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Apr 9, 2014

Soccer-Atletico stun Barca and claim last-four berth

MADRID, April 9 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid hit new heights in their incredible season when Koke’s goal secured a 2-1 aggregate success against Barcelona on Wednesday that put Atletico into the last four of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 40 years.

The stunning 1-0 victory at an electric Calderon stadium followed last week’s 1-1 draw in Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg and denied Barca a record-extending seventh consecutive appearance in the last four.

Apr 9, 2014

Real treble hopes alive despite Dortmund fright

MADRID (Reuters) – Carlo Ancelotti’s 50th match in charge of Real Madrid was his most nerve-wracking so far but after surviving a Champions League scare at Borussia Dortmund, his expensively assembled side retain a chance of a rare treble.

Real appeared lost without injured top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who watched anxiously from the bench as the La Liga giants were comprehensively outplayed in a 2-0 reverse in the quarter-final, second leg that meant they squeaked into the last four 3-2 on aggregate.

Apr 9, 2014

Soccer-Real treble hopes alive despite Dortmund fright

MADRID, April 9 (Reuters) – Carlo Ancelotti’s 50th match in charge of Real Madrid was his most nerve-wracking so far but after surviving a Champions League scare at Borussia Dortmund, his expensively assembled side retain a chance of a rare treble.

Real appeared lost without injured top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who watched anxiously from the bench as the La Liga giants were comprehensively outplayed in a 2-0 reverse in the quarter-final, second leg that meant they squeaked into the last four 3-2 on aggregate.

Apr 8, 2014

Atletico success built on shaky economic foundations

MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid’s emergence as a third force in Spain and contenders among Europe’s elite rests on wobbly economic foundations and the edifice could come crashing down if they cannot sustain their remarkable run.

The club’s success is in large measure down to inspirational coach Diego Simeone, who since taking charge in late 2011 has moulded an unspectacular squad into a unit capable of challenging the continent’s richest clubs, including La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Apr 8, 2014

Soccer-Atletico success built on shaky economic foundations

MADRID, April 8 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid’s emergence as a third force in Spain and contenders among Europe’s elite rests on wobbly economic foundations and the edifice could come crashing down if they cannot sustain their remarkable run.

The club’s success is in large measure down to inspirational coach Diego Simeone, who since taking charge in late 2011 has moulded an unspectacular squad into a unit capable of challenging the continent’s richest clubs, including La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Apr 7, 2014

Sevilla thump Espanyol to trim gap to Bilbao

MADRID (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 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.