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Messi double edges six-goal thriller Barcelona’s way

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a thrilling 4-2 win over 10-man Valencia at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored a stunning free-kick as Atletico Madrid compounded a week to forget for Sevilla with a 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon.

Messi double edges six-goal thriller Barcelona’s way

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a thrilling 4-2 win over 10-man Valencia at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored a stunning free-kick as Atletico Madrid compounded a week to forget for Sevilla with a 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon.

Zidane relishes showdown with Ancelotti

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists he will be the “pupil” to Carlo Ancelotti’s “master” when the European champions face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Zidane was Ancelotti’s assistant when Madrid won their 10th European Cup in 2014 before going onto match the Italian’s achievement by winning the Champions League in his debut season as coach last year.

Five things to look for in La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) – Ahead of a huge round of La Liga action at both ends of the table, AFP Sports looks at five things to watch out for this weekend:

Valverde’s Barca audition

Real Madrid’s trip north to the Basque country to face Athletic Bilbao is always a fixture laced with tension based on decades of political divide.

Five things to look for in La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) – Ahead of a huge round of La Liga action at both ends of the table, AFP Sports looks at five things to watch out for this weekend:

Valverde’s Barca audition

Real Madrid’s trip north to the Basque country to face Athletic Bilbao is always a fixture laced with tension based on decades of political divide.

Torres back as Atletico close on quarters

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Madrid (AFP) – Fernando Torres is set to make his return just two weeks after losing consciousness in a sickening head clash as Atletico Madrid look to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Atletico are strong favourites to reach the last eight for a fourth straight year as Torres was on target in a 4-2 first leg win against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany three weeks ago to give the Spanish side a commanding lead.

Torres back as Atletico close on quarters

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Madrid (AFP) – Fernando Torres is set to make his return just two weeks after losing consciousness in a sickening head clash as Atletico Madrid look to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Atletico are strong favourites to reach the last eight for a fourth straight year as Torres was on target in a 4-2 first leg win against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany three weeks ago to give the Spanish side a commanding lead.

Fernando Torres returns as Atletico eye Champions League quarters

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Madrid (AFP) – Fernando Torres is expected to return just two weeks after losing consciousness in a sickening head clash as Atletico Madrid look to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Atletico are strong favourites to reach the last eight for a fourth straight year as Torres was on target in a 4-2 first leg win against Beyer Leverkusen in Germany three weeks ago to give the Spanish side a commanding lead.

Torres back training after nasty head clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres returned to training on Monday after recovering from a sickening head clash, suggesting he could play in Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen.

Torres lost consciousness in a challenge with Deportivo la Coruna’s Alex Bergantinos in a 1-1 draw on March 2 but was later discharged from hospital with no serious injuries.

Torres back training after nasty head clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres returned to training on Monday after recovering from a sickening head clash, suggesting he could play in Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen.

Torres lost consciousness in a challenge with Deportivo la Coruna’s Alex Bergantinos in a 1-1 draw on March 2 but was later discharged from hospital with no serious injuries.

Ramos strikes again as Madrid prosper from Barca hangover

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos struck another late winner as the European champions usurped Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday.

Earlier, Barca boss Luis Enrique accepted his side had struggled to shrug off the euphoria of a remarkable Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain as the Spanish champions slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat at Deportivo la Coruna.

Barca suffer PSG hangover in Deportivo defeat

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona suffered a hangover from their remarkable Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain as Alex Bergantinos’s winner 16 minutes from time handed Deportivo la Coruna a famous 2-1 win on Sunday.

Joselu had fired Deportivo into a first-half lead before Luis Suarez levelled in the first minute of the second period.

Madrid don’t need help from referees, says Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane had a pointed message for La Liga rivals Barcelona on Saturday by claiming the European champions “don’t depend” on anyone else to win.

Barca produced the biggest comeback in Champions League history on Wednesday with a remarkable 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain to complete a 6-5 aggregate win.

Torres set for Leverkusen return – Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Fernando Torres will be free to return from a sickening head clash in time for next week’s Champions League meeting with Bayer Leverkusen.

Torres lost consciousness in a challenge with Deportivo la Coruna’s Alex Bergantinos eight days ago, but thankfully he was released from hospital a day later with no serious injuries.

Zozulya gives up on Rayo move after ‘Nazi’ furore

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Madrid (AFP) – Ukraine international Roman Zozulya on Thursday has given up on his planned transfer to Rayo Vallecano and will remain at Real Betis until the end of the season after being caught up in a ‘neo-Nazi’ row.

Zozulya, 27, spent just 24 hours on loan at the Madrid club last month before being recalled by Betis after Rayo fans greeted his arrival with banners reading: “Vallekas is not the place for Nazis.

Messi makes Barcelona believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barcelona believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barca believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barca believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

Ronaldo feels pain, misses Eibar clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo trained alone Friday after feeling pains and was ruled out of Real Madrid’s game against Eibar at the weekend.

“He felt something, but nothing serious. He didn’t train with us this morning,” coach Zinedine Zidane told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s La Liga game.

Ronaldo feels pain, misses Eibar clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo trained alone Friday after feeling pains and was ruled out of Real Madrid’s game against Eibar at the weekend.

“He felt something, but nothing serious. He didn’t train with us this morning,” coach Zinedine Zidane told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s La Liga game.

Bale banned for two games over red card

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Madrid (AFP) – The Spanish football federation on Friday banned Real Madrid star Gareth Bale for two matches for his red card against Las Palmas this week.

Bale was also fined 600 euros ($634) after he was ordered off for twice kicking out at Jonathan Viera and then pushing the Las Palmas midfielder to the ground during the 3-3 draw on Wednesday.

Mocked by Mourinho, Eibar’s Leon now primed to topple Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Pedro Leon was mocked by Jose Mourinho for not being Zinedine Zidane when at Real Madrid. Now the in-form Eibar winger could deal a huge blow to Zidane’s hopes of landing the La Liga title.

After Gareth Bale lost his head and Madrid their La Liga lead in a 3-3 draw with Las Palmas on Wednesday, an uncomfortable trip to Eibar’s 6,200-capacity Ipurua stadium on Saturday was probably the last thing on their wish list.

Mocked by Mourinho, Eibar’s Leon now primed to topple Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Pedro Leon was mocked by Jose Mourinho for not being Zinedine Zidane when at Real Madrid. Now the in-form Eibar winger could deal a huge blow to Zidane’s hopes of landing the La Liga title.

After Gareth Bale lost his head and Madrid their La Liga lead in a 3-3 draw with Las Palmas on Wednesday, an uncomfortable trip to Eibar’s 6,200-capacity Ipurua stadium on Saturday was probably the last thing on their wish list.

Football: Atletico’s Torres suffers ‘traumatic brain injury’

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Madrid (AFP) – Concern for Fernando Torres overshadowed Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 draw at Deportivo la Coruna on Thursday as the former Liverpool striker suffered a “traumatic brain injury” after being knocked unconscious.

Torres, 32, was hit from behind by Deportivo’s Alex Bergantinos in a clash of heads five minutes from time and hit the ground hard as he appeared to have already lost consciousness.

Red card unfair, claims repentant Bale

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale complained he had been harshly treated after the first red card of his Real Madrid career cost the European champions in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Bale kicked out at Jonathan Viera twice before finally pushing the Las Palmas midfielder to the ground early in the second-half with the scores level at 1-1.

No excuses for Madrid despite Bale dismissal – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted his side had no one to blame but themselves despite Gareth Bale’s red card in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Madrid looked set for a first home league defeat in a year as Las Palmas took advantage of Bale’s dismissal early in the second-half to lead 3-1 with just three minutes remaining.

No excuses for Madrid despite Bale dismissal – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted his side had no one to blame but themselves despite Gareth Bale’s red card in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Madrid looked set for a first home league defeat in a year as Las Palmas took advantage of Bale’s dismissal early in the second-half to lead 3-1 with just three minutes remaining.

Madrid draw sends Barca top as Enrique confirms exit

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona moved top of La Liga on the night Luis Enrique confirmed he will not continue as coach next season as Gareth Bale was sent-off in Real Madrid’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas.

Enrique announced his decision to step down after Barca’s 6-1 rout of Sporting Gijon earlier on Wednesday which leaves Barcelona a point clear at the top, but having played a game more.

Madrid draw sends Barca top as Enrique confirms exit

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona moved top of La Liga on the night Luis Enrique confirmed he will not continue as coach next season as Gareth Bale was sent-off in Real Madrid’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas.

Enrique announced his decision to step down after Barca’s 6-1 rout of Sporting Gijon earlier on Wednesday which leaves Barcelona a point clear at the top, but having played a game more.

Zidane hopes Jese fulfils potential – but doesn’t haunt Real

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Madrid (AFP) – Real boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Jese Rodriguez rediscovers the form that once made him the star of Madrid’s academy - but only after his return to the Santiago Bernabeu with Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Jese left Real Madrid for French champions Paris Saint Germain on a five-year deal in August for a reported 25 million euros ($27 million).

Zidane hopes Jese fulfils potential – but doesn’t haunt Real

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Madrid (AFP) – Real boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Jese Rodriguez rediscovers the form that once made him the star of Madrid’s academy - but only after his return to the Santiago Bernabeu with Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Jese left Real Madrid for French champions Paris Saint Germain on a five-year deal in August for a reported 25 million euros ($27 million).

Zidane hopes Jese fulfils potential, but doesn’t haunt Real

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Jese Rodriguez rediscovers the form that once made him the star of Madrid’s academy, but only after his return to the Santiago Bernabeu with Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Jese left Madrid for French champions Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal in August for a reported 25 million euros ($26.

Zidane hopes Jese fulfils potential, but doesn’t haunt Real

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Jese Rodriguez rediscovers the form that once made him the star of Madrid’s academy, but only after his return to the Santiago Bernabeu with Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Jese left Madrid for French champions Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal in August for a reported 25 million euros ($26.

Zidane hails impact of subs in Madrid comeback

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hailed the impact of Isco and Alvaro Morata off the bench as the European champions came from 2-0 down at Villarreal on Sunday to win 3-2.

Morata completed the comeback after Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo had hauled Madrid level to ensure Zidane’s men move back ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Messi haunts Atletico once more to send Barcelona top

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi struck the winner four minutes from time as Barcelona moved top of La Liga on Sunday with a crucial 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid.

All the goals came in the final half hour as Rafinha put Barcelona in front before Diego Godin’s header quickly restored parity.

Barcelona still the best, warns Atletico’s Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insisted Barcelona remain the best team in the world despite their recent struggles ahead of the sides third meeting this month on Sunday.

A poor opening first 45 minutes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie cost Atletico dear as wonder goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi put Barca well on their way to a 3-2 aggregate win.

Barcelona still the best, warns Atletico’s Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insisted Barcelona remain the best team in the world despite their recent struggles ahead of the sides third meeting this month on Sunday.

A poor opening first 45 minutes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie cost Atletico dear as wonder goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi put Barca well on their way to a 3-2 aggregate win.