Every team in La Liga plays each opponent twice, which gives a sense of fairness to the whole competition. You need to be consistent for nine months, facing the same set of rivals as everyone else. However, the season is long, and competitors evolve -- or, in some cases, regress -- in such ways that a team that might sound like a mighty opponent at some point could become an easy target a few weeks later.
In the case of Real Madrid's next fixture, the exact opposite has happened. They were due...
MANCHESTER, England -- Sometimes, the football takes over, and everything that went before -- the bitterness, the grudges, the sense of not belonging -- simply evaporates, with the image of a stunning goal or crucial save becoming the focal point.
Manchester City supporters will remember the night their team produced an incredible fight back to defeat AS Monaco 5-3 at the Etihad Stadium -- not because they gave UEFA another earful or booed the officials off at half-time but because Sergio Aguero...
Atletico Madrid put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a fine 4-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday. Truth be told, the scoreline was kind to the home side, who Atleti tore apart from the off. Saul Niguez's stunner got the ball rolling, while Antoine Griezmann scored one and missed a sitter before half-time in a dominant first 45 minutes.
A lapse in concentration after the restart saw the Bundesliga side get back into the game, but Kevin Gameiro capped a fine individual display...
Any thoughts of a cagey Champions League knockout tie were thrown out and replaced by utter slapstick at the Etihad. A thriller ended with Monaco melting in the face of a pulsating comeback by Manchester City, whose own Achilles heel had been their initial undoing. Character shone through, however; who could bet against the same thing happening in the second leg?
Three quick thoughts from Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg thriller, which finished Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Atletico Madrid at the BayArena.
1. Atleti win helter-skelter game
Atletico Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 in a surprisingly helter-skelter Champions League last-16 first leg at the BayArena on Tuesday evening. Diego Simeone's side are now big favourites to progress despite surprising defensive issues that kept Roger Schmidt's outfit in the tie for longer than they deserved.