Coming fixtures
Champions League Real Madrid v Bayern Munich 23 Apr
Europa League Semi-finals, first leg 24 Apr
First division Day 35 25-28 Apr
Champions League Semi-finals, second leg 29/30 Apr
Europa League Semi-finals, second leg 1 May

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Champions League, semi-finals, first leg

Atlético Madrid 0 - Chelsea 0

No goals in the first leg tie between Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, leaving everything to be decided in Stamford Bridge in eight days’ time. The Premier League side suffered an early set-back when keeper Cech had to go off with only a quarter of an hour gone after injuring himself keeping out an inswinging Koke corner, but neither his replacement Schwarzer not their opposite number Courtois (himself a Chelsea player on loan at Atlético) had much to do throughout. Cahill headed a corner wide and Ramires missed the target on a quick breakaway, and Mario Suárez curled a free kick just past the post later in the first half, and Courtois made comfortable saves from Lampard and Fernando Torres soon after the restart. For the last half hour though Chelsea sat back to defend, leaving Torres a sole figure up front, and Schwarzer was called upon to keep out a Gabi free kick and a couple of efforts from Diego Costa and Raúl García. Substitute Arda Turan also headed another good chance just past the post, but in the end the scoreline remained unmoved, and Atlético now have to score at least once next week if they are to make it in to the final. (22.04.14)

Match round-up - First Division, Day 34

Málaga are virtually safe for another season after a 2-0 victory over Villarreal in the Monday night game. Santa Cruz opened the scoring early on and Darder made it two a few minutes after the restart to take Bernd Schuster’s side on to 41 points. Villareal stay seventh, but they still have some work to do to tie up one of the Europa League spots. (21.04.14)

Barcelona are not out of the title race just yet, and they remain four points behind leaders Atlético after coming from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the last match on Sunday evening. Once again they were unable to take any of their chances in a lively first half, and Aduríz gave the visitors the lead with an angled shot past Pinto soon after the restart. Pedro finally levelled it though with twenty minutes to go, and two minutes later Messi drilled home a free kick to put an end to a devastating run of three defeats in a row. The result leaves Athletic just three points clear of fifth placed Sevilla, who visit the San Mamés stadium next weekend in what could be a key match in deciding the fourth Champions League spot. Unai Emery’s side beat regional rivals Granada 4-0 earlier in the evening, Mainz putting through his own net early on, and Gameiro, M’Bia and Vitolo adding three more after the break. Sevilla’s city neighbours Betis are now very close to relegation after a 3-1 defeat at Rayo Vallecano left them ten points away from safety with only four games to go. Paulao was so dejected after gifting the opener to Rochina and then scoring in his own net that he asked to be substituted with only half an hour gone, and Larrivey added a third before Chica got one back near the end. The win virtually ensures Rayo another season in the top flight, and Celta are now level with them on 40 points after beating struggling Almería 2-4 in this Sunday’s mid-day kick-off. Nolito scored twice and Charles and Orellana got the goals for Luis Enrique’s side, with Rodri and Oscar Díaz replying for the locals, who stay in next to bottom spot for another week. (20.04.14)

Real Sociedad are closing in on the Europa League spots, and they moved up to sixth after they came from behind to beat Espanyol 2-1 on Saturday evening. Córdoba put the visitors ahead midway through the first half, but Canales levelled it soon afterwards with a cross-come-shot which took a deflection off Lanzarote, and Carlos Vela ran through to score the winner with the game already in injury time. Valencia are about the only team who could catch them, but they lost ground on the rest after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna. Jonas at least saved them a point though with a late strike after Oriol Riera had given their hosts a first half lead. Osasuna remain three points above the drop zone, Getafe staying in the bottom three after they drew 0-0 at Levante. The Madrid based side are now level on points with Valladolid, who are not playing this weekend as their match against Real Madrid has been postponed to the first week of May to give Ancelotti’s team time to prepare the midweek Champions League tie. (19.04.14)

Atlético Madrid extended their lead at the top of the first division to six points pending the rest of the weekend games after beating Elche 2-0 on Friday evening. The visitors put up a good fight though, and Manu Herrera saved a Villa penalty before Miranda headed his team in to the lead from Sosa’s corner with twenty minutes to go. Diego Costa wrapped things up though with a second penalty near the end, and if Simeone’s side can win their next three league games the title will be theirs. (18.04.14)


Second division

Copa del Rey, final

Barcelona 1 – Real Madrid 2

A wonder-goal by Gareth Bale handed Real Madrid a 1-2 victory over Barcelona, and a 19th Spanish cup title. With Cristiano Ronaldo still injured, Bale was given more responsibility, and he went close a couple of times early on before Di María opened the scoring in the tenth minute. Messi fired a shot wide and then struck a long free kick over the top either side of half time, but Bale and Benzema both failed to hit the target at the start of the second half, and Bale got the ball in the net only for referee Mateu Lahoz to rule it out for a previous foul on Pinto. Casillas had only really been tested by Marc Bartra though, and the young centre back got on the end of a Xavi corner to head the equalizer soon afterwards. It looked like the game would be going in to extra time, but with five minutes to go Bale picked up the ball in his own half and ran on past Bartra to poke a shot under Pinto for the winning goal. It was another blow for Tata Martino’s team, who in the last eight days have been knocked out of the Champions League and have thrown away their advantage in the race for the league title. A first title of the season though for Ancelotti and his boys, and who is to say they cannot complete a first ever triple this year? (16.04.14)

Match round-up - First Division, Day 33

Athletic Bilbao took another step towards tying up the fourth Champions League spot after beating Málaga 3-0 on Monday night. Aduríz headed them in to the lead in the fourth minute from Susaeta’s corner, and the two combined for the striker to score the second just a minute after the restart. And Ander Herrera added a third with an hour on the clock to keep the Basque side six points ahead of fifth placed Sevilla in the table. (14.04.14)

Atlético Madrid extended their lead at the top of the table to three points after beating local rivals Getafe 0-2 on Sunday evening. Godín headed the opener late in the first half, and Codina saved a Diego Costa penalty before Costa himself scored the second near the end. With a positive head-to-head record against second placed Real Madrid, Simeone’s side could go in to the last match at the Nou Camp with the league title already tied up if they can win their next four games before that. Whatever happens the two Madrid teams and Barcelona are assured of the first three Champions League spots, but the last place is still open after fifth ranked Sevilla won 0-2 against city rivals Betis in this week’s mid-day kick off. Gameiro got both goals, the first a controversial penalty on the half hour mark after Juan Carlos was sent off for a tackle on Bacca, to leave Calderón’s team on the verge of relegation. Valencia are still in with a chance of reaching the Europa League spots after they beat Elche 2-1, Dani Parejo scoring the winner after Coro had cancelled out Piatti’s earlier strike. However Espanyol are now ten points off seventh place after they drew 2-2 against Rayo Vallecano, who themselves are now six points above the drop zone as a result. Stuani gave the Catalans a third minute lead, but strikes either side of half time by Falqué and Larrivey turned the scoreline around before Colotto headed a late equalizer. (13.04.14)

Barcelona’s season is falling apart, a 1-0 defeat at Granada on Saturday evening leaving them down in third spot in the table at the end of the day. After their midweek elimination from the Champions League, Tata Martino’s side desperately needed a win in Andalusia. However Brahimi gave the locals the lead on the quarter hour mark, and despite a continuous attack after that they were unable to find a way past Karnezis. Later in the evening Real Madrid clocked up a comfortable 4-0 victory over struggling Almería to move a point above the Catalans in the table. With Ronaldo likely to be out for 10 days or so, and others rested for next Wednesday’s cup final, the replacements took over the mantle, Di María combining with Nacho to open the scoring on the half hour mark, and Bale, Isco and Morata adding three more after the break. Earlier in the evening Villarreal beat regional rivals Levante 1-0, Perbet heading the only goal of the game five minutes in to time added on. The win takes them back to sixth, a point above Real Sociedad, who were held to a 2-2 draw at Celta. Canales and Griezmann twice gave the Basque side the lead in the first half, but a Nolito penalty levelled it the first time, and Santi Mina saved a point for the Galicians late on, even though by then they were down to ten men. One game on Friday night as well, Osasuna and Valladolid staying just above the drop zone pending the rest of the weekend games after their match ended 0-0. The result keeps the Pamplona based side two points above their opponents though, with the head-to-head record in their favour as well. (12.04.14)


Second division

Europa League, quarter finals, second leg

Semi-final draw: Sevilla v Valencia; Benfica v Juventus

Another incredible night of football in the Europa League, with both Spanish sides overturning first leg deficits to make it through to the semi-finals. Valencia had an almost impossible job to do after a 3-0 defeat in Basel, but Paco Alcácer and Vargas scored twice shortly before half time, and Alcácer added a third with twenty minutes to go to take the tie in to extra time. The Swiss side had two men sent off in the next quarter of an hour, and Alcácer completed his hat-trick before Bernat made it 5-0 near the end. Sevilla started their second leg match against Porto a goal behind, but they netted three times in the first half, Rakitic converting an early penalty and Vitolo and Bacca scoring two more in a three minute period around the half hour mark. Coke got himself sent off soon after the restart, but Gameiro added a fourth before an injury time Quaresma strike made it 4-1 in the end. (10.04.14)

Champions League, quarter finals, second leg

Semi-final draw: Real Madrid v Bayern Munich; Atlético Madrid v Chelsea

Atlético Madrid 1 - Barcelona 0

Celebrations in the other half of Madrid tonight as Atlético beat Barcelona 1-0 to join city rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Colchoneros had not reached that stage of the top European competition in forty years, but the 1-1 draw in the Nou Camp eight days ago had given them the edge going in to this match. Simeone’s side got off to an electrifying start, Adrián hitting the post in the fourth minute, and in the following play Koke turning the ball past Pinto after Raúl García headed across a David Villa centre. Soon afterwards Villa hit the post again, and with the Barcelona defence in disarray it seemed only a matter of time before Atlético would score again. Gradually though the game settled down, and Messi headed a good chance wide, and then turned another shot past the post from Neymar’s cross. Villa fired a shot against the woodwork for a third time however, his angled shot coming back off the crossbar, and Barça were lucky to go in at the break only a goal down. After the restart honours were more or less shared, Xavi and Neymar in particular heading wide, and Gabi and Cristian Rodríguez both getting free on goal but unable to beat Pinto. But even with all their fire-power on the pitch Tata Martino’s side were unable to beat the excellent Courtois and his well ordered defence, and it will be Simeone and his boys who will be sitting by the television set next Friday to see whether their next opponents will be Chelsea, Bayern Munich or the team from just up the road. (09.04.14)

Borussia Dortmund 2 - Real Madrid 0

A close call in the end, but Real Madrid are through to another Champions League semi-final after a 3-2 aggregate win against Borussia Dortmund. Three up from the first leg, an away goal would have killed the tie. And in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo (on the subs bench due to an injury), Di María was called upon to take an early penalty when Piszczek cut out a Coentrao cross with his arm. However Weidenfeller saved the Argentinian’s spot kick, and a few minutes later the German side went ahead when Reus intercepted a poor headed back-pass by Pepe to round Casillas and score. Benzema slipped when free on goal soon afterwards, but otherwise the locals were on top, and with ten minutes to go to the break Reus scored his second of the night after Lewandowski’s shot came back off the post. Madrid improved after the break, Bale and Benzema going close a couple of times, but Mkhitaryan hit the post after rounding Casillas, and the visiting keeper had to make important saves from Mkhitaryan and Grosskreutz as Jurgen Klopp’s side pushed for the goal which would have taken the tie in to extra time. It was not to be however, and Spain will once again have two teams in the semi-finals. Who that second team will be though will not be decided until tomorrow night’s game between Atlético and Barcelona. (08.04.14)

Friendly international

Spain 1 - Italy 0

Spain beat Italy 1-0 in the final warm-up game prior to the naming of their World Cup squad, a single goal by Pedro extending the unbeaten home record to 31 games. Del Bosque used the occasion to give a first cap to Atlético’s Diego Costa, who played the full ninety minutes in his team’s Calderón stadium together with fellow Brazilian Thiago, plus Azpilicueta, Javi Martínez and Jordi Alba. There was an early scare when Cerci hit the post in the fourth minute, but after that only an effort over the top by Osvaldo caused any problems for Casillas in the local goal. The Real Madrid keeper’s opposite number Buffon did have some work to do before the break though, saving shots from Pedro and Iniesta, with Fàbregas and Costa also going close. After the restart Buffon had to be at his best to keep out Thiago and Silva, but with just over an hour gone a good move between Silva and Iniesta ended with Pedro latching on to a loose ball to force a shot under the keeper. Italy almost equalized with a couple of minutes to go from a corner which Xabi Alonso eventually cleared, but Costa fired a shot just wide and Cazorla and Navas tested Buffon again near the end. Another win for Spain though, and a good chance for Del Bosque to have a look at some of his fringe players before deciding who he will take with him to Brazil. (05.03.14)

Full and under 21 squads

2014 World Cup

Under 21 friendly international

Spain 2 - Germany 0

Spain’s under 21 side extended their incredible unbeaten record to 33 games after a 2-0 victory over Germany in the latest friendly international. The youngsters have not lost since November 2009, and they got off to another good start, Morata hitting the post in only the second minute and Isco curling a shot wide. Volland did go close for the Germans before the break, but seven minutes in to the second half Morata scored the easiest of goals after Leno’s clearance fell to him just outside of the area, and just a minute later the striker set up his Real Madrid team mate Isco to score the second. Morata hit the woodwork twice more after that, but Julen Lopetegui’s team had already done enough to clock up a fourteenth straight win. Along the way Muniain recorded a record 28th appearance for “La Rojita”, one more than Santi Denía and David De Gea, and Derik Osede and Denis Suárez both made their debuts at this level. (04.03.14)

Under 19 squad for friendly v Serbia

Under 18 Atlantic cup

Under 17 Elite round games

Under 16 invitation tournament, Burton-upon-Trent

Copa del Rey, semi-finals, second leg

Confirmation that the cup final everyone has been waiting for will take place between Spain’s big two after Barcelona drew 1-1 at Real Sociedad in the second semi-final. A packed crowd turned up at the Anoeta stadium hoping for their team to overturn the 2-0 scoreline from the first leg, but their dreams were shattered when Messi ran through from midfield to score a vital away goal midway through the first half. That meant that the Basque side needed to score four, but although Carlos Vela hit the bar after the interval, the best they could manage was a late equalizer from Griezmann with three minutes to go. Barcelona and Real Madrid meet again in another final, although the venue for that has yet to be decided. (12.02.14)

Real Madrid cruised in to this year’s cup final with a 5-0 aggregate win over city neighbours Atlético Madrid on Tuesday evening. Already three goals up from the first leg, the tie was over as a contest when Ronaldo converted two penalties in the first fifteen minutes to make it 0-2 on the night. Casillas pulled off the save of the tournament from Sosa near the end though to keep up his unbeaten record in the competition (eight games and counting), the first time ever that a side has reached a final without letting in a single goal. Madrid’s opponents on 19th April will be either Barcelona or Real Sociedad, the Catalans the favourites after winning the first leg 2-0. (11.02.14)

Latest transfers

The usual late flurry of activity at the end of the January transfer window, with over 30 players changing clubs in the last two days. Valencia were the most active of those, competing the signings of Keita, Araújo and Senderos to add to that of Vargas, and finding homes for Banega, Canales, Guardado, Postiga and Pabón. No movements at all for Barcelona and Real Madrid, although Atlético have finally been able to bring back Diego from Wolfsburg, letting Oliver Torres and Guilavogui go out on loan to Villarreal and Saint Etienne respectively. Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Málaga have also strengthened their squads in the last few days, and in the second division Deportivo and Mallorca have made important new signings. For details of all of those and more please follow these links. (01.02.14)

Daily updates

First division mid-season transfers by club
Second division mid-season transfers by club

Summary of 2012/2013

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Atlético Madrid
Promoted to the first division Elche, Villarreal, Almería
Relegated to the second division A Mallorca, Deportivo, Zaragoza
Promoted to the second division A Alavés, Tenerife, Eibar, Jaén
Relegated to the second division B Guadalajara, Racing Santander, Huesca, Xerez

Clubs taking part in European competitions in 2013/14 season
Champions League Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Real Sociedad
Europa League Valencia, Betis, Sevilla
European Super Cup None

  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 2-0 Elche
Levante 0-0 Getafe
Málaga 2-0 Villarreal
Barcelona 2-1 Athletic
Sevilla 4-0 Granada
Rayo 3-1 Betis
Real Soc 2-1 Espanyol
Almería 2-4 Celta
Valladolid pp R Madrid
Osasuna 1-1 Valencia
Day 34 - Apr 20

Valencia 2-1 Elche
Getafe 0-2 Atlético
Villarreal 1-0 Levante
Athletic 3-0 Málaga
Granada 1-0 Barcelona
Betis 0-2 Sevilla
Espanyol 2-2 Rayo
Celta 2-2 Real Soc
R Madrid 4-0 Almería
Osasuna 0-0 Valladolid
Day 33 - Apr 13

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