Real Madrid Vs Atletico Madrid Preview 26 th November 2011 – 19:00 GMT Santiago Bernabeu Real Madrid look to make it six out of six home victories this season, as they stage host to struggling local rivals Atletico Madrid in this eagerly anticipated Saturday evening kickoff at the Santiago Bernabeu. The city of Madrid divides again for the season, as first placed Real Madrid look to remain undefeated at the Bernabeu in which has become their stronghold this season. Lying in ninth position, 15 points behind rivals Real, Atletico Madrid look to overcome a horrific start to their away campaign as they are yet to record a win and will be out looking to produce an upset. Atletico star Diego was not full of confidence ahead of the derby, conceding it would be a huge ‘surprise’ if Atletico were to produce an upset, after Real’s sublime recent form. Real Madrid are currently in pole position in the league table with 28 points from 11 matches, three ahead of defending champions Barcelona, who are second. In the process they have been clinical scoring 44 goals, with potentially the two most inform strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema sharing 18 goals between them, as well as prolific as ever Cristiano Ronaldo on 14 goals in their ranks. Real’s Midfielder Sami Khedira is urging his team to play with ‘fast, aggressive pressure’ in order to maintain a terrific defensive record for Real Madrid this season. They have only conceded nine goals this term and will look to continue this solid defensive record and keep a clean sheet against an
Atletico team desperately searching for goals away from home having failed to score in 80% of away games so far. In addition, 12 of the 16 goals conceded by Atletico have been away from home. Which can be a difficult stat to be true entering any away game but facing a free flowing Real Madrid side looking to maintain winning ways, Atletico face a very tough task on Saturday evening. The inability to convert home form into away games is a crucial issue for Atletico to address. Key playmakers Arda Turan and Diego will have to be at their best to test a very confident Real. Although they will desperately seek top goal scorer Radamel Falcao (8Goals) to be beat a late fitness test in order to play. A boost for Atletico Madrid is that the main Real assist maker Angel Di Maria (11assists) is doubtful due to a torn hamstring occurred during Real’s 7-1 Thrashing of Osasuna. Atletico will have to be in top form if they are to end a 12 year wait to defeat Real and will see no better opportunity to kick start their own season with a win at the expense of bitter rivals. The Madrid derby never fails to provide entertainment, having been 20 goals scored in the previous six meetings alone. With Real and Atletico Madrid edging out Valencia and Levante respectively in their previous fixtures, both clubs will be seeking all three points in what looks likely to be a very exciting derby.
Real take Madrid derby day honours Real Madrid continued their successful run of form in a 4-1 victory over rivals Atletico in the El Derbi Madrileño.
Opening exchanges from the Santiago Bernabeu saw Atletico tactically impose themselves on the game, breaking down Real Madrid’s play which relied on speed, intensity and rhythm. Atletico played counter attack football and were dissolving the quick transition from defence to attack from Real, usually led by Ronaldo, but in the opening 15 minutes he had been kept non-existent. After a succession of high quality passes, Adrian cut in from the wing and received the ball from Diego then fired Atletico 1-0 ahead with an exquisite finish completing the move. Shortly after, Di Maria fell down very dramatically after being slightly pushed, earned Diego the first caution of the game. Atletico looked like they might end Los Blancos' recent home form when after took the lead on 15 minutes through Adrian. But Real Madrid produced some brilliant football against the run of play, with Di Maria exchanging passes with Alonso before sliding Benzema through on goal, only for on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtios to trip Benzema and conceded a penalty worthy of a red card. Sergio Asenjo came on for Diego – who had been cautioned - but was merciless in preventing Ronaldo’s 15th league goal of the season with a fine penalty tying the game at 1-1. The momentum of the game had changed permanently as Real began controlling possession and capitalised on the numerical advantage, with Ronaldo and the rejuvenated Di Maria lead the comeback displaying their exceptional attacking skills. Marcelo came close to setting up Benzema on a couple of occasions in the latter stages of the first half but good defending from
Dominguez meant Gregorio Manzano’s side held on going into the break. Real came out immediately looking more purposeful with their play. Ronaldo turned provider when he burst down the left wing squaring the ball catching out Asenjo, leaving an empty net for Di Maria to effortlessly take his 3rd goal of the season. 2-1. Since going down to 10 men Atletico were unable to provide striker Adrian with any service, with no substantial effort since Adrian’s first half opener, except from a long shot from Gabi. A calamitous mix up between Godin and Asenjo, left Higuain with an easy tap in to give Real Madrid a 2-goal advantage and leave Atletico rueing their mistakes. In the 81st minute Atletico’s Godin received a red card and conceded a penalty after a professional foul on Higuain, when the argentine looked to certain to grab a brace, after the initial flick from Ronaldo put him through on goal. Ronaldo stepped up again and confidently converted his second penalty of the game. 41. Real comfortably saw out the remainder of the game, giving 9-man Atletico no chance to mount a comeback. This result means Atletico drop to 10th in the Primera Liga whilst Real Madrid open up a 6point lead at the top of the table ahead of defending champions Barcelona.
Real Madrid not getting carried away with their thrashing of rivals Atletico Real Madrid produced another brilliant performance in an entertaining El Derbi
Madrileño, as they ran out 4-1 winners against a struggling Atletico Madrid side. Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso is happy after the latest win and is confident with the current squad but expects there to many be highs and lows throughout the season. After the exceptional victory at the expense of rivals Atletico, Real sit three points clear at the top of table ahead of Barcelona with the next El Classico looming. Having already qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and sitting comfortably at the top of the Primera Liga, Alonso is not getting carried away. He stated: “This season we have taken a step forward. We have a fantastic defence, with a great attack and we do not stop.” “Collectively we are working very well and we all benefit from that. We'll see how it goes this season... There is a long time to go” Although confidence is high in the Real Madrid squad, it must be a collective census to stay focused and not get carried away as defender Arbeloa had this to say: “We have not won La Liga yet and still have a long way to go. It's not important how many points we're ahead right now” Real Madrid has no reasons to not be feeling confident this season after such a tremendous start to the campaign. Real even have good problems regarding their attackers as manager Jose Mourinho reveals: "I'm happy to have this doubt between Benzema and Higuain. I hope to have the same problem until the end of the season.” “I have the two best strikers in the world” But it does seem in amongst the professionalism of the Real Madrid squad some really enjoyed the win over Atletico and had to express it as Sergio Ramos stated on his twitter after the game:
“Good evening friends. Very happy for the victory in the derby (4-1), the better the second half. We're constantly in the right direction. Come on Madrid” However for the Atletico players they didn’t have the same upbeat nature after a disappointing result. As substitute Sergio Asenjo had sympathy for the man he replaced Thibaut Courtios after the red card and goes on to actually criticise the referee and his decision making stating: “The referee showed the red very fast... It is difficult to whistle a derby, but we must apply the same standard to both teams” Atletico have been left feeling bitter after another trouncing from local rivals and will have to wait until the reverse fixture next year, in attempt to end the 12 year wait to defeat Real Madrid. It was not all negatives after the defeat as Atletico’s striker Adrian who scored the opener at the Bernabeu looks towards the future: "It was disappointing that my goal in the Bernabeu at the weekend was not a winner, but that match is forgotten and we are focused on Celtic. ”
Post-Match Inquest Atletico Madrid had never looked less unlikely to end the derby day hoodoo of not beating Real Madrid after enduring 12 years without a victory. That said the 4-1 score line had looked conceivable even before kickoff. Many factors regarding the two squads themselves, have always defined the meetings between the two sides and this El Derbi Madrileño was no different. As Real Madrid has always had the financial backing to lure the very best world-class players to the club. It was the same in the first era of Los Galacticos with Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo and
Beckham and now with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain and Kaka. With this backing they have always deemed to have the much better side, as the value of Real’s starting line up was approaching 200million pounds. However Atletico have had good sides over the years with Real Madrid Goalkeeper conceding the fact he’s ‘Surprised they haven’t beaten us” in that time. Essentially the loss of many key first team players over this summer meant Atletico Madrid rarely looked more unready to compete. They lost numerous players such as Forlan, Aguero, Simao, De Gea, Raul Garcia and Ujfaluši. The bulk of the money they raked in from these players was spent on star striker Radamel Falcao for 40 million Euros, unfortunately due to an injury he was unable to feature in his first Madrid derby. This was to be of big impact on the outcome of the match, as Atleti’s top goal scorer this season with 8 goals is their main threat in front of goal. With Atletico being a team struggling to score, the absence of Falcao was heavily felt. Atletico Madrid’s away form this season has been torrid, as they have only managed to score 3 goals away from home and on their travels have conceded 16 goals which is the third worst in the league. In direct comparison Real Madrid have a magnificent record so far, in particular at home, scoring 28 goals and are yet to be defeated at the Bernabeu. From processing these stats it is apparent that unless Atletico were to massively over perform whilst Real Madrid suddenly were to play woeful, there was only one prediction on the outcome in this match. As Real Madrid’s blistering home form versus Atletico Madrid’s terrible away record suggest they were never going to lose this fixture. During the match one key moment was to define the outcome of the game and
ultimately give Real Madrid a comfortable derby day victory. The main incident of the match was the first red card shown to young on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtios. As up to this moment in the game Atletico were well organised and playing like potentially winners. However after going down to 10 men, having to sacrifice your main playmaker Diego, to make way for Asenjo and on top of going a goal down to a Ronaldo penalty, meant that ultimately the game had been decided in this one decision by the referee.
Ronnie O’Sullivan proclaims he feels ‘blackmailed’ to participate in ranking events by World Snooker. The three-time world champion is unhappy with the tours structure and feels the current ‘winner’s prize is not great’. O’Sullivan has already banked around £6million in prize money in a successful career but still feels disillusioned with the current structure ‘The Rocket’ feels the rankings tournaments are unfair on the players as; “Most players are going there and losing money, but they’re putting ranking points on so it’s forcing the players to play in it” There are 12 players Tour Championship tournaments, with a first prize of £10,000 on offer to the winner of each one as well as valuable ranking points. The world’s top 16 qualify automatically for all the major events. But ‘The Rocket’ feels: “The lower-ranked players can’t afford it and the top-ranked players don’t really get rewarded for what they do, so no-one is the winner.
“But you have to play in them, there’s not a lot you can do, you’ve got to do it. But I don’t agree with them.” But World Snooker has shrugged off criticism of this season’s tour structure, claiming that the majority of players on the professional circuit are happy with it. World snooker insisted that players are under no obligation to enter the tournaments. And responded to O’Sullivan with a statement: “We have a responsibly to provide events for all 99 players on the main tour and the PTC events offer playing opportunities for them Although World Snooker is undergoing major change as two seasons ago, there were only seven or eight events on the main tour calendar; now there are nearly 30 and total prize money has virtually doubled The PTC Series had already been implemented due to rising concerns from players that there were not enough tournaments on the calendar to sustain a viable professional circuit. The top 24 players at the end of the PTC series go through to the Grand Final, where the winner scoops a top prize of £70,000. The most recent event saw Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Matthew Stevens 4-2 in the final in Gloucester. So after a poor run of form by his high standards and leaving O’Sullivan 12th in the World rankings, he willcertainly be aiming for more success in the upcoming UK Championship at York’s Barbican Centre which runs from 3-11 December. Usain Bolt grabbed centre stage in the men’s 100m Final as he destroyed the competition to take the gold medal.
Bolttook and did so with consummate ease, resulted in a world record equalling time of 9.58 seconds to take Gold position for the second Olympics in a row in the Men’s 100m Final. Ever since the Jamaican Bolt burst onto the scene with a 9.72 in New York, 2008 no other sprinter has looked even remotely close to rival him and this was definitely the case in London 2012. Both Christophe Lemaitre of France who filed a 9.73 and Asafa Powell also of Jamaica a 9.89, would have accepted these as respectable and fast times four years ago. But with the Electric Bolt not looking to slow up, in the future they may have to settle for silver position. As Bolt carry’s on tampering with the laws of physics to smash world records, it’ll be a long time until the chasing pack are able to faceUsain Bolt with stern competition.
Elsewhere Team GB is set to continue a very successful Olympic Games in London, with both Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton reaching the final of the Men’s and Women’s Cycling Sprint Finals respectably. Also in Men’s Sailing Paul Goodison is in a promising position in the standings being pole after six races and will look to secure Gold in the next four races. Triumphant Team GB can already boast two gold medals in: Sailing, Finn Class, as Ben Ainslie easily took the gold and also in the Women’s 400m Final as Christine Ohuruogu finished with a strong time of 49.71seconds. The women’s Marathon had two Team GB podium places as Mara Yamauchi finished on 2: 33: 31 to steal GB’s sole silver medal from Paula Radcliffe as she finished with 2: 33: 35, which was enough to take the bronze medal.
Other success came in the Men’s individual time trial, as Steven Cummings claimed a 1: 09.08 finish for a bronze medal, and the Men’s 10m platform final as Thomas Daley secured 525.80 points to also take bronze. Along with the success stories of this London 2012 Games for the home team, come the near misses. In the Men’s Tennis Singles Final, people witnessed Andy Murray of GB lose in dramatic fashion to Rafael Nadal in a 5-set thriller. Also with no one in the Men’s 100m Final to represent Team GB will come with big disappointment and in the next Olympiad Team GB will strive to provide more talent to challenge for podium positions.
Lord Coe jumps to defend decision to lease out the Olympic Stadium and denies it will become a white elephant. The Olympic stadium to be leased out as Lord Sebastian Coe stresses importance to maintaining a “commitment to an Olympic legacy”. Olympic 2012 Chairman Lord Coe believes athletics meetings have the potential to fill the Olympic stadium after the Games. But following the collapse of West Hams plans to buy the stadium, the governments revelation that the venue would be leased out has caught its doubters. London Assembly member John Biggs has said: “The decision is at very high risk of creating a white elephant.” Coe has been quick to silence these doubts as he believes has said: “There is no lack of demand for top-class track and field in this country”.
Coe claims Britain’s successful hosting of two Diamond League meetings at Crystal Palace shows there is sufficient interest in the sport. “We not only sell out for every one of those meetings but we would also probably be able to sell five times that number of tickets.” “If we had a larger venue we would fill that venue,” he added. “You have only got to any of those diamond league meetings to know how many people turn up on spec hoping to get tickets. “Don’t run away with the idea that athletics is a sport that is not supported.” Coe has stated, ‘That London was bidding for the 2017 World Athletic Championship in the belief there would be full crowds for the event’. He added: “That is a commitment we made and I think we should see it through.”
New Leicester Boss Nigel Pearson concedes the sack is never far awayin this “Results driven business” but looks to thrive under the immense pressure placed upon him. Pearson even admits that “SvenGoran Eriksson didn’t have enough time in the job to let his system work but the owners are ambitious and wantsPremier League status”. He is still confident to thrive under the pressure and feels he is the right man to return the club to the Premier League’s elite and looks to bring the club back into the playoff places “Within a month”. And that the automatic promotion places are not beyond Leicester’s reach for this season. Nigel feels he can deliver that this season, due to the current infrastructure and set of player’s and staff already at his disposal.
With a new atmosphere and a sense of a buzz surrounding the club and this appointment he feels he joining a new club entirely compared to his last stint and look certain to lead Leicester onwards and upwards. On the return to the club he managed to secure the League One title and have the greatest win ratio of any permanent manager in the clubs history, admits he still has unfinished business and returned because he didn’t “Do everything he originally wanted to do last time around”. Pearson also conceded that the financial backing the club has under the new owners was a major attraction in bringing him back to the club. He is excited at the prospect of having the necessary funds to purchase the players he wants without constraints – He also hit out at Hull City condemning the club with its struggling financial system and has no regrets in leaving Hull for an ambitious Leicester. With this new financial clout behind Nigel Pearson will he look to spend big in the next transfer window? Nigel Pearson will initially look to evaluate the current bunch of players and determine the strengths and weaknesses in a widely recognised inconsistent team. With Darius Vassell facing a lengthy spell on the side-lines, names such as MattyFryat already have been mentioned as an ideal replacement. However as of yet, Pearson is not mentioning names as he continues a full evaluation of the squad. With Leicester facing Hull in the upcoming weeks Pearson is hoping they don’t give him a rough ride, as they have a great club and fans, but he condemned their financial situation as it isn’t good and they cannot blame him for leaving Hull for an ambitious Leicester. But he will not be phased and only seek three points.
Published on Dec 13, 2011