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Ronaldo sent-off, but Real roll over Barcelona

first_img0Shares0000And then just two minutes later referee Ricardo de Burgos brandished a second yellow for simulation in the penalty area.BARCELONA, Spain, Aug 13 – Real Madrid made light of a red card for Cristiano Ronaldo to deal a further blow to Barcelona by winning 3-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.Ronaldo, only introduced as a second-half substitute, was shown two quickfire yellow cards after blasting Madrid into a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes to go. However, Real extended their advantage with 10 men thanks to a sumptuous late strike from Marco Asensio.Earlier, Lionel Messi’s penalty had cancelled out Gerard Pique’s own goal as Barca failed to get the early season boost they needed after losing Brazilian star Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee.The sides will meet again in Madrid for the second-leg on Wednesday.However he saw yellow for his celebration as the Portuguese star took his shirt off after he scored his team’s secondWithout Neymar, Barca struggled to find their rhythm going forward as Gerard Deulofeu failed to impress in the role alongside Messi and Luis Suarez up front.Suarez had the hosts’ best effort of a timid opening half when his driven low volley was collected at the second attempt by Keylor Navas.At the other end Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s only serious save of the first period came when Gareth Bale’s effort from Isco’s dangerous cross was turned over.Madrid immediately upped a gear at the start of the second period and were rewarded with the opening goal in a manner that would have delighted most Real fans.Real Madrid players go over to congratulate Marcelo after his cross forced the Barca centre back to flick it into his own netPique is often Madrid’s chief aggravator, but the Spanish international was left embarrassed as he turned Marcelo’s delivery past the helpless Ter Stegen into his own net.Only an incredible goal line clearance from Jordi Alba then prevented Dani Carvajal from doubling Madrid’s advantage seconds later as the game began to open up.Ronaldo had been kept in reserve by Zinedine Zidane having missed most of pre-season after his participation in the Confederations Cup with Portugal, but was finally introduced for an action-packed cameo appearance on the hour mark.With Mateo Kovacic also replaced by Asensio, Messi was given more licence to create and led Barca back into the game as Sergio Busquets somehow blazed over from close range before Messi stung the palms of Keylor Navas.The Argentine eventually got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot after Navas was adjudged to have brought down Suarez inside the area 13 minutes from time.The Argentine celebrates with Suarez as they look to build on getting the equaliser during the first leg of the finalHowever, Madrid took just three minutes to retake the lead in stunning fashion as Ronaldo cut inside Pique before curling into the top corner.The World Player of the Year was booked for taking off his shirt in celebration.And that was to prove very costly just two minutes later when he saw a second yellow card for diving as he went down under a challenge from Samuel Umtiti inside the area.However, rather than offer Barca route back into the tie, Madrid all but assured they will lift the Super Cup for a 10th time when Asensio blasted into the top corner from the edge of the box as the game entered stoppage time.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Real face last-place Huesca in battle of large and little

first_img0Shares0000After Cucho Hernandez gave Huesca a third-minute goal at the Nou Camp, Barcelona replied with eight. This weekend La Liga’s bottom club hosts Real Madrid © AFP / LLUIS GENEMADRID, Spain, Dec 7 – Luka Modric has been voted the best player on the planet and Real Madrid crowned European champions three times in a row but in Huesca on Saturday they will meet a team from the opposite end of the ladder.Madrid´s stars gathered in Paris on Monday, dressed in shiny black suits and bow-ties, to watch their midfield magician collect the Ballon d´Or, ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “He is at his peak,” Real coach Santiago Solari said. “That makes it even more beautiful.”From the Grand Palais on the Champs-Elysees, they head this weekend to northern Spain and Alcoraz, Huesca’s recently-expanded stadium with a capacity of just over 7,000, in a town of little more than 52,000 people.There, they face La Liga’s bottom club, on seven points from 14 games, but Huesca’s ascent began far lower down than that.The majority of their 58-year history has been spent between the third and fourth tiers. They were languishing in Segunda B as recently as 2015.Promoted to the top flight for the first time at the end of last season, Huesca prepared by overhauling their squad, but on a shoe-string budget, with a mix of players from the lower divisions, promising youngsters and old heads from abroad.They changed coach too, twice, after Rubi was poached by Espanyol, who are now seventh. He was replaced by Leo Franco, who only lasted until October. Then in came Francisco, who is yet to see a victory.Some of te promotion team remained, including top scorer Alex Gallar. He joined in 2017 after spells at Cultural Leonesa, Hercules, Cornella and Mallorca’s B team, all four sides in the third tier.“When I came here, it was not the main objective to go up to the top flight but we did it,” Gallar said. “It was a very good decision to come here.”One of his three goals this term came against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Huesca scored twice there, including the opener, but Barca finished with eight.This, though, will be Huesca´s first time hosting either of Spain´s two grandees and a chance for the fans to ponder on how far their team has come.“We have seen people are behind us despite the results and pushes us to turn it around,” Francisco said last week. “Our home has to be a fortress.”In the summer of 2013, Real Madrid bought Gareth Bale for a world record 100 million euros while Huesca signed seven players, all for nothing.Madrid are in good form and Bale, again, has a point to prove. He came off in the second half of last weekend´s win over Valencia, rubbing his thigh, while Santiago Solari said afterwards he was “exhausted”.It was Bale’s tenth La Liga game without scoring, even if that run masks some decent performances under Solari, including two goals and an assist in the Champions League.“Bale is working well,” Solari said on Wednesday. “He’s fine.”Real’s victory over Valencia, on the back of beating Roma in Italy, means the 3-0 defeat to Eibar following the international break seems more like a blip amid six wins from seven matches.Despite changing coach this season, a scoreless drought that lasted more than eight hours and being thrashed by Barcelona, Madrid are only five point off the top.That they remain just about in touch is down to one of the most error-ridden title races in recent memory. Last weekend, Barca, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Alaves could all have finished the round in first but only two of the top six managed to win.Barcelona were one of them. On Saturday, Ernesto Valverde’s side visit their Catalan rivals Espanyol.Atletico host Alaves, who have finished every weekend in the top six since round five. Sevilla are away to Valencia, a side that last season finished fourth but now sit 14th.FridayLeganes v Getafe (11pm)SaturdayAtletico Madrid v Alaves (3pm), Valencia v Sevilla (6:15pm), Villarreal v Celta Vigo (8:30pm), Espanyol v Barcelona (10:45pm)SundayEibar v Levante (2pm), Huesca v Real Madrid (6:15pm), Real Sociedad v Real Valladolid (8:30pm), Real Betis v Rayo Vallecano (12:45am) Monday Athletic Bilbao v Girona (11pm)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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