MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Granada CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
2 Total Updates since September 14, 2012
8 months ago Update 0 comments
Perfect start in the 2nd minute for Sevilla after earning an early corner. Piotr Trochowski came charging in to the box as if shot out of a cannon and unleashed a wicked volley shot of the delivery from the corner. Terrible marking from Madrid as Trochowski had enough space to comfortably park a large car if he'd been so inclined. Iker Casillas just stood in his net staring at his defenders in obvious displeasure.
The second half was what you'd expect with Madrid trailing. An all out assault on the Sevilla goal that saw Los Blancos getting closer and closer. Sergio Ramos missed a brilliant opportunity in the 60th minute after he managed to botch a point blank header and send the ball well off target.
Ronaldo was gifted a fantastic free kick chance in stoppage time but his shot, much like his team in general today, was off target.
The bottom line is that Madrid simply wasn't that good, but Sevilla, to their credit, never backed down, never stopped pressuring and they were able to contain the Madrid attack and create a ton of frustration for Jose Mourinho's men. The loss leaves Madrid adrift in 10th place in La Liga with only four points while their rivals Barcelona are sitting comfortably in first, eight points ahead.
This was not the way Madrid wanted to prepare for their Champions League opener in the mid-week against Manchester City.
8 months ago Update 0 comments
What began as a bit of a gritty battle ended up as a walk in the park for Tito Vilanova's Barcelona, despite Tito's absence from the sideline (he was suspended for an incident during the Supercup with Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrão). Adriano put the Blaugrana ahead just before the halfway mark with a nice shot, after a brilliant play by Cesc, who had been marginalized recently. The blaugrana seemed more or less in control, but Getafe didn't seem to be about to give up.
And that might have been because Barça hadn't brought out their gun yet. And yes, in this analogy, Geta is fighting with a pistol and Barça are fighting with some sort of sword--or, I guess, a slightly better pistol while saving a machine gun strapped to their back. When Lionel Messi finally came on--59th minute--the game pretty much ended. Leo scored twice--the first on an obvious penalty, the second after a fantastic collective maneuver--and Barcelona were coasting.
The only blot on the record for Barça--and I don't mean the goal--came when captain Carles Puyol went down grabbing his knee. The play looked pretty unpleasant, though it's unclear whether the injury will be anything more than a minor contusion. Javier Mascherano came on for Puyol, and almost immediately scored on his own team. Chapeau. David Villa would cap the blowout in the 90th minute.
So Málaga's still good, I guess. Javier Saviola (yeah, him), was the man of the match this time for the malagueños, who dominated a poor Levante side from beginning to end. Sure, Levante would tie the score after the Saviola goal, but this side looks nothing like the well-organized bunch that threatened to make a run at the top four for a huge chunk of last year. They were sloppy, inaccurate, not composed, and generally lacked the air of "we're a brick wall" that characterized their games last season.
Joaquín--off a brilliant ball from Saviola--and Portillo would round out the final score for a Málaga side that has registered its' best start of a season ever, with 10 points out of a possible 12.
Just when you thought we'd understand the Liga, this kind of game happens. It's not the result that I'm talking about--a 2-1 was pretty predictable--but rather the way that Valencia grabbed the game. Celta is not a great team; they're fighters, sure, proud to be back in the first division, and looking to make it stick. But they're definitely not a team that Valencia should have an real issue with. But today, Valencia reverted to the old, "who the hell knows?" mentality, looking shockingly unprepared and overmatched. Feghouli put them ahead minutes into the game, and that was pretty much the high point for them; Celta would equalize a few minutes later, and only really payed for their defensive mistakes once, when Valencia barely broke through to score the winner in the 50th minute.
8 months ago Article 0 comments
Cristiano Ronaldo is still sad--for completely incomprehensible reasons, as far as we can tell--and playing Sevilla this week won't cheer him up. But hey, maybe being back in Madrid will help his tan? No? Well, I can't help you there, then.