Real Madrid returned to winning ways after the disappointment of losing to Wolfsburg in the Wednesday 6 April Champions League quarter final by beating Eibar 4 – 0 in the Saturday 9 April La Liga clash and manager Zinedine Zidane is optimistic that with the result, the team will approach the Wolfsburg return with confidence.
The Spanish giants lost 0 – 2 out in Germany and Zidane, speaking after the win over Eibar, said they are going to prepare well and build up from the win with the aim of turning tables on the German side on Tuesday.
“I’m more optimistic today, winning like this with the first half performance… perhaps a bit less so the second, but I go away pleased with the game, so I’m more optimistic. We know what we have to do on Tuesday and what we’re playing for. We’re going to prepare well, rest up and play at our best on Tuesday,” he said.
Zidane had to rotate his squad, perhaps with view of the Champions League clash and is happy at how things turned out.
“Players who were playing less have featured and others have rested, but we are a group and it’s difficult to choose the starting eleven. It’s fantastic to be able to call on all these players, I’m very pleased with how things have gone today,” he added.
Spanish giants Real Madrid put behind them the disappointment of losing to German side VfL Wolfsburg in their first leg of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday with a 4 – 0 thrashing of Eibar on their return to domestic action on Saturday 9 April at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The business for Real Madrid started very early in the match, Colombian forward James Rodriguez scoring the opener on only the fourth minute with a direct free kick after a Dani Garcia foul on Jese.
Cristriano Ronaldo was well placed to add the second on the quarter hour mark but he was flagged offside just before he could pull the trigger but there was no stopping the hosts two minutes later with Ronaldo providing the assist as Lucas Vasquez netted at the end of a great team move.
Eibar’s Jota had a great run a minute after his team had conceded the second goal and should have halved the deficit but he shot over and a minute later his team as punished as Ronaldo finished off Jese’s pass.
Ronaldo returned the favor on the 39th minute with a pass for Jese to net Real Madrid’s fourth of the afternoon.
Eibar had the best chance through Borja Bastón with a header from a corner but his attempt hit the cross bar and Real Madrid managed to keep their advantage through the second half to move to within four points of leaders Barcelona who play later.
Lionel Messi fired a brace sandwiched between goals from Munir el Haddadi as Barcelona stretched their leadership of the La Liga with a well deserved 4-0 win over hosts Eibar at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua.
For Barca, the rout started very early as Uruguayan Luis Suarez stole in on the right channel and laid in a low cross from Munir to open the floodgates on the eighth minute.
Eibar piled a lot of pressure in search of an equalizer and looked like they would get one before the break until a Barcelona break delivered a sucker punch with an error in the midfield gifting Lionel Messi who had a run at a stretched Eibar defence before pulling the ball across the face of goal to beat Asier Riesgo to the far post.
Messi got his second of the afternoon and third for Barcelona on the 76th minute after Ivan Ramis handled the ball in the box to hand Barca a penalty, Messi giving it a cheeky chip straight in the middle.
Luis Suarez completed the rout with a fourth goal on 84 minutes after holding off two defenders and keeping his cool to fire low into the far post.
The win sees Barca hit 72 points and in effecet open an 11 – point gap ahead of Atletico Madrid who play Valencia later on.
Welshman Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo netted a goal apiece to see Real Madrid beat Eibar in the La Liga clash staged at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on Sunday 29th November.
The win was a first in the league for Real Madrid after losing two straight matches and will serve to ease the pressure of the Spanish giants as they consolidate third place.
Gareth Bale rose against the run of play to head Real Madrid ahead on the 43rd minute, turning home a Luka Modric delivery to see Real head to the break in the lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo made sure of the three points on the 82nd minute from the penalty spot after Dani Vazquez was fouled by Dani Garcia in the box.
The win will be a big sigh of relief for Madrid and a boost as they head to their next fixture, a Copa Del Rey game against Cadiz.
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi looks on as he walks on the pitch during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Malaga CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has claimed that star man Lionel Messi will not be rushed back for the El Clasico against Real Madrid on November 21 if he is 100 per cent fit.
Messi picked up a knee injury in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas on September 26 and has been working hard on his rehabilitation.
However, while Barcelona fans will love him to be available for the El Clasico, the manager thinks otherwise.
“There is no set recovery date for Messi. The most important thing for him is to be 100 per cent fit again,” Luis Enrique stated at a news conference.
“It does not matter when he returns. The season is still long.
“We are not thinking about the Clasico yet. What is important to me is winning the league. We have to sit top of the table come the end of the season.
“The Clasico will not decide the title race. What matters to me right now is scoring more goals, conceding less and winning games. Those are realistic targets.”
Barcelona currently have the same 21 points with League leaders Real Madrid but the Los Blancos have a better goal difference.
Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (2ndR) is congratulated by teammate Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) after scoring during the Spanish league football match Athletic Club Bilbao vs FC Barcelona at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao on August 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ ANDER GILLENEA
Argentine international Javier Mascherano has had his initial three match ban reduced to a two-match ban following his red card in Saturday’s La Liga match against Eibar to the delight of Barcelona.
The Barcelona star got a straight red in the 83rd minute of the encounter played at Camp Nou, as the referee sent him off for allegedly insulting the linesman’s mother during a four-letter rant.
Barcelona appealed the decision and it had been feared that they will lose the appeal and the player would be handed a four-game ban, therefore missing the El Clasico towards the end of November.
But shocking, the Spanish Football Federation have decided to ban the centre-back for only two matches after regarding the language used as ‘not insulting’.
However, Mascherano will miss the upcoming fixtures against Getafe and Villarreal and will only miss the El Clasico in case of injuries or if the manager Luis Enrique decides to drop him.
Uruguay international Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Barcelona came from behind to defeat Eibar 3-1 in an intense encounter at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Following Borja Bastón’s opener for the Basque visitors, Suárez struck once in the first half and twice in the second to give the Catalans all three points that now has them tied at 21 points with leaders Real Madrid.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique opted for Sandro in attack with Suárez and Neymar, while in midfield Javier Mascherano once again pushed forward to join Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets. In the back, Claudio Bravo was back between the sticks and a back four of Dani Alves, Marc Bartra, Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba.
It was all Barcelona to start, as the hosts pressed the visitors in search of the opening goal but the high line landed them in trouble as Eibar romped forward after dispossessing Bartra near midfield with Borja Bastón slotting home a rebound off Keko’s earlier effort to give the guests a shock 1-0 lead after ten minutes.
Barcelona regrouped and pulled level in the 21st minute through Suárez who headed home Sandro’s cross past helpless Eibar goalkeeper Asier Riesgo. With five minutes left on the clock in the opening 45 minutes, Keko nearly gave the visitors their second lead of the evening in the 40th minute when he gathered a ball in the area and rounded Bravo, but his shot was blocked at the near post by Bartra.
Barcelona came out for the second half looking a more energized side, and within three minutes after the restart the Catalonians had a 2-1 lead, when Neymar slipped a pass into Suáz and the Uruguayan fired home to give Barcelona a 2-1 lead.
Once Barcelona took the lead, the tempo of the match slowed considerably, as Barcelona tried to muster a third but to no avail, while Eibar sat back and waited for a probing run forward.
The final minutes of the match were starting to look complicated for Luis Enrique’s side, as Mascherano was given his walking papers in the 84th minute, but less than a minute later Suárez sealed the match when he collected a pass from Neymar, cut to his right and unfurled a shot that split Riesgo and the near post to make it a 3-1 final.
Barcelona return to action on Saturday with a visit to Getafe