Copa del Rey: Messi goal hands Barca first leg advantage over Atletico

Lionel Messi celebrating his penalty (Credit: AP)

Lionel Messi missed a late penalty but converted the rebound as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid in their Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg. The Argentine’s 83rd-minute spot-kick was saved by Jan Oblak, but the forward was quickest to react as Barca finally broke the deadlock. The penalty was awarded after Sergio Busquets appeared to go down easily under a challenge ...

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Messi scores 22nd hat-trick in Barcelona win


Lionel Messi scored the 30th hat-trick of his Barcelona career as his side beat Deportivo La Coruna to move one point behind leaders Real Madrid. The Argentina forward, who missed out on winning the Ballon d’Or to Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday, opened the scoring with a looping header. He netted again when he collected Neymar’s pass and dinked the ball over ...

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Luis Enrique calls for improvement from Barcelona players


Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says his side need to improve if they are to challenge for the Spanish title. Barca are one point off leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, after Lionel Messi’s hat-trick in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna. Last season’s runners-up are yet to find top form despite only conceding nine goals in 19 ...

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Atletico keep pace with Real, Barca after Granada win


Spanish champions Atletico Madrid returned to third position in La Liga as they defeated Granada at home. The hosts took a 34th-minute lead when Mario Mandzukic converted a spot-kick after Abdoul Sissoko fouled Diego Godin in the penalty area. Raul Garcia sealed the win late on when the ball bounced off his back and into the net from Arda Turan’s ...

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Ronaldo scores twice in Real Madrid win over Getafe


Fifa Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid comfortably won at Getafe to maintain their one-point La Liga advantage. Ronaldo won the award – given to the world footballer of the year – on Monday and fired in an opener after Karim Benzema’s pull-back. Gareth Bale added a second four minutes later when he prodded the ball home from ...

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Fernando Torres has returned a man – Simeone


Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says Fernando Torres has returned “a man” after the striker scored his first goals since rejoining the club. The Spain international, 30, left his boyhood team for Liverpool in 2007. He re-signed for Atletico earlier this month and scored twice inThursday’s 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu as his side reached the Copa del Rey quarter-finals with ...

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Lionel Messi ‘happy at Barcelona’


Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu has told a local radio station Lionel Messi is happy at the Nou Camp. Messi’s future has been the subject of huge speculation in recent weeks, with the player himself admitting at Monday’s Ballon d’Or Gala that he was not sure where he would be playing next year. Several newspaper reports last week suggested both ...

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Diego Simeone praises Atletico Madrid players’ humility


Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes his players’ humility is what enables them to compete with the best sides in the world. On Thursday the defending Primera Division champions take a 2-0 lead to the Bernabeu, where they will face Real Madrid in the second leg of a Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie. Real will take to the field for ...

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Messi exit from Barcelona ‘unthinkable’ – Luis Enrique


Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says it is unthinkable that club legend Lionel Messi could move elsewhere. The 27-year-old, Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, is under contract until June 2018 but his future has been the subject of much speculation following a rumoured falling out with Enrique. And the four-time winner of the world player of the year award has been linked ...

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Busquets confident Barcelona forward Messi will stay at Camp Nou

Buesquets Messi

Sergio Busquets has reassured Barcelona fans that Lionel Messi has no intentions of leaving the club. Busquets spoke out following reports which suggested the Argentinian had fallen out with manager Luis Enrique. The 26-year-old has no doubts Messi will be staying with the Catalan club, telling his club’s official website: “He controls his future and he has said he has ...

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