Primera División – Footy http://www.footy.to/ Your Daily Football NEws Source Tue, 14 Jan 2020 19:37:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.13 Getafe vs Real Madrid, La Liga LIVE: Follow all the action as it happens http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/getafe-vs-real-madrid-la-liga-live-follow-all-the-action-as-it-happens/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/getafe-vs-real-madrid-la-liga-live-follow-all-the-action-as-it-happens/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2020 20:35:13 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15085

Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid, La Liga RESULT: Zinedine Zidane’s men go top after an own goal from David Soria and strikes from Raphael Varane and Luka Modric seal derby win

  • Real Madrid have beaten local rivals Getafe 3-0 at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez
  • An own goal from David Soria gave Real the lead in the first half on Saturday
  • Raphael Varane and Luka Modric then scored in the second to wrap up the points
  • The win puts Zinedine Zidane’s men temporarily top of the table in Spain 
  • Getafe starting XI: Soria, Suarez, Dakonam, Cabrera, Nyom, Fajr, Arambarri, Maksimovic, Cucu, Mata, Angel
  • Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Varane, Mendy, Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Benzema, Bale, Isco
  • READ: Win puts Real back on top of La Liga table in scrappy Madrid derby victory

Raphael Varane filled Sergio Ramos’ shoes for Real Madrid, scoring a header and being heavily involved in another goal in the captain’s absence, as Zinedine Zidane’s team won 3-0 away at Getafe.

With Ramos suspended, Varane took over responsibilities bossing the Madrid defence and twice getting forward to contribute to goals with headers.

Luka Modric added a spectacular third in injury time. His finish was simple enough but it came from a brilliant pass on the turn from Gareth Bale and a lightning sprint from substitute Fede Valverde.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL MATCH REPORT or scroll down to relive the action as it happened

Real Madrid’s quest to win La Liga resumes on Saturday afternoon when they travel to local rivals Getafe. 

A victory for the visitors will see them move top of the table ahead of Barcelona’s trip to Espanyol later that evening (8pm kick-off). Getafe are flying high in sixth though – meaning it’ll be a tough match for Zinedine Zidane’s side. 

Follow all the action from the Coliseum Alfonso Perez as it happens with Sportsmail’s SAM MCEVOY. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid: David Soria own goal and Varane and Modric goals put visitors top of La Liga http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/getafe-0-3-real-madrid-david-soria-own-goal-and-varane-and-modric-goals-put-visitors-top-of-la-liga/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/getafe-0-3-real-madrid-david-soria-own-goal-and-varane-and-modric-goals-put-visitors-top-of-la-liga/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2020 14:26:19 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15073

Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid: Raphael Varane and Luka Modric help fire Los Blancos back on top of LaLiga table in scrappy Madrid derby victory

  • Getafe keeper David Soria gifted Real Madrid the lead after failing to punch Ferland Mendy’s cross clear 
  • The goal was initially given to Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane but later attributed to Soria
  • And after Thibaut Courtois made a series of fine saves, Varane did get on the scoresheet in the second half 
  • The Frenchman headed home Toni Kroos’ free-kick for his second goal of the current La Liga campaign 
  • Luka Modric then scored on the break in the final seconds of injury time to wrap up the decisive win

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Raphael Varane filled Sergio Ramos’ shoes for Real Madrid, scoring a header and being heavily involved in another goal in the captain’s absence, as Zinedine Zidane’s team won 3-0 away at Getafe.

With Ramos suspended, Varane took over responsibilities bossing the Madrid defence and twice getting forward to contribute to goals with headers. 

Luka Modric added a spectacular third in injury time. His finish was simple enough but it came from a brilliant pass on the turn from Gareth Bale and a lightning sprint from substitute Fede Valverde.

Real Madrid returned to the top of the table in La Liga with a scruffy victory over city rivals Getafe in a Madrid derby

David Soria's own goal gave Madrid the lead after he failed to clear Ferland Mendy's cross and diverted it into his own net

David Soria’s own goal gave Madrid the lead after he failed to clear Ferland Mendy’s cross and diverted it into his own net

Raphael Varane then headed home a second at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to give Madrid breathing space

Raphael Varane then headed home a second at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to give Madrid breathing space

Luka Modric's tap-in then wrapped up a gritty display from Madrid after substitute Federico Valverde's run on the break

Luka Modric’s tap-in then wrapped up a gritty display from Madrid after substitute Federico Valverde’s run on the break

MATCH FACTS

GETAFE (4-4-2) : Soria; Damian Suarez, Djene, Cabrera, Nyom (Ndiaye 81′); Fajr (Molina 60′), Maksimovic, Arambarri, Cucurella; Angel, Jaime Mata (Portillo 80′)

Subs not used: Chichizola, Antunes, Etxeita, Timor 

Booked: Suarez, Nyom, Portillo

Manager: Jose Bordalas 

REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos (Valverde 71′); Bale, Benzema (Jovic 81′), Isco (Vinicius 71′)

Subs not used: Areola, Nacho, Odriozola, Rodrygo

Goalscorers: Soria og (34′), Varane (53′), Modric (90+6′)

Booked: Jovic, Mendy

Manager: Zinedine Zidane 

Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero

Attendance: 15,426

The first goal came from a foul on Bale, who had to hurdle Allan Nyom’s dangerous challenge. The former Watford defender was booked and Real Madrid had a free-kick down by the corner flag.

Toni Kroos’ set-piece came back out to Ferland Mendy on the other side of the pitch. When the left-back crossed, Varane made the most of David Soria having charged off his line to try, and fail, to punch clear, and the Getafe goalkeeper consequently saw the cross come off his arm and trickle into the net to put Madrid into the lead.

It was slightly against the run of play. Madrid were only still on level terms because Thibaut Courtois had dived to push away a swerving shot from the edge of the area from Mauro Arambarri.

But the goal riled Getafe and when Angel Rodriguez brought down Militao, Damian Suarez complained enough to earn himself a booking. Madrid were keeping their heads while Getafe were losing theirs and Karim Benzema might have made it two but for Soria’s save.

Madrid still needed Courtois to help them go in ahead at the break. First he got down well to his left to parry Faycal Fajr’s vicious shot out for a corner and then he saved well from Leandro Cabrera’s header.

Madrid were frustrated in the opening stages of the derby with Jose Bordalas' side demonstrating good shape and work rate

Madrid were frustrated in the opening stages of the derby with Jose Bordalas’ side demonstrating good shape and work rate

But Madrid did take the lead when David Soria came for Mendy's cross but failed to clear and diverted the ball into his own net

But Madrid did take the lead when David Soria came for Mendy’s cross but failed to clear and diverted the ball into his own net

Centre-back Raphael Varane was initially credited with having scored for the visitors but it was later given as a Soria own goal

Centre-back Raphael Varane was initially credited with having scored for the visitors but it was later given as a Soria own goal

Varane doubled the lead on 53 minutes and if there was some doubt as to whether he got the last touch on the first goal this time it was definitely the defender who converted for Madrid.

Kroos provided one of his registered-delivery centres and Varane signed for it powering his header past Soria. After several minutes of VAR deliberation as to whether he was onside, the goal was given.

Bale might have made it three when he raced clear and tried to chip the ball over the head of the advancing Soria only for the Getafe keeper to reach the lofted effort and swipe it away to safety.

Thibaut Courtois made some outstanding saves, including from Getafe's Leandro Cabrera, to preserve Madrid's lead

Thibaut Courtois made some outstanding saves, including from Getafe’s Leandro Cabrera, to preserve Madrid’s lead

The Belgian also made fine saves from Mauro Arambarri and Faycal Fajr in yet another fine display from the goalkeeper

The Belgian also made fine saves from Mauro Arambarri and Faycal Fajr in yet another fine display from the goalkeeper

But having had one effort taken off him Varane did undoubtedly score Madrid's second by heading home Toni Kroos' free-kick

But having had one effort taken off him Varane did undoubtedly score Madrid’s second by heading home Toni Kroos’ free-kick

Courtois still had to get down smartly to save from Angel at close range as Getafe fought to the final whistle. Zidane brought on Luka Jovic with 10 minutes left but the luckless forward’s first intervention brought him a yellow card for a foul on Damian Suarez.

Soria denied Bale once more this time blocking at the forward’s feet as he went through on goal running on to substitute Valverde’s pass.

It didn’t matter because Valverde ran on to Bale’s pass and teed up Modric, who was stumbling as he scored to make it 3-0.

Madrid moved top of the table ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Espanyol later on Saturday night. What will matter more to them is that they had dealt with potentially one of the hardest away games of the season with consummate ease.

Varane steered in his second goal of the current La Liga season to give Real Madrid a ninth straight win over Getafe

Varane steered in his second goal of the current La Liga season to give Real Madrid a ninth straight win over Getafe 

Gareth Bale spurned a couple of chances to add his name to the scoresheet but it did not prevent a win for the visitors

Gareth Bale spurned a couple of chances to add his name to the scoresheet but it did not prevent a win for the visitors

Modric did however ensure there was one last hurrah after keeping pace with Valverde before being set up by the Uruguayan

Modric did however ensure there was one last hurrah after keeping pace with Valverde before being set up by the Uruguayan 



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Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona: Frenkie de Jong sees red as Ernesto Valverde’s men drop points in derby draw http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/espanyol-2-2-barcelona-frenkie-de-jong-sees-red-as-ernesto-valverdes-men-drop-points-in-derby-draw/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/espanyol-2-2-barcelona-frenkie-de-jong-sees-red-as-ernesto-valverdes-men-drop-points-in-derby-draw/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2020 14:16:22 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15064

Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona: Visitors return to the top of LaLiga… but only on goal difference after Wu Lei grabs last-gasp equaliser following Frenkie De Jong’s red card

  • Espanyol took the lead midway through the first half when David Lopez netted
  • Barcelona responded after half-time with Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal goals
  • Wu Lei found a late equaliser for the hosts after Frenkie de Jong was dismissed 
  • Barca jumped to the top of the La Liga; leading Real Madrid on goal difference 

If Wu Lei fever has been a little underwhelming at Espanyol since his high profile move last January his dramatic equaliser two minutes from time might change that. At the very least it will serve to upset his club’s city rivals Barcelona’s title challenge.

Chinese media and supporters mobbed the 28-year-old as he left the ground at midnight on Saturday night. No one has scored more goals in the China Super League but levelling against Barcelona to salvage a point in the Catalan derby might just top any of the goals he scored in his homeland.

Wu Lei had not bee on the pitch from the start as Espanyol took the lead through David Lopez. But when Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal inspired a Barcelona comeback, the side currently propping up La Liga turned to their talisman and he delivered in spectacular style.

Barcelona players look dejected as Espanyol players celebrate their late equalising goal

MATCH FACTS 

ESPANYOL: López, Rodríguez, Pereira, Bernardo, Vila Gómez (Vargas 62), López (Iturraspe 67), Roca, Melendo (Wu 74), Calleri, Darder

Subs not used: Prieto, Pedrosa, López, Campuzano

Booked: Rodriguez, Roca

Goals: Lopez (23), Wu (88)

BARCELONA: Neto, Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Rakitic (Vidal 45), Busquets, De Jong, Messi, Suárez, Griezmann (Semedo 80)

Subs not used: Umtiti, Firpo, Peña, Pérez, Fati

Booked: De Jong

Sent off: De Jong (75) 

Goals: Suarez (50), Vidal (59)

Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande

Matias Vargas played the through ball and Wu Lei ran onto it before sending it past Neto on minute 88. It was the equaliser but it felt like the winner for Espanyol who have not won at home all season and are favourites for the drop.

Vargas celebrated with friends watching from the dug-out. David Lopez who had scored the first goal but been taken off injured hobbled along the touchline in celebration, while Wu Lei calmly took the acclaim.

Barcelona had not deserved to take any more than a point from a game in which Lionel Messi was largely anonymous and Ivan Rakitic taken off at half time. It was Rakitic’s replacement Vidal that woke Barcelona up after they were left chasing the game following Lopez’ glanced header from Marc Roca’s cross.

The contract rebel currently in dispute with the club over what he claimed last week was an unpaid bonus for appearances gave his team new energy and along with Suarez who looked 100 percent despite a winter break in South America hauled their team back in front.  

Gerard Pique consoles Frenkie de Jong as the youngster is sent off against Espanyol

Gerard Pique consoles Frenkie de Jong as the youngster is sent off against Espanyol

Luis Suarez silences the home crowd after scoring the equalising goal on 50 minutes

Luis Suarez silences the home crowd after scoring the equalising goal on 50 minutes

Midfielder Arturo Vidal celebrates after netting Barcelona's second goal in nine minutes

Midfielder Arturo Vidal celebrates after netting Barcelona’s second goal in nine minutes

Suarez converted from Jordi Alba’s pass and then crossed for Vidal to score what for a long time looked like being the winner. But Frenkie de Jong was shown a second yellow card for a shirt pull and when Barcelona went down to 10 men Espanyol believed again that they could take something from the game.

Up popped Wu Lei and Barcelona had to count the cost of two more points dropped on the road where they have only won four of ten games played.

‘I am using Vidal a lot from the bench,’ said Ernesto Valverde. Perhaps he is not as academic as some in terms of the positional game we play. He is more disordered but he appears everywhere and sometimes that is a virtue.

Espanyol took the lead after David Lopez headed in from Marc Roca's free-kick

Espanyol took the lead after David Lopez headed in from Marc Roca’s free-kick

Gerard Pique makes a vital clearance as Wu Lei hunts another Espanyol goal

Gerard Pique makes a vital clearance as Wu Lei hunts another Espanyol goal

‘I changed him for Rakitic because of the way the game was going. I know what each individual player brings to the team. We were too academic in the first half and we had to shake things up a bit in the second period. Arturo [Vidal] has an intuition to his game and that turned things around for us.’

Espanyol’s new coach Abelardo said: ‘The 2-2 was a nice moment and now we need to build on that. We showed that we could be brave and I liked that.’

Barcelona now go into the Spanish Super Cup with the narrowest of leads at the top of La Liga. Just two goals separate them from Real Madrid who they will face in the four-way tournament in Saudi Arabia if both teams come through midweek semi-finals.



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Real Madrid ‘agree £30m January deal for Flamengo starlet Reinier’ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/real-madrid-agree-30m-january-deal-for-flamengo-starlet-reinier/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/05/real-madrid-agree-30m-january-deal-for-flamengo-starlet-reinier/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2020 14:05:43 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15047

Real Madrid ‘agree £30m January deal for Flamengo starlet Reinier’ as they beat rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to sign 17-year-old wonderkid

  • Real Madrid have reportedly agreed a £30m move for Flamengo starlet Reinier 
  • La Liga giants fended off fierce competition from rivals Barcelona and Atletico 
  • Teenager turns 18 this month with announcement expected around his birthday 
  • The Bernabeu outfit were able to secure their target for half the asking price 

Real Madrid have reportedly completed a £30million deal for highly-coveted Flamengo youngster Reinier this month.

The La Liga giants fended off fierce competition from rivals Barcelona and Atletico to haul the transfer over the line, with a long-term contract believed to have been accepted.

And according to Goal in Brazil, both parties will officially announce the swoop around January 19, when the starlet turns 18.

Real Madrid have reportedly completed a £30million move for Flamengo starlet Reinier 

The Bernabeu outfit were also thought to have been able to secure their target for roughly half of Flamengo’s original asking price.

A reported 80 per cent of the fee will head straight to the Brazilian club, and the rest of the hefty package will go to the player and his representatives.

The prodigy had been handed his senior debut in a Copa Libertadores clash against Emelec last July, and also netted six goals in just over a dozen appearances as Flamengo lifted the league title.

But despite having penned a new deal with the club until 2024 in November, Reinier has instead opted to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Vinicius Jr.

The current Real talent had also been a product of Flamengo’s academy system before making the switch to Spain. 

Reinier appears set to follow in the footsteps as fellow Flamengo academy product Vinicius Jr

Reinier appears set to follow in the footsteps as fellow Flamengo academy product Vinicius Jr

However, discussions are ongoing surrounding Reinier’s immediate future.

The 17-year-old could remain in his home country until June before officially making the move, or could spend the rest of the current campaign with the club’s Castilla reserve squad. 

Manager Jorge Jesus had previously hinted that Reinier was set for a switch to Europe, with the talent an unused substitute in Flamengo’s Club World Cup final defeat against Liverpool.

Manchester City were also reportedly keeping a close eye on the player’s development, with Barcelona ultimately deeming the valuation of their target too high.



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Former Arsenal loanee Denis Suarez’s home broken into by burglars http://www.footy.to/2020/01/04/former-arsenal-loanee-denis-suarezs-home-broken-into-by-burglars/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/04/former-arsenal-loanee-denis-suarezs-home-broken-into-by-burglars/#respond Sat, 04 Jan 2020 21:04:45 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15030

Former Arsenal loanee Denis Suarez has his home broken into by burglars on New Year’s Eve as he becomes latest star to be targeted in Spain… but thieves leave empty-handed

  • Ex-Arsenal midfielder Denis Suarez’s home was burgled on New Year’s Eve
  • Suarez was out partying with his girlfriend Nadia Aviles when the thieves struck
  • Local media report that nothing was taken from Suarez’s Barcelona property
  • The 25-year-old currently plays for Celta Vigo following £11.5m move from Barca

Celta Vigo midfielder Denis Suarez has become the latest LaLiga footballer to have his house raided by burglars.

However, unlike many of his fellow professionals in Spain’s top flight, the thieves left empty handed after deciding that nothing was worth stealing.

The 25-year-old, who struggled to make any sort of impact during his six-month loan spell at Arsenal, was out partying with his girlfriend Nadia Aviles at the time of the break-in on New Year’s Eve.

Denis Suarez’s Barcelona home was burgled while he was out partying on New Year’s Eve

Suarez poses with girlfriend Nadia Aviles in Christmas jumpers just days before the break-in

Suarez poses with girlfriend Nadia Aviles in Christmas jumpers just days before the break-in

Local media are reporting that the burglars ransacked the Barcelona property and destroyed the safe before leaving with empty pockets.

While Suarez appears to have been the rare exception where nothing was taken, other stars haven’t been so lucky. 

The burglary comes a month after Barcelona right back Nelson Semedo had his house broken into just hours before he featured in El Clasico against Real Madrid.

A spokesman for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force in Barcelona confirmed they were investigating a burglary at a property in Esplugues de Llobregat near the city airport.

He was unable to offer any information on what, if anything had been taken, although a Spanish radio station said valuables including watches and jewellery had been stolen.

Suarez struggled to make any sort of impact during his six-month loan spell at Arsenal last season

The 25-year-old completed his £11.5million move from Barcelona to Celta Vigo last June

Suarez struggled during his short loan spell at Arsenal before sealing a move to Celta Vigo

Suarez poses along with girlfriend Aviles near the London Eye during his Arsenal days

Suarez poses along with girlfriend Aviles near the London Eye during his Arsenal days

Barcelona’s Lisbon-born right back Semedo learned the news after checking into the team hotel.

In October several members of an Albanian-led gang suspected of targeting at least three top footballers’ homes in and around Madrid, were arrested.

One of the footballers targeted by the gang was identified as on-loan Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata, whose wife Alice Campello was confronted by armed intruders in June while she was alone at their home north of Madrid with a nanny and one-year-old twins Alessandro and Leonardo.

A Champions League medal and passport belonging to Atletico de Madrid’s Ghana-born star Thomas Partey was also said to have been recovered along with valuables during the suspects’ arrests.

Last month former West Ham striker Javier Hernandez’s new Spanish home was targeted by a burglar just two months after he signed for Sevilla.

Barcelona star Nelson Semedo had his house broken into before last month's El Clasico

Barcelona star Nelson Semedo had his house broken into before last month’s El Clasico

Alvaro Morata's home was broken into while his wife and two children were inside

Alvaro Morata’s home was broken into while his wife and two children were inside

A housekeeper prevented the intruder from getting in after calling police when she saw him trying to break into the property.

He fled before detectives reached the house, next to the Real Club de Sevilla Golf Course which was designed by Jose Maria Olazabal and lies between Seville and the nearby town of Alcala de Guadaira.

The attempted break-in happened at the start of the Sevilla-Betis derby.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Barcelona star Gerard Pique have also had their homes targeted by burglars while they were away on footballing duties. 



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Espanyol vs Barcelona, LaLiga LIVE: Lionel Messi and Co look to move back to the top of the table http://www.footy.to/2020/01/04/espanyol-vs-barcelona-laliga-live-lionel-messi-and-co-look-to-move-back-to-the-top-of-the-table/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/04/espanyol-vs-barcelona-laliga-live-lionel-messi-and-co-look-to-move-back-to-the-top-of-the-table/#respond Sat, 04 Jan 2020 20:55:10 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15021

Espanyol 1-0 Barcelona, LaLiga LIVE: David Lopez heads hosts in front to give hosts advantage early on

  • Barcelona travel to local rivals Espanyol in Spanish top-flight on Saturday night
  • Lionel Messi and Co are looking to move back to the top of the LaLiga table
  • Real Madrid momentarily moved above Barcelona after beating Getafe earlier 
  • Barcelona currently sit second while Espanyol are rooted to bottom of the table

Barcelona will be desperate to put their local rivals Espanyol to the sword on Saturday evening at the RCDE Stadium in La Liga.

Both sides come into this game in hugely contrasting form – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Co will be desperate to move back to the top of La Liga while Espanyol sit four points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Here, Sportsmail’s SAM McEVOY will provide you with live updates from the La Liga encounter, which kicks off at 8pm. 

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LA LIGA WEEKEND PREVIEW: Arturo Vidal’s legal dispute with Barcelona overshadows derby with Espanyol http://www.footy.to/2020/01/03/la-liga-weekend-preview-arturo-vidals-legal-dispute-with-barcelona-overshadows-derby-with-espanyol/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/03/la-liga-weekend-preview-arturo-vidals-legal-dispute-with-barcelona-overshadows-derby-with-espanyol/#respond Fri, 03 Jan 2020 19:05:11 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=15009

LaLiga is back following the winter break, meaning the division’s heavyweights are set to lock horns again as they scrap over the La Liga crown.

Barcelona have a two-point lead over rivals Real Madrid, who are looking to end a winless run of results. But the Catalan side have problems of their own to contend with ahead of a local derby.

Sportsmail gives you a sneak peek of what to expect in Spain this weekend. 

Arturo Vidal is locked in a dispute with his own club Barcelona over alleged unpaid bonuses

Espanyol v Barcelona

Saturday January 4, 8pm 

Top versus bottom, confidence versus hopelessness – this fixture should have been seen as a straightforward task for Barcelona as they prepare to make the short trip to Espanyol, but their preparations have been blighted by an ongoing dispute with one of their own players.

Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is reportedly owed £2million for appearance-related bonuses he believes he is owed from last season – providing a real headache for manager Ernesto Valverde. 

The 32-year-old had not been first choice even before the lawsuit was submitted last month, but he may now be forced to leave Vidal out of his squad at a time when he needs all the numbers he can get. 

Midfielder Arthur will be out for the clash, sitting on the sidelines alongside Ousmane Dembele and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Neto will therefore start in between the sticks.

Arturo Vidal is unlikely to feature against Espanyol as his legal dispute with the club rages on

Arturo Vidal is unlikely to feature against Espanyol as his legal dispute with the club rages on

Espanyol need points more than ever with the team rooted to the table and without a league win since October. They might hope to pounce on any unrest in the Barcelona squad, but they’d better not look in the history books for inspiration. 

Instead they should reflect on their last victory against Barca, which came over a decade ago, when a Mauricio Pochettino-led team stunned the favourites at the Nou Camp in February 2009 to secure a vital 2-1 win in their survival bid. 

In 20 fixtures since, they have had no such joy, losing 16 times and drawing four. They will be wary of Barcelona’s dangerous front three comprising of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann.  

Getafe v Real Madrid

Saturday January 4, 3pm 

They are still keeping pace with Barcelona, but Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid side need to rediscover their winning touch after drawing their last three games.

Trailing the league leaders by two points, Real can maintain pressure on top spot with victory at Getafe, who are sure to put up a fight with Champions League qualification a real possibility this season.

After finishing fifth in the last campaign, ending up just two points off fourth-placed Valencia, Getafe would love to to go one further this season and clinch their first ever spot in the top European competition. 

Real Madrid fired a blank in their last game against Athletic Bilbao and are winless in three

Real Madrid fired a blank in their last game against Athletic Bilbao and are winless in three 

Currently sixth and just two points off fourth, they have won three of their last four and will be confident going up against a Madrid side that has looked shaky at times this season.

Their head-to-head record smiles kindly on Madrid, with Los Blancos unbeaten in 11 games, although the teams played out a 0-0 stalemate in their last game in 2018-19. Zidane is still without £150m man Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio, while Sergio Ramos serves a suspension.  

Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao

Friday January 3, 8pm

MATCHDAY 19 GAMES 

Real Valladolid v Leganes – Friday 6pm

Sevilla v Atletic Bilbao – Friday 8pm

Valencia v Eibar – Saturday 12pm

Getafe v Real Madrid – Saturday 3pm

Atletico v Levante – Saturday 5.30pm

Espanyol v Barcelona – Saturday 8pm

Granada v Mallorca – Sunday 11am

Sociedad v Villarreal – Sunday 1pm

Alaves v Real Betis – Sunday 3pm

Celta Vigo v Osasuna – Sunday 8pm 

Sevilla are flying high under new manager Julen Lopetegui in third and are currently the only team edging close to the top two.

They have won two out of their last three games, and a win against Bilbao would take them level on points with Madrid and two points behind Barcelona before they play on Saturday. 

They will be looking to top scorer Lucas Ocampos as they take on a Bilbao team that are still in contention for the European places, with just four points separating them from fourth. 

However, the Basque outfit’s form does not exactly breed confidence, with no wins in their last three – although their final game of 2019 was a stalemate against Real Madrid.

Sevilla should expect some study resistance from Bilbao – they have conceded the joint fewest in the league behind Atletico Madrid with just 12 goals shipped, so the home side will have to move it quickly and create plenty of openings. 

Sevilla have been consistent under Julen Lopetegui and remain in touch with the top three

Sevilla have been consistent under Julen Lopetegui and remain in touch with the top three

Atletico Madrid v Levante

Saturday January 4, 5.30pm

Atletico are not quite themselves this season, but they are back on the right path.

Diego Simeone’s side have pulled themselves out of a sticky run of form by winning the last three games in all competitions, having failed to win any of the previous four. 

The fourth-placed side are still adjusting following a revolving door in the summer that saw Antoine Griezmann sold to Barcelona, while several other stars left including Rodri, Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin, Juanfran and Filipe Luis. Meanwhile, a host of new names, such as Joao Felix and Kieran Trippier, have come in.

They are still within touching distance of the top three but need to produce consistency across the board to ensure they finish as high as possible in May. Opponents Levante will fancy themselves, with the mid-table side just four points off sixth place having won their last two.  

Atletico Madrid ended a run of poor form by winning their last three to hold their top four spot

Atletico Madrid ended a run of poor form by winning their last three to hold their top four spot

Real Sociedad v Villarreal

Sunday January 5, 1pm 

Impressing in fifth, Sociedad are proving their doubters wrong after a mid table finish last season, and they have picked up good results of late, including a 2-2 draw at home to Barcelona.  

William Jose and Portu will be the two men they rely on when they welcome the Yellow Submarine, with the pair netting 12 goals between them, while the vision of on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard should keep them ticking over. 

Visitors Villarreal are on the comeback trail after winning their last two to stop the rot of three consecutive losses beforehand. They boast Gerard Moreno high up the scoring charts, but will need him to find him shooting boosts to give them the edge. The forward has not converted since late October.

Real Sociedad impressed as they held leaders Barcelona to a 2-2 draw at home in December

Real Sociedad impressed as they held leaders Barcelona to a 2-2 draw at home in December 

Valencia v Eibar

Saturday January 4, 12pm

Valencia are still attempting to undo the ramifications of their poor start to the league season, when they won just one win out of their first six games, with Marcelino getting the chop after just three games and Albert Celades taking over.

They have since dragged their way up the standings and are now eighth, looking to force their way into European contention once again. With the table increasingly tight in the top half, they are just four points off fourth and can make a real statement with victory over lowly Eibar.

The Spanish minnows picked up a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Granada last time out to boost their hopes of staying up, but that was their only win in six and the club are still 16th – lingering just above the relegation zone.   

Valencia are looking to salvage their La Liga season after coming back from a difficult start

Valencia are looking to salvage their La Liga season after coming back from a difficult start 

Elsewhere this weekend

Mid-table Real Valladolid welcome troubled Leganes on Friday night, while on Sunday morning 17th-placed Mallorca travel to Granada.

Sunday also sees Alaves play Real Betis in the afternoon, before 18th-placed Celta Vigo look to claim a much-needed win at home to Osasuna in the evening.

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PETE JENSON’S La Liga lowdown as Spanish stars make a comeback  http://www.footy.to/2020/01/03/pete-jensons-la-liga-lowdown-as-spanish-stars-make-a-comeback/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/03/pete-jensons-la-liga-lowdown-as-spanish-stars-make-a-comeback/#respond Fri, 03 Jan 2020 18:51:08 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=14997

Eden Hazard could hand Real Madrid the title but Lionel Messi can win it on his own, Atletico’s striker search will define their season and Martin Odegaard continues to wow… PETE JENSON’S La Liga lowdown as Spanish stars make a comeback

  • Spanish football is returning once again after the La Liga’s winter break
  • Lionel Messi can win the title for Barcelona but faces a battle from Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid’s search for a striker will define their likelihood of title push
  • Martin Odegaard continues to impress for Real Sociedad in top four challenge
  • Real Madrid need Eden Hazard back fast as they desperately search for goals 

As football returns to Spain, Sportsmail looks at the stories that will shape the second half of the season in Spain. 

Can Zinedine Zidane wrestle the title from Barcelona? As Diego Simeone goes into his ninth year as Atletico coach can they crash the title race? And will it be Lopetegui’s Sevilla, Odegaard’s Real Sociedad or the Getafe crazy gang who make fourth?

THE TITLE RACE

Madrid were better than Barça when the two met in the December Clasico but then Zidane’s team dropped points at home to Athletic. Barça are still reliant on Lionel Messi but who better to rely on? They have scored 14 goals more than Real Madrid so far this season. 

Goals are Madrid’s biggest problem. They scored 100 last year, their lowest total in a decade. The 60m euros summer signing Luka Jovic has one goal so far and Eden Hazard is injured with no date for his return. They look a better all-round team than Barcelona but if it’s Barça scoring the goals with Messi leading the way, the title will stay at the Camp Nou.

60m euros signing Luka Jovic has just one goal as scoring is an issue for Real Madrid 

AND ATLETICO? 

Diego Simeone marked his 8th year in the job at the end of last month. This season was so ripe with expectation but so far it’s been every bit as flat as the last campaign which saw no trophies won. 

The January transfer window will go a long way to deciding Atleti’s season. They need a striker desperately. Morata has seven goals from 20 shots on target so far this campaign – it’s as poor a return as it is strike rate. He needs support and competition. 

Diego Simeone is going into his ninth year at Atletico Madrid but it is by no means his best

Diego Simeone is going into his ninth year at Atletico Madrid but it is by no means his best

The 20-year-old Joao Felix will have a better half of the season now that he is a little more used to La Liga but with Diego Costa injured until February (and he’s closer to leaving the club than ever finding his old form again) they are looking at PSG’s Edinson Cavani or Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer as a mid-season reinforcement. 

Both will cost money the club does not have so the first thing they need to do is sell, with Thomas Lemar the prime candidate. He has flopped since his 70m euros arrival at the start of last season. If they can sell him and buy a forward they could yet threaten the big two.

BATTLE FOR FOURTH 

Getafe are Spanish football’s crazy gang. Javier Bordalas’ tight-knit, well-drilled, highly effective unit can out-battle most and out play many. They have just added Stoke’s Peter Etebo until the end of the season and will push bigger spending Sevilla all the way to make the Champions League place. 

Valencia and Real Sociedad also have a chance. The latter will continue to be powered forward by Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard. He was player of the first half of the season and if he maintains his level Real Sociedad could get back into the Champions League.

Real Sociedad have a chance of finishing in the top four powered by Martin Odegaard

Real Sociedad have a chance of finishing in the top four powered by Martin Odegaard

AVOIDING THE DROP 

Relegation looked on the cards for bottom club Leganes but they kick-started their great escape when they hired Javier Aguirre and are now off the bottom. 

Espanyol, now bottom, also made a managerial change but have since sacked their second coach of the season and look directionless and heading down. 

Any two from the bottom seven could join them in a scrap to stay up that could rival the battles at the other end of the table.

Sergi Darder's Espanyol are managerless, look directionless and heading down

Sergi Darder’s Espanyol are managerless, look directionless and heading down

THE PLAYERS WHO WILL DECIDE HOW THE SEASON ENDS 

Eden Hazard

His ankle problems will keep him out of the Super Cup. Madrid clearly do not want to rush him back so that he is absolutely right for the Madrid derby with Atletico at the start of February. If he returns 100 per cent, the goals he makes and scores could hand Zidane the domestic title he craves.

Star signing Eden Hazard is injured without a return date but could still be a vital player

Star signing Eden Hazard is injured without a return date but could still be a vital player

Joao Felix

The teenager who cost 127m euros is now no longer a teenager. Simone has a real talent on his hands and has so far looked to protect him from over-use. At the end of last year the signs were there that he wants to lead the team. 

If he can stay fit and thrive alongside a new signing then Atletico are not out of the hunt just yet.

Joao Felix is a real talent and could power Atletico on if he settles and finds consistency

Joao Felix is a real talent and could power Atletico on if he settles and finds consistency

Messi 

The greatest is still the greatest aged 32. His partnership with Luis Suarez continues to provide Barcelona with the goals that win them games. And Suarez is now just five goals away from becoming the third highest scorer in Barcelona’s history head of Kubala with 194 goals and behind only Cesar Rodriguez with 232 and Messi. 

The Argentinian has 618 goals and may never be caught. His next five months will be key in Barcelona’s title charge; the club’s desire to win another European Cup; and his own desire to sign a new deal that keeps him at the Camp Nou beyond 2021.

Barcelona are reliant on Lionel messi but who better to rely on than the 32-year-old genius?

Barcelona are reliant on Lionel messi but who better to rely on than the 32-year-old genius?

 



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Valencia ‘ready to re-sign Joao Cancelo from Manchester City’ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/02/valencia-ready-to-re-sign-joao-cancelo-from-manchester-city/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/02/valencia-ready-to-re-sign-joao-cancelo-from-manchester-city/#respond Thu, 02 Jan 2020 16:05:45 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=14982

Valencia ‘ready to re-sign Joao Cancelo from Manchester City’ despite Pep Guardiola’s insistence on keeping out-of-favour right back

  •  Joao Cancelo has failed to usurp Kyle Walker as Manchester City’s right-back
  • Cancelo has made just six Premier League appearances since summer arrival
  • The defender joined the club from Juventus for £58 million in August 

Valencia are set to launch a bid to re-sign Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo in the January transfer window.

Cancelo has only been at City for five months after joining the club in a £58 million deal from Juventus in August.

But the Portugal international has found first team football hard to come by after failing to usurp Kyle Walker as the club’s first choice right-back.

Valencia will reportedly attempt to re-sign Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo

Cancelo has struggled for regular football since joining City from Juventus in August

Cancelo has struggled for regular football since joining City from Juventus in August

The 25-year-old spent three seasons at Valencia between 2015 and 2018 before joining Juve

The 25-year-old spent three seasons at Valencia between 2015 and 2018 before joining Juve

Marca has reported that Valencia will now bid for Cancelo and attempt to bring him back to the Mestalla, where he spent three seasons between 2015 and 2018.

However, los Che face look set to face resistance from City boss Pep Guardiola, who recently revealed he had no interest in allowing Cancelo to leave.

He said: ‘I hope, and I think, he won’t leave.’

Joao Cancelo 19/20

Age: 25

Appearances (all comps): 15

Goals: 1

Assists: 0 

Recent reports claimed that Valencia owner Peter Lim has already held talks with his agent Jorge Mendes. 

It’s believed the club would look to sign Cancelo on loan with a view to a permanent move, while Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest in the player. 

The 25-year-old could, therefore, face a tough decision if Valencia make a bid for his services, with his place in the Portugal squad under threat.

Cancelo hasn’t featured for his national side since playing in Portugal’s 5-1 win over Lithuania in September and will be keen to secure a place at Euro 2020. 

The full-back has won 16 caps for his country and scored three goals since winning his first cap in September 2016.

Cancelo started his career at Benfica before spells at Valencia, Inter and Juventus prior to his move to City. 

 

 

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Thibaut Courtois believes there is less attention on Real Madrid keepers since Keylor Navas left http://www.footy.to/2020/01/02/thibaut-courtois-believes-there-is-less-attention-on-real-madrid-keepers-since-keylor-navas-left/ http://www.footy.to/2020/01/02/thibaut-courtois-believes-there-is-less-attention-on-real-madrid-keepers-since-keylor-navas-left/#respond Thu, 02 Jan 2020 15:56:08 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=14973

Real Madrid No 1 Thibaut Courtois believes there has been less attention on club’s goalkeepers since Keylor Navas left for PSG: ‘There is less debate from the outside’

  • Thibaut Courtois believes there is now less talk about Real Madrid goalkeepers
  • Keylor Navas moved to PSG in a swap deal with Alphonse Areola in September
  • There was great debate over who should be in goal between Courtois and Navas

Real Madrid No 1 Thibaut Courtois believes there has been less talk about the club’s goalkeepers since Keylor Navas left for Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year.

Navas made the move to France in a swap deal with shot-stopper Alphonse Areola in September.

There was great debate over who should be in between the sticks at the Bernabeu when Courtois and Navas were both at the club last campaign. 

Thibaut Courtois (C) insists there’s been less talk about goalkeepers since Keylor Navas (L) left

And now the former Chelsea goalkeeper has revealed there were no problems between the pair but since Navas has left he feels there is less attention on Madrid’s No 1 position.  

‘In the end, that’s life. You’re closer to some people than others,’ he told Marca.

‘He was a team-mate and there was always a good relationship between us both.

‘The fact that he’s no longer around hasn’t helped me at all. I think it’s more that there’s no longer a debate from the outside because from the inside, we were two goalkeepers who were competing well in training, like now with [Alphonse] Areola, who is a magnificent goalkeeper.

‘The day to day demands on me haven’t changed. But there is less debate from the outside.’

Navas made the move to France in swap deal with shot-stopper Alphonse Areola in September

Navas made the move to France in swap deal with shot-stopper Alphonse Areola in September

 



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