luis Suárez completed the scoring on the hour mark. Second placed Atlético Madrid keep in touch with the leaders after they won 1-0 against Levante in the mid-day kick-off, Griezmann getting the only goal from the penalty spot after Vukcevic was adjudged to have handled in the area some ten minutes in to the second half. Sevilla drop five points below Simeone’s team however after they lost 2-0 at Athletic Bilbao, Iñaki Williams scoring both goals with runs from midfield in the first and second halves to take the Basque side clear of the drop zone. Later in the evening Real Madrid beat Betis 1-2 to move back up to fourth, ex Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos firing home a direct free kick with two minutes to go to give his team the three points after a strike from Canales had cancelled out Modric’s early opener. (13.01.19)

Alavés stay in fourth spot after they drew 1-1 at Girona on Saturday evening. Stuani put the locals ahead early on with an acrobatic overhead kick, but Borja Bastón made it all square soon after the restart. Abelardo’s side are now just four points above Getafe, who ended the day in sixth place after a 1-2 win at Villarreal. A Cabrera own goal cancelled out Jorge Molina’s second half strike, but Angel got the winner with two minutes to go, and Ekambi wasted a chance to save a point when he fired an injury time penalty over the bar. Villarreal are now next to bottom, six points above Huesca, who lost 1-0 at Leganés in the early kick-off, En-Nesyri got the only goal for the locals after Jonathan Silva set him up midway through the second half to take the Madrid based side three points clear of the relegation spots. Only three points separate nine teams though in mid-table, Valencia now in tenth spot despite a 1-1 draw against Valladolid (the eleventh time that Marcelino’s side have shared the points this season). The Ches dominated throughout but wasted many chances, including a penalty which Masip saved from Rodrigo. And although Dani Parejo gave them the lead with twenty minutes to go, Raúl Alcaraz saved a point for the visitors with a direct free kick, virtually their first shot on target the whole afternoon. (12.01.19)

Rayo Vallecano clocked up their third victory in a row after beating Celta 4-2 on Friday night, and they are on the brink of escaping the drop zone pending the rest of the weekend games. Raúl De Tomás opened the scoring for the locals early on, and although a strike from Araujo and a Maxi Gómez penalty turned the scoreline around soon afterwards, “RDT” completed his hat-trick after the break before Bebé rounded things off in injury time. (11.01.19)


Copa del Rey fifth round, first leg

Defending champions Barcelona were beaten 2-1 by Levante on Thursday, and they now have to win in the Nou Camp next week if they are to stay in the competition. Valverde left most of his big names at home, and they paid the price when Cabaco headed in Rochina’s free kick, and Mayoral added a second with less than twenty minutes gone. In the end though Coutinho got a vital away goal from the penalty spot after Denis Suárez was tripped in the area with five minutes to go. Barça’s opponents in last season’s final were Sevilla, and they are looking good for a place in the last eight after they won 1-3 at Athletic Bilbao. Nolito’s early opener was cancelled out by a header from San José soon after the restart, but goals by André Silva and Ben Yedder gave the Andalusians a comfortable win in the end. Meanwhile Sevilla’s neighbours Betis were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Sociedad, keepers Joel and Rulli both putting top class performances to leave everything in the balance for next week’s second leg. (10.01.19)

Real Madrid bounced back from their weekend defeat with a 3-0 victory over Leganés on Wednesday which virtually ensures them a place in the quarter finals. Sergio Ramos got the opener from the penalty spot after Gumbau brought down Odriozola in the area, and after the restart Vinicius set up Lucas Vázquez for the second, and then volleyed home the third himself from Odriozola’s centre. Atlético Madrid still have some work to do though after they drew 1-1 at Girona. Griezmann gave Simeone’s side the lead with a shot from outside of the area which went in off the post and Iraizoz, but Lozano levelled the scores shortly before the break with a looping shot which Adán couldn’t keep out. Villarreal and Espanyol also drew 2-2, the Catalans going two up with strikes by Darder and Alex López in the first and second halves, but the locals fighting back with goals by Ekambi and Bacca in the last five minutes. Elsewhere Getafe beat Valladolid 1-0, substitute Angel heading a last gasp winner in injury time after Yoel saved from Jorge Molina. (09.01.19)

The Spanish cup is largely played out in the first two months of the year, with the round of sixteen starting this week. Sporting Gijón are the only lower ranked side left in the competition this season, and they got off to a promising start with a 2-1 victory over Valencia on Tuesday night. Noblejas put the Asturians ahead, and although Gameiro headed the equaliser on the stroke of half time after a Dani Parejo shot came back off the bar, ex Derby County striker Blackman headed the winner just seconds after coming on as substitute. It was another blow for Valencia coach Marcelino, and he urgently needs to turn things around if he is to stay in his job. (08.01.19)


First division – day 18

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

Athletic Bilbao moved back out of the relegation zone after a 1-2 victory at Celta on Monday evening. A strike by Fran Beltrán just before half time cancelled out Muniain’s opener, but Williams ran on to a long Herrerín clearance to get the winner soon after the restart. (07.01.19)

With one game still to go to the mid-point of the season, Barcelona have already made sure of the honorary title of winter champions after they beat Getafe 1-2 on Sunday evening. Messi and Luis Suárez put the Catalans two up, with Mata getting one back for the locals on the stroke of half time. Barça are now five points clear of Atlético Madrid and seven above Sevilla after the second and third placed sides drew 1-1 in the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium. Ben Yedder gave the locals the lead later on in the first half, but Griezmann equalised with a direct free kick before the interval. Real Madrid though end the weekend down in fifth spot after they lost 0-2 to Real Sociedad. Willian José opened the scoring in the third minute from the penalty spot, and Rubén Pardo added the second late on to give caretaker coach Imanol a win in his first game in charge. Earlier in the day Eibar and Villarreal drew 0-0, a result which took the visitors out of the bottom three pending Athletic’s game on Monday, and left their hosts in mid-table, one of seven teams separated by only two points. (06.01.19)

Alavés bumped Real Madrid out of fourth spot pending their game on Sunday after they beat Valencia 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. Dani Parejo gave the Ches the lead with an early free kick, but Borja Bastón levelled it soon afterwards, and Tomás Pina got the winner on the stroke of half time. Elsewhere the bottom two clubs both won to put pressure on the teams above them. Rayo Vallecano beat Valladolid 0-1 in the early kick off, Alvaro Medrán combining with Alex Moreno and Embarba to open the scoring with less than a minute gone, and visiting keeper Dimitrievski ensuring the result with a string of saves after that, including a late penalty from Michel. And Huesca finally got their first home win ever in the top flight after coming from behind to beat Betis 2-1, Ferreira and Rivera getting the goals in the last twenty minutes or so after Sanabria had put the Andalusians in front from the penalty spot. (05.01.19)

Espanyol began the New Year with a 1-0 victory over Leganés on Friday evening, the result putting an end to a run of six defeats in a row. Borja Iglesias headed the only goal in the opening minutes to take the Catalans up to eighth pending the rest of the weekend games. Earlier in the evening Levante and Girona drew 2-2, leaving both a point below Espanyol in the table. The visitors went ahead twice, through Portu before the break, and Aleix García after the restart, but goals by Morales and Coke pegged them back both times. (04.01.19)


First division – day 17

It was back to Earth for Real Madrid at the start of the New Year, the world club champions being held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Villarreal in the league match postponed from two weeks ago. Santiago Cazorla got the first goal of 2019 with only four minutes gone, but headers by Benzema and Varane turned the scoreline around in the next quarter of an hour. Modric had a strike ruled out for offside, and Lucas Vázquez brought good saves out of Asenjo either side of half time, but Courtois also had work to do, and with eight minutes to go Cazorla headed his second of the night to save a point for the locals. That takes them out of the relegation zone, back above Athletic on goal difference, and leaves Madrid still in fourth spot, some seven points now behind leaders Barcelona. (03.01.19)

Sevilla drop two points below Atlético to third place after a 1-1 draw at Leganés on Sunday afternoon. However they will be grateful for a point after playing all the second half with ten men following a red card for Franco Vázquez for insulting the referee. Before that Mikel Vesga had headed the locals into the lead, but Ben Yedder popped up in injury time to save a point for the Andalusians with a header from Roque’s centre. The game finished in thick fog, and just up the road Rayo Vallecano’s match against Levante kicked off soon afterwards in similar conditions, the locals running out 2-1 victors to keep alive their hopes of survival. Toño turned in an Alex Moreno cross to put Rayo ahead midway through the first half, and although Rochina levelled it after the restart, Raúl De Tomás got the winner after Oier could only push out another Moreno centre soon afterwards. Rayo are now three points away from safety and five above bottom club Huesca, who are further in trouble after losing 2-1 at Valencia in the mid-day game. A Cucho Hernández penalty cancelled out Parejo’s earlier strike, but Piccini fired home the winner in the fourth and final minute of injury time to placate a hostile home crowd, disappointed with the performance of Marcelino’s side this season. (23.12.18)

Barcelona end the year three points clear at the top of the table after a 2-0 victory over Celta on Saturday evening. Valverde’s side went in front early on, Dembélé firing the rebound back into the net after Rubén Blanco saved from Messi, and Messi himself got the second on the stroke of half time after Jordi Alba put him clear. Barça stay three point clear of Atlético Madrid, who beat their city neighbours Espanyol 1-0. Griezmann got the only goal from the penalty spot after Granero fouled Koke in the area soon after the restart, but it took some good saves by Oblak to ensure the three points in the end. Elsewhere Betis drop to sixth after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Eibar, Sanabria opening the scoring for the Andalusians in the twentieth minute, but Orellana making it all square from the penalty spot midway through the second half. And Athletic Bilbao and Valladolid also drew 1-1 in the last match of the evening, Aduríz seemingly giving the Basque side the victory with a penalty just before the break, but Oscar Plano equalising for the visitors with the game already in time added on. The point takes Athletic out of the bottom three though, a point ahead of Villarreal pending their game against Real Madrid in the New Year. (22.12.18)

The week 17 round of fixtures extends over two calendar years this season, with the match between Villarreal and Real Madrid scheduled for 3 rd January in view of Madrid’s participation in the Club World Cup. The rest however take place before the short Christmas break, Girona and Getafe kicking things off with a 1-1 draw which left both teams in contention for the European spots. Angel put the visitors ahead from an Antunes centre on the hour mark, but Bernardo headed the equaliser from Granell’s free kick with five minutes to go to keep the Catalans three points below their opponents in the table. Alavés though return to fifth place, three points above Getafe, after a 0-1 victory at neighbours Real Sociedad later in the evening. Calleri headed the only goal for the visitors with just over ten minutes gone, and Januzaj, Willian José and Oyarzabal all missed chances to level the scores after the restart. The defeat leaves the San Sebastian side floundering near the foot of the table, and coach Asier Garitano might not be seeing in the New Year at the Anoeta stadium. (21.12.18)


Club World Cup Final

Real Madrid 4 - Al Ain 1

Abu Dhabi, UAE. Real Madrid are world champions for the third year in a row and the fourth time in their history after beating Al Ain 4-1 in the final! The local champions were Madrid’s surprise opponents after they won through the previous rounds, and only Sergio Ramos’s foot prevented Elshahat from scoring early on. Just a minute later though Modric put the Liga side ahead with a shot from the edge of the area, and although Caio had a strike ruled out for offside, Benzema and Bale both had chances to extend the lead before the break. With an hour on the clock Marcos Llorente made it two with a first time volley after a Kroos corner was headed clear by Ahmed, and Sergio Ramos headed a third from a Modric corner with ten minutes to go. Shiotani did get one back with a header from Caio’s long free kick, but with the game in time added on Nader deflected a wayward shot from substitute Vinicius in to his own net for the final result. (22.12.18)

Semi final: Kashima Antlers 1 - Real Madrid 3


Europa League - day 6

Round of 32 draw

Good news for Spanish sides in the last round of league matches, all three qualifying for the next round as group champions. Sevilla beat Krasnodar 3-0, Ben Yedder scoring twice in the first ten minutes, and Banega converting a penalty at the start of the second half after Cristian Ramirez was sent off for keeping out an André Silva header with his hand. And Villarreal won 2-0 against Spartak Moscow, Samu Chukwueze getting the first early on, and Ekambi making it two after the restart to get new coach Luis García off to a good start. Betis were already sure of their place in the knock-out stage coming in to their game at Dudelange, but a 0-0 draw on an icy pitch was enough to ensure them top spot as well. (13.12.18)

Group tables


Champions League - day 6

Round of 16 draw

A very watered-down last round of games in the Champions League, with the fate of all four Spanish sides already decided two weeks or more ago. Real Madrid had already tied up first place in their group and Solari, like Valverde, gave a run out to some of his lesser used players against the already eliminated CSKA Moscow. However the move back-fired, the Russian side running out 0-3 winners to hand Madrid their biggest ever home defeat in Europe. Although Akinfeev was the busiest man on the park early on, Chalov and Schennikov scored twice with the visitors’ first shots at goal in the run up to half time. Asensio had hit the bar before that as well, but after the restart the CSKA’s keeper was hardly troubled, and Sigurdsson completed the humiliation with twenty minutes or so to go. As it happened, the only La Liga team to win this week were the only ones who hadn’t qualified for the knock-out stage, Valencia beating Manchester United 2-1 to at least ensure they are seeded for the Europa League. Carlos Soler opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark, and played a pass through for Jones to turn the ball into his own net under pressure from Batsuyashi at the start of the second half. With Juventus losing at Young Boys, a win would have given Mourinho’s side top spot in the group, but although Rashford headed one back, it was too late to change the result. (12.12.18)

Atlético Madrid could only draw 0-0 at Club Brugge on Tuesday evening, and with Borussia Dortmund beating Monaco in the other group game, Simeone’s side have to settle for second spot, behind the Germans on goal difference. Despite missing several injured and suspended players, the visitors started well, Thomas and in particular Griezmann bringing good saves out of Horvath before the break. Oblak also had work to do though, especially from a Luan Peres header after the restart, and in the end the game petered out to a draw. Brugge go into the Europa League as third in the group, but Atleti miss out on that top spot, and will now have to face a group champion in the first knock-out round. Barcelona were already sure of first place in their group though, and coach Valverde left several of his key players out of his starting line-up against Tottenham. With only seven minutes gone Dembélé ran through from his own half to open the scoring, and Coutinho hit the post once in each half. The Premier League side were playing for the second qualifying spot though, and Cillessen had to make important saves from Son, Eriksen and Lucas Moura. And with five minutes to go Moura got on the end of Kane’s cross to make it 1-1, a result which, with Inter Milan being held to a similar result at home to PSV, meant that Pochettino’s side will be joining Barça in next Monday’s draw. (11.12.18)

Group tables


Copa del Rey fourth round, second leg

Fifth round draw

Only one side from the lower divisions made it through to the last sixteen, second division Sporting Gijón beating Eibar 4-2 on aggregate after drawing the second leg 2-2. The Asturians put the tie beyond the reach of their hosts with goals from Alvaro Jiménez and Pedro Pérez in the first half. That meant Eibar needed five, and although Cucurella and Charles saved a bit of pride, it was too big a task. The only other first division team to have any problems were Levante, who struggled against Lugo before winning 2-0. Coke headed the Valencia based side in front with ten minutes to go, but a goal from the Galicians would have taken the tie to extra time. However with visiting keeper Varo in the opposing penalty area for a last gasp corner, Dwamena picked up the clearance in his own half and ran to score into an empty net.

Real Madrid made it through comfortably though after thrashing Melilla 6-1. Solari rested several key players, and the North African enclave side held their own for half an hour or so. Marco Asensio scored twice however and then set up Javi Sánchez for the third before the break, and Isco helped himself to a brace in the second half. Vinicius got one in between after his first effort was saved, and Yacine fired home a consolation penalty for the visitors with ten minutes to go. Meanwhile Betis easily knocked out Racing Santander after a 4-0 victory, Jon Ander deflecting a shot from Barragán into his own net on the half hour mark, and Sanabria converting a penalty after Feddal was brought down in the area after the break. Sergio León headed in a corner a few minutes later, and Lo Celso completed the scoring with an individualist effort near the end. Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao repeated last week’s 0-4 scoreline against Huesca, Aduríz adding two more to the two he scored in that match, with strikes either side of half time. And Williams scored two himself in the last ten minutes to give new coach Gaika Garitano a win in his first match since taking over from Toto Berizzo a few days ago. (06.12.18)

More cup ties on Wednesday, with first division sides winning through all of them. The only remaining regional third division team Sant Andreu were beaten 4-0 by Atlético Madrid, but not before the Catalans hit the post and brought a couple of good saves out of Adán. After the break however Lemar fired the locals into the lead with a long shot in off the post, and Kalinic, Correa and Vitolo added three more after that. Barcelona also had no problems seeing off Cultural Leonesa, with some of their lesser used players getting a chance to shine. Munir and Denis Suárez put them two up with less than half an hour gone, and Malcom headed a third before the interval. Josep Señé got one back for the visitors soon after the restart, but another of Barça’s promising youngsters, Riqui Puig, set up Denis Suárez making it 4-1 soon afterwards. Sevilla had a few problems however before beating Villanovense 1-0, and after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, a goal by the Extremadura based side would have knocked out their hosts. Machin’s team dominated throughout, but the only goal came some five minutes into the second half following a penalty by Isma Gil on Muriel, the keeper saving André Silva’s spot kick, but the striker knocking in the rebound.

The highest score of the night though was Villarreal’s 8-0 win over Almería, a result which took some of the pressure off coach Javier Calleja. Ekambi scored a hat-trick and Bacca netted a fourth before the break, and Ekambi got his own fourth of the evening before Gerard Moreno, Bacca (from the penalty spot) and Raba completed the rout. Valladolid will join them in next week’s fifth round draw after they won 2-1 against Mallorca, although they had to come from behind to do so, Oscar Plano and Verde getting the goals (and Duje Cop missing a penalty) after Abdón had put the islanders in front at the start of the second half. Two all first-division ties as well, impressive strikes by Oyarzabal and Januzaj in the first half hour taking Real Sociedad through 2-0 against Celta, and Girona securing their place in the last sixteen for the first time in their history after beating Alavés 2-1, a Granell free kick and a goal from Portu midway through the second half turning things around after Alcalá headed Borja Bastón’s cross into his own goal. (05.12.18)

The second legs of the cup fourth round take place this week, with four ties on Tuesday. There were no surprises, although Valencia struggled to beat CD Ebro (currently languishing near the bottom of their second division B regional group), Batsuyashi scoring on the hour mark to give them a 1-0 victory. It was a similar case for Espanyol as well, a late strike by Hernán Pérez taking them through on the away goal rule against Cádiz after they lost the first leg 2-1. Leganés are also through after a 0-1 win at neighbours Rayo Vallecano, Emi Velázquez putting through his own net early on, and visiting keeper Lunin saving a second half penalty from Bebé, and the other South Madrid club Getafe cruised into the next round as well after a convincing 5-1 win against Córdoba, with Angel scoring a hat-trick (including a penalty) and Portillo and Rober Ibáñez also on the scoresheet, and Aythami replying for the Andalusians with the game already lost. (04.12.18)


Under 21 Friendly international

France 1 - Spain 1

Spain’s under 21 side finished the year with a 1-1 draw against France in their latest friendly international, and they will now be looking forward to next summer’s European finals. Luis De la Fuente’s team went ahead in the tenth minute when Oyarzabal converted a penalty after Pedraza was brought down in the area. Carlos Soler hit the bar later on in the first half, but with ten minutes to go Mateta levelled it for the hosts. (19.11.18)

Previous match: Spain 4 - Denmark 1

Spain's youth team fixtures:
Under 19 / Under 17


Friendly international

Spain 1 - Bosnia Herzegovina 0

Spain’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals ended when England came from behind to beat Croatia 2-1, and it will be England who go to next summer’s final four rather than Luis Enrique’s side. The coach is still building his squad however for the Euro 2020 championship, and he made nine changes for this friendly fixture against Bosnia from the team who lost to Croatia, with Mario Hermoso, Brais Méndez, Pablo Formals and Pau López all winning their first caps. The match rather vindicated UEFA’s decision to add the new competition to reduce the number of meaningless friendlies though, with little real action and multiple substitutions breaking up play. Asensio, Isco and Suso all tested Sehic before the break, and Morata missed the easiest of chances after the restart. Dzeko and Visca replied for the visitors, but the only goal came with twelve minutes to go when Méndez was in the right place to finish off after the keeper could only push out a long shot from Isco. Spain’s next match will be in March, when the Euro 2020 qualification begins. (18.11.18)

Euro 2020 qualifying draw


UEFA Nations League

Croatia 3 - Spain 2

Spain lost their last group match against Croatia, and they now need England and Croatia to draw on Sunday for them to qualify for next summer’s finals. Despite scoring six against the East Europeans in the first leg, a defeat against England meant that they had to win this match to be sure of finishing top of the group. However De Gea had to push an early effort from Persisic on to the post, and Kalinic was not troubled until he tipped a long shot from Isco over the bar before the break. Some ten minutes into the second half Kramaric opened the scoring for the hosts after a poor clearance from Sergi Roberto was intercepted, and although Dani Ceballos combined with Isco to make it all square just two minutes later, Jedvaj headed in a Modric cross to restore the lead soon afterwards. Rebic and Morata both missed good chances before Sergio Ramos levelled it again from the penalty spot after Vrsaljko handled in the area, but with the game in time added on Jedvaj got the winner after De Gea could only push out a shot from Berkalo. The result means that any of the three teams could finish top of the group, and the only thing for sure is that Spain won’t finish last. (15.11.18)

Group table

Full and U21 squads


European Super Cup

Real Madrid 2 - Atlético Madrid 4 (after extra time)

Atlético Madrid finally beat city rivals Real Madrid in a European final, Simeone’s team scoring twice in extra time in Tallinn to take their third European Super Cup title! With less than a minute on the clock they were already in front, Diego Costa heading on a long ball and holding off his markers to beat Keylor Navas from a wide angle. The Champions League winners were missing Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time, but new coach Julen Lopetegui still put out a strong line-up, and with just under half an hour gone Benzema headed in a long cross from Bale to make it all square. Early in the second half Sergio Ramos made it two from the penalty spot after Juanfran handled a Kroos corner, but Costa appeared again to equalise following a good team move. That took the game into extra time, and Saúl and Koke latched on to assists from substitutes Thomas and Vitolo to hand their neighbours their first defeat in an international final in 18 years. (15.08.18)


Spanish Super Cup

Barcelona 2 - Sevilla 1

Barcelona came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 in this season’s Spanish Super Cup, the thirteenth time they have won the tournament. For the first time ever this was played outside of Spain, the venue being Tangiers, Morocco, and also for the first time it was played over one leg rather than two. The new VAR system was also making its debut in Spanish competitions, and it only took eight minutes before it came into action, Sarabia’s opener originally ruled out for offside before the video evidence proved otherwise. Barcelona were level at the break though, Piqué turning in the rebound after Vaclik pushed a Messi free kick onto the post, and with twelve minutes to go Dembélé caught out the keeper with a long shot which went in off the crossbar. Pablo Machin’s team did have a chance to take the game into extra time when Ter Stegen gave away a late penalty on ex team-mate Aleix Vidal, but the German keeper guessed correctly and saved Ben Yedder’s spot kick. (12.08.18)


Fantasy Football

LaLiga and the sports paper Marca are running their Spanish Fantasy Football game once again, and we have set up a Soccer Spain private league as we did last year for our readers to compete. Follow the link https://ax9m.app.link/6nRb0O0xiP to enter. If you played last season you can use the same account, but if you are new to the game you have to set up an account. Alternatively you can enter at https://game.laligafantasymarca.com and when you are in to your account, choose “Join a friend’s league”, and enter the code R0MCFRGQ. Good luck! (11.08.18)

How it works


Summer transfers

The summer transfer market is in full swing, with clubs having until the end of August to complete their squads. The first job was to get the new managers on board where necessary, the most notable move being Julen Lopetegui’s appointment at Real Madrid just two days before the World Cup started after Zidane’s surprise resignation. Lopetegui though won’t be able to count on Cristiano Ronaldo, who, a little jaded at Madrid and hounded by the Spanish tax authorities, has decided to try pastures new at Juventus. The European champions have spent some of the €100 million or so that they got for Ronaldo on a new goalkeeper, Courtois, with Kepa (who was close to signing for Madrid last winter) replacing the Belgian at Chelsea. Several other players will be leaving us this summer, in particular Iniesta and Fernando Torres, who have both gone to Japan. Barcelona seem to have gone for a change of style, replacing the elegant Iniesta with bulldog Arturo Vidal, although they have also drafted in some Brazilian class in Arturo and Malcom. Atlético meanwhile have been adding to their squad with the likes of Lemar, Kalinic and Rodri, and Valencia, Sevilla, Betis and Villarreal have all been strengthening their sides as well for their European campaigns. Still over two weeks to go though until the window closes, and you can follow all the moves at the link below. (10.08.18)

2018/2019 New season transfers by club - Div 1

First division clubs
Second division clubs
Second division B groups


Club World Cup final

Real Madrid 1 - Gremio 0

Real Madrid are Club World Champions for the second time in a row and the third time in their history after beating Gremio 1-0 in the final! Zidane’s side had several chances before Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a long free kick which found a gap in the defensive wall shortly after the break. Ronaldo had a second goal ruled out for the borderline offside of Benzema, Modric hit the post, and Grohe had to make several saves, particularly from Ronaldo and Bale later on, and Keylor Navas hardly had a save to make throughout the ninety minutes. It was a third title of the season for Zidane’s side after winning the European and Spanish Super Cups in summer. (16.12.17)

Semi-final: Al Jazira 1 - Real Madrid 2



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Summary of 2017/2018

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Barcelona
Promoted to the first division Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid
Relegated to the second division A Deportivo, Las Palmas, Málaga
Promoted to the second division A Mallorca, Rayo Majadahonda, Elche, Extremadura
Relegated to the second division B Lorca, Sevilla Atlético, Barcelona B, Cultural Leonesa


Clubs taking part in international competitions in 2018/19 season
Champions League Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
Europa League Villarreal, Betis, Sevilla
European Super Cup Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid
Club World Cup Barcelona

First Division
Barcelona - Leganés
Betis - Girona
Celta 1-2 Valencia
Eibar - Espanyol
Levante - Valladolid
Rayo - Real Soc
R Madrid 2-0 Sevilla
Getafe 4-0 Alavés
Villarreal - Athletic
Huesca 0-3 Atlético
Day 20 - Jan 20

 

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