Every single 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 exactly the same set of rivals as everyone else does. However, the season is long and competitors evolve -- or, in some cases, regress -- in such ways that the team that might sound like a mighty opponent at some point, becomes an easy target a few weeks later.
In the case of Real Madrid's next fixture, the exact opposite has happened....
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.
MANCHESTER, England -- Three quick thoughts from a wonderful Champions League evening at the Etihad as Man City came from 3-2 down to defeat AS Monaco 5-3 in their round of 16 first leg.
1. City edge a thriller to keep European hopes alive
If Pep Guardiola was hired to bring Champions League glory to Manchester City, he has brought European entertainment in abundance. A ludicrously eventful game saw City conjure victory, by two goals, from the jaws of defeat but with the possibility that they will...
The Champions League can sometimes prove to a dull affair. Not Tuesday night. Oh no. Just the 14 goals, incident aplenty as Man City beat Monaco 5-3 and Atletico overcame Bayer Leverkusen 4-2. The night that European football showed it's back!
Things started off quite well. Raheem Sterling netted for City in the first half an hour, while Atletico Madrid went 2-0 up.
Sterling! Brilliant from Sane and SIlva to set him up. 1-0