Ponferradina 0 - 2 Real Madrid (Spanish Cup Last 32 1st Leg)

Jose Mourinho had said he was going to us a side capable of earning a good result to allow his team to seal the tie at the Bernabeu next week, and that's just what fans saw against Ponferradina. Callejon was the man of the match and scored a goal. The other was netted by Cristiano Ronaldo. The locals fought hard, but the Whites eventually proved their superiority despite being down to ten men in the last 22 minutes after Albiol was sent off.

Callejon was the man of the match

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, Marcelo and Khedira made the starting lineup. Ponferradina were extremely motivated, fought for every ball and put pressure all over the pitch, but they were bound to lower the pace of their performance eventually. Meanwhile, Real Madrid remained calm, controlled the ball and gradually started to have chances to score. Cristiano nearly netted the opener but Quintana cleared his first shot (21'). The Portuguese came close to finishing off a good cross from Callejon two minutes later, and the midfielder eventually tallied the first strike on the 28-minute mark following a pass into the box by Khedira.

The locals' spirit seemed crushed after the goal and Varane nearly scored a header immediately after it. Yuri continually tried to get close to Adan's goal, but the Whites' defence was solid throughout.

Ponferradina had the same drive after half-time and Domenech even hit the crossbar with a long shot (50'). Real Madrid were patient and played a slower game than usual, but were in control nonetheless. Albiol was sent off on the 68-minute mark with a double booking, making Mourinho react by bringing Granero and Ramos on for Sahin and Kaka.

Greater numbers gave the locals wings and the crowd began to drive them on, but this made them leave open spaces that Real used to their advantage, eventually scoring a second goal when a long pass from Higuain was picked up by Ronaldo, who defeated Quintana with a crossed shot (73'). Four minutes later, the Portuguese striker was replaced by the academy's Jese, who therefore made his official debut with the first team.

The locals looked to make a comeback in the final minutes to no avail. The crowd gave their team a standing ovation at the end of the clash given their great efforts against Real Madrid.


Stadium: El Toralin
Attendance: 8,500
Goals: 0-1, m.28: Callejón. 0-2, m.73: Cristiano Ronaldo.


Real Madrid 1 - 3 Barcelona (Spanish League Day 16)

It is said small details decide the outcome of Clasicos and tonight was a clear example of that. Three instances could tip the scales one way or the other. The first was Benzema's goal only 23 seconds into the game, capitalasing from a mistake by Valdes. The second was Barcelona's second strike, which came from a shot from outside the box that went into the back of the net after being accidentally deflected by Marcelo and the far post. The third instance was Cristiano Ronaldo's missed header that could have drawn the match 2-2. This was followed by the effort that resulted in Barcelona's third goal. That was the Clasico in a nutshell. The visiting side made better use of three defining instances, but the Whites nevertheless continue to depend on themselves and could be sole leaders on the table by defeating or drawing against Sevilla next week.

Barcelona defeated again Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium

Following last week's suspension, Xabi Alonso made the starting lineup and Coentrao was positioned as right back. Lass made the midfield, leaving Khedira on the bench. The game couldn't have had a more auspicious start for the locals, with Benzema scoring only 23 seconds into the game by capitalising on a mistake by Valdes, who gave the ball to Di Maria in a bad clearance. The Argentine then passed it to Ozil, who shot on target, but ended up hitting Busquets instead. The deflection was then taken up by Benzema, who scored the fastest goal in the history of the Clasico. Real started to dominate the match due to this being a harsh blow on Guardiola's side, but Barça gradually started to have more possession and scored the equaliser from a fast effort finished off by Alexis (29'). The game evened out until half-time.

The second half started with a key effort: Xavi hit the ball outside the box and the shot, which didn't seem dangerous at first, hit Marcelo and a post before entering the goal (52'). Real Madrid were forced to make a comeback and focused on attacking, leaving their goal wide open. This gave way to Barcelona counterattacks. Mourinho then made Khedira and Kaka come on for Lass and Ozil.

Cristiano Ronaldo came close to netting the equaliser from a missed header on the 64-minute mark. Football then showed its cruelest face to Real by rewarding Barcelona with another strike when Fabregas headed in an Alves cross. The fans continued to support the team to the death despite the goal and showed how very proud they are of Mourinho's side.

Kaka came close to cutting distances short in the 83rd minute, but Valdes cleared his shot with a great save. Madrid kept trying to score any way they could, but Barcelona snatched the victory in the end. The Whites will now focus on Tuesday's Copa del Rey match against Ponferradina.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 83,500
Goals: 1-0. Min.1. Benzema; 1-1. Min. 29. Alexis; 1-2. Min. 52. Xavi. 1-3. Min. 64. Cesc.
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