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Apr 6, 2014

Soccer-Sevilla thump Espanyol to trim gap to Bilbao

MADRID, April 6 (Reuters) – Sevilla kept up the pressure on Athletic Bilbao in the battle for Spain’s fourth Champions League spot when Kevin Gameiro struck twice in a 4-1 win at home to mid-table Espanyol on Sunday.

The victory for fifth-placed Sevilla at a festive Sanchez Pizjuan trimmed the gap to Bilbao to three points ahead of the Basque club’s game at Levante on Monday.

Apr 5, 2014

Atletico stay on course for surprise La Liga title

MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid remained on course for a surprise La Liga title triumph when Raul Garcia’s header secured a 1-0 victory for the leaders at home to Villarreal on Saturday as closest rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid also won.

Lionel Messi struck twice for Barca in a laboured 3-1 home success against bottom side Real Betis as the champions stayed hard on Atletico’s heels, a point adrift with six matches left including a clash between the sides at the Nou Camp on the final day of the season.

Apr 5, 2014

Soccer-Atletico stay on course for surprise La Liga title

MADRID, April 5 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid remained firmly on course for a surprise La Liga title triumph when Raul Garcia’s header secured a 1-0 win for the leaders at home to seventh-placed Villarreal on Saturday.

Lionel Messi scored twice for Barcelona in a laboured 3-1 home victory over bottom side Real Betis as the champions stayed hard on Atletico’s heels, a point behind with six matches left including a clash between the sides at the Nou Camp on the final day of the season.

Apr 3, 2014

Martino record bears comparison with Barca’s best

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona have been beset by institutional problems during Gerardo Martino’s first season in charge but his record after 50 games shows they are having little impact on the team’s performance.

The Spanish champions, a point behind surprise leaders Atletico Madrid with seven games left, will be chasing a 38th win under the Argentine at home to bottom side Real Betis on Saturday to keep alive their chances of a fifth title in six years.

Apr 3, 2014

Soccer-Martino record bears comparison with Barca’s best

MADRID, April 3 (Reuters) – Barcelona have been beset by institutional problems during Gerardo Martino’s first season in charge but his record after 50 games shows they are having little impact on the team’s performance.

The Spanish champions, a point behind surprise leaders Atletico Madrid with seven games left, will be chasing a 38th win under the Argentine at home to bottom side Real Betis on Saturday to keep alive their chances of a fifth title in six years.

Apr 3, 2014

Ronaldo knee problem a concern for Portugal

MADRID (Reuters) – However much Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted there was no cause for concern, the sight of Cristiano Ronaldo limping off near the end of Wednesday’s Champions League match will have set alarm bells ringing in his native Portugal.

The national team captain, the leading marksman in both La Liga and the Champions League this term, will need to maintain his scintillating goal-scoring form if Portugal are to advance to the later stages of the World Cup finals in Brazil starting in June.

Apr 3, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo knee problem a concern for Portugal

MADRID, April 3 (Reuters) – However much Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted there was no cause for concern, the sight of Cristiano Ronaldo limping off near the end of Wednesday’s Champions League match will have set alarm bells ringing in his native Portugal.

The national team captain, the leading marksman in both La Liga and the Champions League this term, will need to maintain his scintillating goal-scoring form if Portugal are to advance to the later stages of the World Cup finals in Brazil starting in June.

Apr 2, 2014

Real back after Dortmund win, says Ancelotti

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s 3-0 drubbing of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League has put them back on track after two defeats in La Liga which severely dented their Spanish title chances, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday.

Goals from Gareth Bale, Isco and a record-equalling 14th for Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s competition virtually guaranteed Real a place in the last four ahead of Tuesday’s quarter-final, second leg in Germany and should restore confidence after domestic losses to Barcelona and Sevilla.

Apr 2, 2014

Soccer-Real back after Dortmund win, says Ancelotti

MADRID, April 2 (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s 3-0 drubbing of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League has put them back on track after two defeats in La Liga which severely dented their Spanish title chances, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday.

Goals from Gareth Bale, Isco and a record-equalling 14th for Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s competition virtually guaranteed Real a place in the last four ahead of Tuesday’s quarter-final, second leg in Germany and should restore confidence after domestic losses to Barcelona and Sevilla.

Apr 2, 2014

Dortmund’s Klopp rues missed chances after Real drubbing

MADRID (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was left rueing mistakes and missed chances as he dismissed suggestions his team had been outplayed in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League reverse at Real Madrid.

Dortmund were punished by Gareth Bale’s third-minute opener after leaving too much space between the lines, Klopp complained at a news conference after the quarter-final, first leg at the Bernabeu.