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Apr 29, 2013

Soccer-Real take comeback inspiration from Derby game

MADRID, April 29 (Reuters) – As they contemplate how to overturn a 4-1 deficit to reach the Champions League final, nine-times European Cup winners Real Madrid are taking inspiration from a similar feat against Derby County four decades ago.

The Spanish giants were caught cold by Borussia Dortmund in their semi-final first leg last week, when, despite being one of the favourites to step out at Wembley on May 25, they were left on the brink of a surprise elimination.

Apr 28, 2013

Soccer-Agirretxe fires Sociedad’s European dreams

MADRID, April 28 (Reuters) – Imanol Agirretxe scored two and set up a third as Real Sociedad strengthened their hold on fourth place and Spain’s last Champions League qualification berth with a pulsating 4-2 win over Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

The lanky striker crowned a towering performance with a clever lob on the counter in the fourth minute of stoppage time, as Valencia piled forward to try to grab an equaliser.

Apr 25, 2013

Barca close on title as Madrid face derby test

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona can secure their fourth La Liga title in five years on Saturday, but the celebrations are likely to be muted with the club facing a mountain to climb in their Champions League semi-final.

Barca lead second-placed Real Madrid by 13 points with six games left to play, and could move 16 clear with a victory at struggling Athletic Bilbao (1600 GMT).

Apr 25, 2013

Soccer-Barca close on title as Madrid face derby test

MADRID, April 25 (Reuters) – Barcelona can secure their fourth La Liga title in five years on Saturday, but the celebrations are likely to be muted with the club facing a mountain to climb in their Champions League semi-final.

Barca lead second-placed Real Madrid by 13 points with six games left to play, and could move 16 clear with a victory at struggling Athletic Bilbao (1600 GMT).

Apr 25, 2013

Real left reeling as European focus found wanting

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s nightmare in Dortmund comes as a greater surprise than Barcelona’s mauling in Munich, given coach Jose Mourinho has given up on La Liga to focus on the Champions League.

The nine-times European Cup winners were overwhelmed 4-1 by a dynamic Borussia Dortmund in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday, though Cristiano Ronaldo’s away goal gives them a glimmer of hope for the return at the Bernabeu next Tuesday.

Apr 25, 2013

Real Madrid left reeling as European focus found wanting

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s nightmare in Dortmund comes as a greater surprise than Barcelona’s mauling in Munich, given coach Jose Mourinho has given up on La Liga to focus on the Champions League.

The nine-times European Cup winners were overwhelmed 4-1 by a dynamic Borussia Dortmund in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday, though Cristiano Ronaldo’s away goal gives them a glimmer of hope for the return at the Bernabeu next Tuesday.

Apr 25, 2013

Soccer-Real left reeling as European focus found wanting

MADRID, April 25 (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s nightmare in Dortmund comes as a greater surprise than Barcelona’s mauling in Munich, given coach Jose Mourinho has given up on La Liga to focus on the Champions League.

The nine-times European Cup winners were overwhelmed 4-1 by a dynamic Borussia Dortmund in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday, though Cristiano Ronaldo’s away goal gives them a glimmer of hope for the return at the Bernabeu next Tuesday.

Apr 24, 2013

Shell-shocked Barca offer little hope of a reaction

MADRID (Reuters) – Even Lionel Messi, so often Barcelona’s saviour, was at a loss to explain how the La Liga leaders could come back from their Champions League semi-final mauling in Munich.

Barca were thumped 4-0 away by an impressive Bayern Munich in their first leg on Tuesday, putting in one of their most toothless displays in recent memory.

Apr 24, 2013

Soccer-Shell-shocked Barca offer little hope of a reaction

MADRID, April 24 (Reuters) – Even Lionel Messi, so often Barcelona’s saviour, was at a loss to explain how the La Liga leaders could come back from their Champions League semi-final mauling in Munich.

Barca were thumped 4-0 away by an impressive Bayern Munich in their first leg on Tuesday, putting in one of their most toothless displays in recent memory.

Apr 21, 2013

Ozil finds scoring touch before Dortmund trip

MADRID (Reuters) – Mesut Ozil wrestled Cristiano Ronaldo from the headlines and reminded everyone of his match-winning abilities in Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Real Betis in La Liga on Saturday.

The Germany playmaker scored two and had a hand in creating the third, showing Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final opponents Borussia Dortmund they have more to worry about than simply stopping Real’s Portuguese goalscoring machine.