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Mar 9, 2014

‘Pitiful’ Barca in danger of drawing trophy blank

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino needs to find a quick fix for whatever is ailing his team or his first season in charge at the Nou Camp is likely to end without major silverware.

Barca turned in one of their worst performances since the Argentine took over on Saturday and the shock 1-0 La Liga defeat at lowly Real Valladolid opened the way for Real Madrid to stretch their lead at the top.

Mar 9, 2014

Soccer-’Pitiful’ Barca in danger of drawing trophy blank

MADRID, March 9 (Reuters) – Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino needs to find a quick fix for whatever is ailing his team or his first season in charge at the Nou Camp is likely to end without major silverware.

Barca turned in one of their worst performances since the Argentine took over on Saturday and the shock 1-0 La Liga defeat at lowly Real Valladolid opened the way for Real Madrid to stretch their lead at the top.

Mar 8, 2014

Barca title bid hit by shock loss at Valladolid

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona’s bid for a fifth La Liga title in six years suffered a surprise setback when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at lowly Real Valladolid on Saturday which opened the door for Real Madrid to pull away at the top.

It was one of Barca’s worst performances of the season, particularly during an atrocious first half when Juventus cast-off Fausto Rossi scored for the home side, and raised serious doubts about their form ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, second leg at home to Manchester City.

Mar 8, 2014

Soccer-Barca title bid hit by shock loss in Valladolid

MADRID, March 8 (Reuters) – Barcelona’s bid for a fifth La Liga title in six years suffered a surprise setback when they crashed to a 1-0 defeat at lowly Real Valladolid on Saturday and opened the door for Real Madrid to pull away at the top.

It was one of Barca’s worst performances of the season, particularly during a woeful first half when Fausto Rossi scored for the home side, and the champions squandered a chance to move two points clear of Real at the top.

Mar 5, 2014

Pedro eclipses debutant Costa as Spain down Italy

MADRID (Reuters) – Diego Costa made a low-key debut for Spain in a friendly against Italy on Wednesday and it was the much livelier Pedro who struck the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the world and European champions.

All eyes were on Brazil-born Costa at Atletico Madrid’s Calderon Stadium, where he plays his club football, but although he linked up well at times with his new team mates he did not come close to finding the net.

Mar 5, 2014

Soccer-Pedro eclipses debutant Costa as Spain down Italy

MADRID, March 5 (Reuters) – Diego Costa made a disappointing debut for Spain in a friendly against Italy on Wednesday and it was the much livelier Pedro who struck the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the world and European champions.

All eyes were on Brazil-born Costa at Atletico Madrid’s Calderon Stadium, where he plays his club football, but although he linked up well at times with his new team mates he did not come close to finding the net.

Mar 4, 2014

Spanish forwards face tough task to make World Cup

MADRID (Reuters) – Fernando Llorente and fellow centre forwards like Fernando Torres and David Villa will find it tough to make Spain’s World Cup squad due to the intense competition for places, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Tuesday.

Llorente has been on good form for Juventus in recent months but like Torres and Villa was overlooked for the world and European champions’ friendly against Italy in Madrid on Wednesday, their last match before Del Bosque has to name a preliminary 30-man squad for the finals in Brazil.

Mar 4, 2014

Soccer-Spanish forwards face tough task to make World Cup

MADRID, March 4 (Reuters) – Fernando Llorente and fellow centre forwards like Fernando Torres and David Villa will find it tough to make Spain’s World Cup squad due to the intense competition for places, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Tuesday.

Llorente has been on good form for Juventus in recent months but like Torres and Villa was overlooked for the world and European champions’ friendly against Italy in Madrid on Wednesday, their last match before Del Bosque has to name a preliminary 30-man squad for the finals in Brazil.

Mar 2, 2014

La Liga race tightens after Madrid derby draw

MADRID (Reuters) – The three-horse race for the La Liga title tightened on Sunday when leaders Real Madrid drew 2-2 at city rivals Atletico and Barcelona won 4-1 at home to Almeria.

Real needed a Cristiano Ronaldo goal eight minutes from time to rescue a point at Atletico’s Calderon stadium in a typically feisty Madrid derby, before Lionel Messi became only the third player to reach 230 La Liga goals in Barca’s victory at the Nou Camp.

Mar 2, 2014

Ronaldo rescues a point for Real in Madrid derby

MADRID (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo struck eight minutes from time to rescue a point for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw away to city rivals Atletico on Sunday in a typically fiery La Liga derby.

Atletico had fought back to lead 2-1 and were closing in on a first home win against Real in nearly 15 years before Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball and fired into the corner to maintain Real’s three-point advantage over their neighbours at the top.