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Apr 18, 2014

Soccer-Atletico close on title with win over stubborn Elche

MADRID, April 18 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid stayed firmly on course for a surprise La Liga title triumph when a Miranda header and Diego Costa’s late penalty secured an unconvincing 2-0 win for the leaders at home to Elche on Friday.

David Villa had a penalty saved shortly after halftime at a raucous Calderon stadium, packed with fans enjoying their team’s best season in nearly 20 years, and nerves were jangling when centre back Miranda rose at the back post to nod a Jose Sosa corner powerfully into the net 18 minutes from time.

Apr 17, 2014

Preview – Battered Barca in La Liga last-chance saloon

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona’s defeat in the King’s Cup final means La Liga is their only chance of major silverware and anything other than a home win against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday would almost certainly end their dwindling title hopes.

The 2-1 reverse to Real Madrid at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on Wednesday capped a nightmare seven days for Barca, during which they were dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and crashed to a shock 1-0 La Liga loss at lowly Granada.

Apr 17, 2014

Battered Barca in La Liga last-chance saloon

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona’s defeat in the King’s Cup final means La Liga is their only chance of major silverware and anything other than a home win against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday would almost certainly end their dwindling title hopes.

The 2-1 reverse to Real Madrid at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on Wednesday capped a nightmare seven days for Barca, during which they were dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and crashed to a shock 1-0 La Liga loss at lowly Granada.

Apr 17, 2014

Soccer-Battered Barca in La Liga last-chance saloon

MADRID, April 17 (Reuters) – Barcelona’s defeat in the King’s Cup final means La Liga is their only chance of major silverware and anything other than a home win against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday would almost certainly end their dwindling title hopes.

The 2-1 reverse to Real Madrid at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on Wednesday capped a nightmare seven days for Barca, during which they were dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and crashed to a shock 1-0 La Liga loss at lowly Granada.

Apr 17, 2014

‘Prince of Wales’ targets three crowns after Cup stunner

MADRID (Reuters) – Gareth Bale’s brilliant winner in Wednesday’s King’s Cup final against Barcelona gave the world’s most expensive player his first taste of major silverware and the Wales winger is hungry for more.

Bale was hailed as the “Prince of Wales” in the Spanish media on Thursday after he collected the ball wide on the left near the halfway line in the 85th minute at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, shrugged off the attentions of Barca centre back Marc Bartra and charged towards goal.

Apr 17, 2014

Soccer-’Prince of Wales’ targets three crowns after Cup stunner

MADRID, April 17 (Reuters) – Gareth Bale’s brilliant winner in Wednesday’s King’s Cup final against Barcelona gave the world’s most expensive player his first taste of major silverware and the Wales winger is hungry for more.

Bale was hailed as the “Prince of Wales” in the Spanish media on Thursday after he collected the ball wide on the left near the halfway line in the 85th minute at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, shrugged off the attentions of Barca centre back Marc Bartra and charged towards goal.

Apr 14, 2014

Wounded Barca seek Cup consolation against Real

MADRID (Reuters) – A week ago, Barcelona still had a chance of repeating the historic treble of 2009 but defeats in Europe and La Liga mean Wednesday’s King’s Cup final against Real Madrid may be their only hope of major silverware this season.

A wounded Barca travel to Valencia to meet their arch rivals after crashing out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and suffering a shock 1-0 reverse at Granada in La Liga three days later that left them four points behind leaders Atletico with five games to play.

Apr 14, 2014

Soccer-Wounded Barca seek Cup consolation against Real

MADRID, April 14 (Reuters) – A week ago, Barcelona still had a chance of repeating the historic treble of 2009 but defeats in Europe and La Liga mean Wednesday’s King’s Cup final against Real Madrid may be their only hope of major silverware this season.

A wounded Barca travel to Valencia to meet their arch rivals after crashing out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and suffering a shock 1-0 reverse at Granada in La Liga three days later that left them four points behind leaders Atletico with five games to play.

Apr 14, 2014

Gashed Costa shin typifies Atletico will to win

MADRID (Reuters) – The deep gash to Diego Costa’s shin suffered in Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 La Liga win at Getafe on Sunday was more evidence that the leaders are putting everything on the line, including their own bodies, in pursuit of the title.

Costa had a penalty saved at Getafe’s Coliseum stadium in the Madrid suburbs shortly before Adrian sent a low cross trundling towards the far post in the 84th minute.

Apr 14, 2014

Soccer-Gashed Costa shin typifies Atletico will to win

MADRID, April 14 (Reuters) – The deep gash to Diego Costa’s shin suffered in Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 La Liga win at Getafe on Sunday was more evidence that the leaders are putting everything on the line, including their own bodies, in pursuit of the title.

Costa had a penalty saved at Getafe’s Coliseum stadium in the Madrid suburbs shortly before Adrian sent a low cross trundling towards the far post in the 84th minute.