Friday, January 27, 2012

Pochetino points to 'perico' recovery

Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed on Friday that his team have recovered from their Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Mirandés: “The players are fine, both physically and emotionally, and they're now all aware that on Saturday we have to perform well, because they deserve it. We have to forget about Mirandés now and concentrate on the game against Mallorca to maintain our league position”.

“We have to get our freshness back, and our identity. We're going to be facing an opponent who will be going out looking for us to make mistakes. So I've got it pretty clear in my mind that we're facing a tough game that will be very hard-fought”.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Messi scores his 'hat-trick' in a 5-0 win against Mallorca

Lionel Messi answered his critics with a superbly taken hat-trick inside the opening half-hour at Camp Nou as the Blaugrana thrashed Mallorca 5-0 on Saturday.

The Argentine striker had gone three matches without scoring, evoking criticism for his recent performances. But Barcelona’s No. 10 responded in emphatic fashion.

Messi scored his first from the penalty spot inside the opening 15 minutes, giving him the perfect reprisal for his miss from 12 yards against Sevilla. He had his second soon after with an easy finish six yards out and goal No. 199 came after 28 minutes.

Isaac Cuenca added a fourth with his first senior goal and a stunning Dani Alves strike completed the rout which helped lift Barcelona to the top of the league ahead of Real Madrid’s clash against Sociedad.

Barcelona dominated the early possession but it was Mallorca which came closest to taking the lead when Joao Victor burst onto a low cross only to divert his shot wide of the target.

And Mallorca was left ruing that miss when it found itself a goal down not long afterwards when Emilio Nsue handled inside the penalty area giving Messi the chance to end his goal draught. The Argentine steadied himself before converting the spot kick in emphatic fashion rifling the ball into the top corner of the net.

Youngster Cuenca then tormented Pedro Bigas before sending a devilish cross to the far post which Adriano volleyed, somewhat fortunately, into the path of Messi to double Barcelona's lead 21 minutes in.

Messi had completed his hat-trick inside 30 minutes with a beautifully taken half-volley after Dani Alves swung a cross into the Argentines path who struck the ball perfectly with his left foot moving his Barcelona record to 199 goals in all competitions.

Barcelona started the second half in similar fashion and had its fourth of the night when Cuenca rounded Aouate before hammering in his first-ever senior goal following Adriano’s intricately placed through-ball.

There was still time for Alves to add a fifth goal when he attempted an audacious shot from distance which dipped viciously below the crossbar to ensure it was a five-star performance for Guardiola’s men.

Mallorca failed to pressurize the Barcelona defense as the came sauntered to an end with Joaquin Capparros turning his attention to the match against Sevilla in pursuit of his first win as Mallorca’s coach.

Barcelona (5): Valdés; Dani Alves, Mascherano, Abidal (Piqué 45'), Adriano; Busquets (Puyol 59'), Keita, Thiago; David Villa (Deulofeu 64'), Messi, Cuenca.

Mallorca (0): Aouate; Cendros, Chico, Ramis (Crespí 45'), Bigas; Martí (Casadesús 74'), Joao, Chori Castro, Nsue; Candela, Tissone (Zuiverloon 45')

Goalscorers: Messi {1-0. 13' PK), Messi (2-0. 21'), Messi (3-0. 30'), Cuenca (4-0. 50'), Dani Alves (5-0. 90'+2)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Levante remains unbeatable in La Liga

Levante extended their remarkable early-season run when they beat 10-man Malaga 3-0 on Sunday to rejoin champions Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

The tiny Valencia-based club, whose annual budget of around 20 million euros ($27.7 million) is dwarfed by Barca's approximate 500 million, took the lead through Jose Barkero in the 14th minute before Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero was shown a straight red card for handling outside his area.

His replacement Ruben saved the resulting free kick but Juanlu, one of a slew of Levante players over 30 years old, was quickest to react and poked the loose ball in to double the home side's lead with just over half an hour gone.

A Ruben howler gifted Levante a third in the 41st minute when he failed to clear and Arouna Kone, who scored the only goal in Levante's shock 1-0 win over Real Madrid last month, broke clear to tap the ball into an empty net.

Levante's fifth successive victory put them level on 17 points with Barca, who are top on goal difference after seven matches.

Ambitious and free-spending Malaga, owned by a member of the Qatar royal family and with a budget of around 150 million euros, are sixth on 13 points.

Levante's coach Juan Ignacio Martinez told a news conference it was important to remain realistic about what the club could achieve this season and said avoiding relegation was still the main objective.

"We have to enjoy this but we know that the league is very long and we are bound to suffer accumulating points," he said.

"We will achieve our goal of 42 points (to avoid relegation) in April, although hopefully I am wrong about that," he added.
Levante (3): Munua; Nano, Ballesteros, Juanfran, Javi Venta; Farinos, Iborra (79' Pallardo), Juanlu (66' El Zhar), Valdo; Koné, Barkero (70' Rubén Suárez)

Málaga (0): Caballero; Mathijsen, Demichelis, Monreal, Gamez; Maresca (29' Rubén), Toulalan, Isco, Cazorla (45' Sebastian Fernandez), van Nistelrooy (45' Rondon), Joaquín

Red Card: Caballero (27')
Goalscorers: Barkero (14' 1-0), Juanlu (30' 2-0), Koné (41' 3-0)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spanish La Liga: Great movements in the summer window 2011

The summer transfer window has closed and many clubs made their movements to reinforce their squads for the starting season of La Liga.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pedro León returns on loan to his previous team Getafe

José Mourinho didn't count on Pedro León for his squad
 Real Madrid and Getafe have closed the transfer of midfielder Pedro León to the 'Azulones'. The player returns to the club were he first caught the eye of Real Madrid on a one-year loan with Getafe reserving the right to buy him outright at the end of the season.

Pedro León joined Real Madrid ahead of the 2010-2011 season and has made six Liga BBVA outings under Jose Mourinho.

Inter completes the deal with Diego Forlán

Internazionale de Milano completes the deal signing Diego Forlan

Internazionale Milano have signed Diego Forlán from Club Atlético de Madrid for a reported €5m to fill the void created by Samuel Eto'o's recent move to FC Anzhi Makhachkala.
Forlán has agreed a two-year contract with the Nerazzurri and will give a press conference on Thursday. "At 32 years of age, going to a club like Inter isn't an opportunity that comes around for a lot of players. I am happy with the decision I have made," said Forlán, who scored 96 goals in 196 appearances in all competitions for the Rojiblancos.

"I leave Atlético with fantastic memories like qualifying for the [2008/09] UEFA Champions League against Schalke and winning the UEFA Europa League; also, winning the [ESM] Golden Shoe and reaching the final of the 2010 Copa del Rey, which unfortunately we lost."

Previously of CA Independiente and Manchester United FC, Forlán joined Atlético in 2007 from Villarreal CF and notched the extra-time winner as one of his two goals in the 2010 UEFA Europa League final against Fulham FC.

Having subsequently starred in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was awarded the FIFA Golden Ball in Uruguay's semi-final run, the striker enjoyed further success this summer by scoring twice in the Copa América decider as the Celeste defeated Paraguay 3-0. In total, he spent four seasons with Atlético after three at Villarreal.

Last day for the Summer 2011 Transfers

Today is the last day of the summer 2011 transfers and many clubs are making their last moves before the summer windows closes to reinforce their squads for the season.