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Dec 14, 2014

Soccer-Atletico crash to 1-0 home defeat to Villarreal

MADRID, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid missed a chance to draw level on points with second-placed Barcelona when the champions slipped to a surprise 1-0 reverse at home to Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday.

Atletico had the better chances in a scrappy game at the Calderon but were undone when Villarreal forward Luciano Vietto cut inside his marker and drilled a shot past Miguel Angel Moya in the home goal six minutes from time.

Dec 13, 2014

Barcelona’s unexpected problem: scoring goals

MADRID (Reuters) – With a formidable forward line featuring Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, the last thing you would expect is Barcelona to have a problem scoring goals.

Yet if the Catalan giants are to get back to winning ways under new coach Luis Enrique after failing to secure major silverware last season that is exactly the problem that needs to be addressed.

Dec 13, 2014

Soccer-Barcelona’s unexpected problem: scoring goals

MADRID, Dec 13 (Reuters) – With a formidable forward line featuring Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, the last thing you would expect is Barcelona to have a problem scoring goals.

Yet if the Catalan giants are to get back to winning ways under new coach Luis Enrique after failing to secure major silverware last season that is exactly the problem that needs to be addressed.

Dec 13, 2014

Barca held to goalless stalemate at rainy Getafe

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona lost ground on Real Madrid when they turned in an uninspired performance and slipped to a 0-0 draw at rain-lashed Getafe on Saturday that left them four points behind the in-form La Liga leaders.

Real jetted off to the Club World Cup in Morocco after Friday’s 4-1 win at Almeria extended their Spanish record winning streak to 20 matches and Barca struggled against some gritty Getafe defending at the Coliseum in the Madrid suburbs.

Dec 13, 2014

Soccer-Barca held to goalless stalemate at rainy Getafe

MADRID, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Barcelona lost ground on Real Madrid when they turned in an uninspired performance and slipped to a 0-0 draw at rain-lashed Getafe on Saturday that left them four points behind the in-form La Liga leaders.

Real jetted off to the Club World Cup in Morocco after Friday’s 4-1 win at Almeria extended their Spanish record winning streak to 20 matches and Barca struggled against some gritty Getafe defending at the Coliseum in the Madrid suburbs.

Nov 23, 2014

Valencia lose ground after derby defeat at Levante

MADRID (Reuters) – Valencia lost ground on La Liga’s early pace-setters when they slipped to a surprise 2-1 reverse at mid-table city rivals Levante on Sunday.

Victor Casadesus nodded Levante in front in the 58th minute at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium before Dani Parejo levelled in the 73rd when he was sent clear by Alvaro Negredo.

Nov 23, 2014

Soccer-Valencia lose ground after derby defeat at Levante

MADRID, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Valencia lost ground on La Liga’s early pacesetters when they slipped to a surprise 2-1 reverse at mid-table city rivals Levante on Sunday.

Victor Casadesus nodded Levante in front in the 58th minute at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium before Dani Parejo levelled in the 73rd when he was sent clear by Alvaro Negredo.

Nov 23, 2014

Ronaldo grabs double as Messi breaks goal record

MADRID (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as leaders Real Madrid subdued Eibar 4-0 on Saturday while Lionel Messi set a La Liga record of 253 goals with a hat-trick in second-placed Barcelona’s 5-1 rout of Sevilla.

James Rodriguez nodded Real in front in the 23rd minute at Eibar’s tiny Ipurua stadium in the Basque Country, which holds fewer than 6,000 spectators, and Ronaldo’s scuffed shot made it 2-0 just before the break.

Nov 22, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo grabs double as Messi breaks goal record

MADRID, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as leaders Real Madrid subdued Eibar 4-0 on Saturday while Lionel Messi set a La Liga record of 253 goals with a hat-trick in second-placed Barcelona’s 5-1 rout of Sevilla.

James Rodriguez nodded Real in front in the 23rd minute at Eibar’s tiny Ipurua stadium in the Basque Country, which holds fewer than 6,000 spectators, and Ronaldo’s scuffed shot made it 2-0 just before the break.

Nov 22, 2014

Messi leaves La Liga greats trailing

MADRID (Reuters) – If anyone had said when a callow teenager called Lionel Messi netted his debut La Liga goal in May 2005 he would break Telmo Zarra’s top-flight scoring record within a decade they would have been dismissed as a lunatic.

Yet that is what the pint-sized 27-year-old Argentine achieved when he scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 win for Barcelona over Sevilla at the Nou Camp, moving to 253 goals and surpassing Zarra’s haul of 251 over 15 seasons for Athletic Bilbao in the 1940s and 50s.