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Feb 20, 2013

Soccer-Malaga can breathe life into Porto tie thanks to defence

MADRID, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Malaga’s forwards have their defence to thank for giving them a chance to redeem themselves against Porto and for keeping alive their Champions League quarter-final hopes.

Competition debutants Malaga have been one of the surprise teams this season, their attractive brand of possession football winning widespread praise, but they ran into a wall in Porto and lost Tuesday’s last-16 first leg 1-0.

Feb 18, 2013

Real survive Ramos red, Atletico end away blues

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid survived an early red card for Sergio Ramos to see off city rivals Rayo Vallecano 2-0 at the Bernabeu on Sunday, matching the wins of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid over the weekend.

Youth-team striker Alvaro Morata and Ramos scored inside the opening 12 minutes, but Real were checked when their captain picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to get sent off.

Feb 17, 2013

Soccer-Falcao helps Atletico end away-day blues

MADRID, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid remembered how to win away again when Radamel Falcao opened the scoring in a 3-0 victory at Real Valladolid that cut the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona back to 12 points on Sunday.

Diego Simeone’s side last won on the road in mid-November, when they defeated Granada 1-0, but after consecutive defeats in La Liga and the Europa League they rediscovered their bite to turn over their hosts.

Feb 16, 2013

Messi passes 300 Barcelona goals in comeback win

MADRID (Reuters) – Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback victory with a double strike at lowly Granada in La Liga on Saturday taking his tally for the club to 301 goals.

The World Player of the Year pounced on a loose ball to level in the 50th minute before netting a superb free kick for the winner in the 73rd, the 37th goal of the campaign for La Liga’s top scorer.

Feb 16, 2013

Soccer-Messi passes 300 Barcelona goals in comeback win

MADRID, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback victory with a double strike at lowly Granada in La Liga on Saturday taking his tally for the club to 301 goals.

The World Player of the Year pounced on a loose ball to level in the 50th minute before netting a superb free kick for the winner in the 73rd, the 37th goal of the campaign for La Liga’s top scorer.

Feb 15, 2013

Soccer-Courtois scoffs at idea of Chelsea Falcao swap

MADRID, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Exciting young goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, in his second season on loan with Atletico Madrid, has laughed off suggestions that parent club Chelsea are keen to swap him for Colombia’s much-wanted striker Radamel Falcao.

The European champions have been constantly linked by the media with a big-money swoop for Atletico’s hot-shot marksman Falcao but Courtois has dismissed the idea he could be involved in some sort of exchange deal.

Feb 14, 2013

Ferguson praises ‘excellent’ De Gea after draw in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) – Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has been under the spotlight this season but won high praise from manager Alex Ferguson after an impressive performance in the Champions League at Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Spanish youth international made a string of saves to keep United in the game as they held out for a 1-1 draw in their last 16 first leg at the Bernabeu.

Feb 14, 2013

Champions League: Real, Man United all square as Ronaldo steps up

MADRID (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo showed he was equal to the biggest of occasions with a superb header for Real Madrid against former club Manchester United as their Champions League last-16 first-leg showdown ended 1-1 on Wednesday.

Watched by millions around the world, the hotly-anticipated clash at the Bernabeu was Portuguese Ronaldo’s first game against the club where he made his name before joining Real for a world-record fee in 2009.

Feb 14, 2013

Real, Man United all square as Ronaldo steps up

MADRID (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo showed he was equal to the biggest of occasions with a superb header for Real Madrid against former club Manchester United as their Champions League last-16 first-leg showdown ended 1-1 on Wednesday.

Watched by millions around the world, the hotly-anticipated clash at the Bernabeu was Portuguese Ronaldo’s first game against the club where he made his name before joining Real for a world-record fee in 2009.

Feb 14, 2013

Mourinho quietly confident for Old Trafford return

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s firepower combined with the cultural pressure on Manchester United to go on the attack left Jose Mourinho in confident mood for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie after being held 1-1 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The nine-times European champions had to come from behind with Cristiano Ronaldo powering in a header to level Danny Wellbeck’s surprise 20th-minute opener.