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Jan 29, 2014

Soccer-Miserly Real in ominous form before crunch matches

MADRID, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Real Madrid began the season shakily under new coach Carlo Ancelotti but are still fighting on three fronts and looking in ominous form before a series of crunch games in coming weeks.

As well as putting them through to the semi-finals of the King’s Cup, Tuesday’s 1-0 victory at home to Espanyol set a club record of eight games without conceding a goal, beating the previous best set in the 1994-95 season.

Jan 28, 2014

Real ease past Espanyol into King’s Cup semis

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid set up a King’s Cup semi-final against holders Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao when they beat Espanyol 1-0 in their quarter-final, second leg on Tuesday for a 2-0 aggregate success.

Real lost 2-1 to Atletico at their own Bernabeu stadium in last year’s final and will be keen to avenge that bitter defeat, which meant they ended the season without any silverware, if they face their city rivals in the last four.

Jan 28, 2014

Soccer-Real ease past Espanyol into King’s Cup semis

MADRID, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Real Madrid set up a King’s Cup semi-final against holders Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao when they beat Espanyol 1-0 in their quarter-final, second leg on Tuesday for a 2-0 aggregate success.

Real lost 2-1 to Atletico at their own Bernabeu stadium in last year’s final and will be keen to avenge that bitter defeat, which meant they ended the season without any silverware, if they face their city rivals in the last four.

Jan 27, 2014

Messi assists keep Barca on course for trophies

MADRID (Reuters) – Lionel Messi has set the bar so high for himself that even a brief dip in scoring form immediately raises eyebrows but it also allows other aspects of his game to be recognised.

The Argentina forward’s incredible goals tally in recent years – he has netted 47, 53, 73 and 60 goals respectively in the past four seasons – has unsurprisingly stolen the limelight from the number of assists he makes for his team mates.

Jan 27, 2014

Soccer-Messi assists keep Barca on course for trophies

MADRID, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Lionel Messi has set the bar so high for himself that even a brief dip in scoring form immediately raises eyebrows but it also allows other aspects of his game to be recognised.

The Argentina forward’s incredible goals tally in recent years – he has netted 47, 53, 73 and 60 goals respectively in the past four seasons – has unsurprisingly stolen the limelight from the number of assists he makes for his team mates.

Jan 26, 2014

Barca and Atletico back on top after easy wins

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona and Atletico Madrid climbed back to the top of La Liga as Barca coasted to a 3-0 victory at home to Malaga and Atletico won 4-2 at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Real Madrid had claimed the overnight lead thanks to Saturday’s 2-0 home success against Granada before Barca and Atletico restored their one-point advantage with comfortable wins against outclassed opponents.

Jan 26, 2014

Soccer-Barca and Atletico back on top after easy wins

MADRID, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Barcelona and Atletico Madrid climbed back to the top of La Liga as Barca coasted to a 3-0 victory at home to Malaga and Atletico won 4-2 at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Real Madrid had claimed the overnight lead thanks to Saturday’s 2-0 home success against Granada before Barca and Atletico restored their one-point advantage with comfortable wins against outclassed opponents.

Jan 25, 2014

Ronaldo helps lift Real Madrid to the top

MADRID (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd La Liga goal of the season to set Real Madrid up for a 2-0 win at home to Granada on Saturday that lifted them above Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to the top of the table.

Barca and Atletico, who play on Sunday, have drawn their last two outings including a 0-0 stalemate between the pair at the Calderon stadium in Madrid this month that allowed Real to close the gap in the three-horse title race.

Jan 25, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo helps lift Real Madrid to the top

MADRID, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd La Liga goal of the season to set Real Madrid up for a 2-0 win at home to Granada on Saturday that lifted them above Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to the top of the table.

Barca and Atletico, who play on Sunday, have drawn their last two outings including a 0-0 stalemate between the pair at the Calderon stadium in Madrid this month that allowed Real to close the gap in the three-horse title race.

Jan 20, 2014

Messi courting Lady Luck before Levante Cup clash

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is hoping for a little good fortune when the record winners return to Valencia for Wednesday’s King’s Cup quarter-final, first leg against Levante (2100 GMT).

Even with the four-times World Player of the Year back in the starting line-up after injury, Barca struggled against an ultra-defensive Levante in Sunday’s 1-1 La Liga draw and they had to come from a goal down to rescue a point.