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How Messi tormented Madrid in El Clasico

Tactics Board
 By Sid Lowe

Madrid's 'B Team' makes its case for a bigger role as Real chase the double

With Barca firmly back in the La Liga title race, the FC panel don't see how Madrid can focus on both competitions at once.

"If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A Team."

Unless your name is Zinedine Zidane, of course. In which case, you'd be better off hiring the B Team instead. That, at least, is the verdict of the man who was undone by them this week: him and many more besides.

It has become a question of state, a national debate, and there is something in it too, all the more so after Wednesday night when Real Madrid lined up in A Coruna with...

Alvaro Morata's Real Madrid career looks over with 'half of Europe' circling

A Ronaldo-less Madrid side looked un-bothered by their loss to Barcelona, dominating Deportivo in all aspects of the match.
Sid Lowe believes Real Madrid are still in complete control to win the title despite the loss to Barcelona in El Clasico.
Alejandro Moreno believes Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos must balance their competitive fire and defensive responsibilities.
Steve Nicol discusses the possible replacements for Gareth Bale at Real, who has been ruled out 3-4 weeks with injury.

Alvaro Morata could make a claim to being one of the deadliest strikers in Europe this season, but even still he cannot force his way into the Real Madrid first team, and looks almost certain to leave the Bernabeu this summer.

Morata's numbers this season are outstanding. He has 13 La Liga goals in just 1,146 minutes -- one every 88 mins -- and three in 164 in the Champions League. These have often been important strikes -- late winners against Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal all brought...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid's 'B' team making waves, challenging the status quo

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is happy with the clubs squad depth after their win over Deportivo.
Sid Lowe believes Real Madrid are still in complete control to win the title despite the loss to Barcelona in El Clasico.

Real Madrid swept Deportivo de La Coruna aside on Wednesday night in a 6-2 victory that will be remembered as one of the best performances from Zinedine Zidane's team this season. It was a notable scoreline made more eye-catching by the absence of nine of Zidane's first-choice XI: only the indefatigable Marcelo and Raphael Varane among the starters in Riazor can be considered genuine members of that exalted order.  

After the match Depor manager Pepe Mel commented: "I like this Real...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Juventus retake top spot after Real Madrid's mixed week

Craig Burley lambastes Shaka Hislop's process of picking his top 10 after the unveiling of his latest power rankings.
FC's Gab Marcotti debates if Juve can be called the best team in the world given their UCL and Serie A exploits this season.
Juventus head coach Max Allegri says victory against Genoa all but guarantees his team the Serie A title.

We have a new leader! Meanwhile, re-entering the countdown are a pair of Europe's biggest clubs, while a German giant drops out.

1. Juventus (+1)

With a Champions League semifinal against Monaco on the horizon, Juventus continued to tick over in Serie A. A 4-0 win over Genoa means that Max Allegri's side have an eight-point lead with five games to go; that sixth straight title is just a matter of time away.

2. Real Madrid (-1)

After battling back with 10 men to equalise vs. Barcelona,...

Dortmund's character-building win exposes Bayern's need for a rebuild

A back-and-forth affair between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund was highlighted by Ousmane Dembele's superb game-winner.
The FC panel address Bayern's aging stars, and if they need to revamp their squad to progress further in the future.

Borussia Dortmund's second trip to the Allianz Arena in the space of a month was billed as a rite of passage by coach Thomas Tuchel.

"Familiarity reduces stress levels, your vision widens, you're able to deal better [with the pressure]," the 43-year-old said ahead of his side's thrilling 3-2 DFB Cup semifinal win. "It was important for the players to experience that [the first time]. It's like skiing: once you get down a black run, the probability is higher that you'll do better the second time."


Real Madrid, Barcelona win heavily to maintain lock on La Liga title race

Alejandro Moreno believes Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos must balance their competitive fire and defensive responsibilities.

Five thoughts from the midweek action as Real Madrid and Barcelona both won heavily to maintain their head-to-head lock at the top of the La Liga table and things got clarified at the bottom.

1. Madrid's "second unit" dazzle again

Sunday's Clasico defeat made no difference to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane's rotation policy, as he left Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos at home and made nine changes to his XI for Wednesday evening's potentially tricky trip to Deportivo La Coruna.

But not for the...