Previous
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Almeria
1
2
FT
Game Details
Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano
4
2
FT
Game Details
Cordoba
Sevilla FC
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
FC Cologne
Borussia Monchengladbach
0
0
LIVE 69'
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Parma
2
3
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Cagliari
2
0
FT
Game Details
Genoa
Lazio
1
0
FT
Game Details
Sassuolo
Sampdoria
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atalanta
Fiorentina
0
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Udinese
Napoli
0
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Palermo
Internazionale
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
Hellas Verona
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lille
Montpellier
0
0
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Guingamp
1
0
FT
Game Details
Lens
St Etienne
0
1
FT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Lyon
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundee
Dundee United
1
4
FT
Game Details
Celtic
Motherwell
1
1
FT
Game Details
Osasuna
Mallorca
6
4
FT
Game Details
Girona
Real Betis
1
3
LIVE 69'
Game Details
Leganes
Racing Santander
0
2
LIVE 42'
Game Details
Real Valladolid
Tenerife
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Albacete
Numancia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
RB Leipzig
2
1
FT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Heidenheimer SB
3
2
FT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Nurnberg
3
0
FT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Twente Enschede
1
4
FT
Game Details
AZ Alkmaar
PEC Zwolle
1
0
FT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Ajax Amsterdam
0
1
FT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Cambuur Leeuwarden
4
0
FT
Game Details
FC Utrecht
FC Groningen
1
0
FT
Game Details
Belenenses
Maritimo
1
0
LIVE 90'
Game Details
Rio Ave
Arouca
1
2
FT
Game Details
Benfica
Moreirense
0
1
LIVE HT
Game Details
Gil Vicente
Sporting Lisbon
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Porto
Boavista
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
CSKA Moscow
Lokomotiv Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kasimpasa
Karabukspor
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sivasspor
Konyaspor
0
0
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fenerbahce
Gaziantepspor
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Kalloni AEL
1
0
FT
Game Details
Waasland-Beveren
Standard Liege
0
2
FT
Game Details
SV Salzburg
Austria Vienna
2
3
FT
Game Details
Odense BK
Sonderjyske
1
1
FT
Game Details
FC Copenhagen
Brøndby
1
0
FT
Game Details
AIK
Halmstad
0
1
FT
Game Details
Kalmar FF
Djurgarden
0
4
FT
Game Details
Mjallby
Elfsborg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Helsingborg
0
0
LIVE 48'
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
Postp
Game Details
Viking FK
IK Start
0
1
FT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aalesund
Stabaek
0
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Lillestrom
Odd Grenland
1
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Sogndal
1
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
Haugesund
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Monterrey
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guadalajara
Queretaro
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies
ESPN3 8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Arsenal de Sarandí
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Banfield
Boca Juniors
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Independiente
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Aldosivi
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
All Boys
Temperley
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento de Junín
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Nueva Chicago
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Sp. Belgrano
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Corinthians
São Paulo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Atlético MG
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Bahia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flamengo
Fluminense FC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Coritiba FBC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Goiás EC
Palmeiras
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gremio
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos FC
Figueirense FC
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing (U)
Tacuarembó FC
1
0
FT
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Rentistas
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Juventud
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Wanderers
Rampla Juniors
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atenas
Nacional
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Aguilas Doradas
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Envigado
Independiente Santa Fe
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Atlético Nacional
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
Fortaleza CE
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Inti Gas Deportes
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Melgar
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Martin
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
Olimpia
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sol de América
Nacional
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
12 de Octubre
10:45 PM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
Liga de Loja
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
LDU Quito
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Barcelona
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
Mushuc Runa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Venezuela
Deportivo Petare
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Llaneros
Carabobo
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa
Deportivo Anzoategui
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trujillanos
Estudiantes de Mérida
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Aragua
Zamora
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Táchira
Tucanes
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mineros
Deportivo La Guaira
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Bolívar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Pando
San José
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Potosí
Wilstermann
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oriente Petrolero
Nacional Potosí
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

No recent activity

Jan 6, 2013

Casillas back by default in drama-packed win

Well that was a nice, quiet return to La Liga action for Real Madrid, wasn't it? Just seven goals, two red cards, one penalty, one hat trick and 41 attempts on goal at the Bernabeu as Los Blancos welcomed Real Sociedad to the Spanish captital for Jornada 18. A steady, run-of-the-mill return from the winter break it was not, but at least Jose Mourinho and his men returned with three points against the Basques in a 4-3 victory, thus setting the tone for what Madridistas hope will be a much-improved second half to the season.

In truth, the headlines were always going to come before the match. Would Iker Casillas return to the starting eleven or would Antonio Adan remain in goal? Rarely has a team sheet been so keenly awaited. Madrid sports papers AS and Marca both had differing views, with the former saying Casillas would start and the latter going with Adan. Marca was correct.

When the starting lineups were announced, the Madrid faithful did not boo Adan, but the, shall we say, respectful applause did not exactly compare to the cheers Casillas received when the substitutes were read. The reaction to Mourinho was of the booing nature - the supporters had made their feelings clear.

It almost left you wondering where the pre-match script had been left in the Madrid offices, then, when Adan saw red just six minutes into the match and Casillas came on to try - and fail  - to save a penalty that would see the visitors level the score. Karim Benzema had already given the hosts the perfect start with a goal inside 90 seconds. There was little time to catch your breath.

Benzema's opener was nicely taken, with Sami Khedira - arguably Madrid's man-of-the-match - laying on a neat ball for the Frenchman to fire a low effort into the back of the net. Problems? What problems? Fast-forward four minutes and Adan fires a needless stray ball straight into the path of Carlos Vela before going on to haul the former Arsenal man down inside the box. Penalty, red card - a harsh one, given Xabi Alonso was seemingly covering Adan on the line, but rules are rules. Oh, those problems.

Mourinho was now faced with the dilemma of calling for a goalkeeper he'd dropped for technical reasons to save his bacon. Los Blancos were down to ten men and leading 1-0. Casillas couldn't do it and Prieto slotted home the penalty - the first goal of his hat trick.

It takes a cynical mind to think Mourinho did not want Saint Iker to save the spot-kick but you couldn't help but think the way the match panned out - and certainly helped his post-match press conference. If Casillas saved the penalty and went on to produce a storming performance, the Spanish media would have had a field day with Mourinho.

As it was, Casillas almost justified Mourinho's dropping of him by giving away the ball in kamikaze fashion with his first touch and almost allowing Sociedad a second but the ball flew into the side netting. A let-off. In the Spanish No. 1's defence, he wouldn't have expected to be involved so early in the match, if at all, and it was painstakingly obvious his mind wasn't right early on. He wasn't at fault for any of the goals but looked far from comfortable from set-pieces in the opening stages - something a makeshift Madrid defence wouldn't have helped him with.

At the other end of the spectrum, Cristiano Ronaldo, sporting a good tan following the winter break, started the year in splendid fashion. Not only did the Portuguese score twice but he seemed to enjoy both goals - sporting a smile for the first goal and going pretty barmy by Ronaldo's standards after the second, hugging Mourinho to show his support for the boss. He even tracked back on a few occasions, picking up a yellow card for one offence - which rules him out of next weekend's league clash with Osasuna.

Ronaldo was captain for the day with Casillas initially benched and Sergio Ramos suspended. He offered the armband to Casillas when he came on, but the stopper turned it down. Players cannot swap the captaincy mid-match anyway, unless substituted, but it was a nice gesture nevertheless. Was the armband what Cristiano needed to enjoy his football? To be the top man, if others didn't think so already - an armband to prove it? We'll probably see it returned to Casillas next time out, or to vice-captain Ramos, but captain Cristiano in the future? Who knows?

Madrid were not fantastic against Sociedad but it would be harsh to focus on the negatives , especially for playing with ten men for 84 minutes. Sociedad's defence may not be the best in La Liga but they came into the game in good form, unbeaten in seven including wins at Malaga and Valencia. It was never going to be a walk in the park for a Madrid side seemingly in turmoil off the pitch and who went into the game having lost their final two matches of 2012. It was never going to be a walk in the park for a Madrid defence missing five players. Ramos's suspension followed injury set-backs to Pepe, Raul Albiol, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao. Ricardo Carvalho was playing his first Liga match of the season.

Khedira was a rock in midfield. Not only a rock at stopping the opposition's play, winning the ball and getting his side back on the attack, but actualy impressive in the attack, too. The German has shown signs of his attacking abilities already this season and was superb for Madrid when they went down to ten men, pushing forward to help plug that gap left in the attack when Madrid sacrificed Jose Callejon for Casillas. A real box-to-box midfield, rather than a sitting defensive midfielder. To cap off his performance he provided an assist, a goal, and was vital in Ronaldo's first goal, too.

But spare a thought for Callejon. I've been an admirer of the former Espanyol for his work-rate and teamwork throughout this season and have been calling for him to get more starts. He finally gets a rare start and is forced off after six minutes. Just his luck. On the positive side, Gonzalo Higuain made a welcome return and came a lick of paint away from scoring when he hit the bar - his return will be a real boost for Los Blancos.

This was a whirlwind return to action for Madrid and it's hard to really know what to take from it given the drama that unfolded from the first minute until the last. Mourinho will no doubt be keen to focus on the positives. A victory to start 2013, and an entertaining one at that. The return to La Liga may have been important for Madrid but the real big one comes in midweek when Celta Vigo visit the Bernabeu looking to defend their 2-1 lead in the Copa del Rey and deny Los Blancos from winning another piece of silverware this season.