Category: La Liga

Sergio Ramos out with broken nose after goalless Madrid derby

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is ruled out with a broken nose for a yet undetermined period after a nasty encounter with Atletico Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez.

Ramos, 31, was accidentally kicked in the face by Lucas Hernandez. He received treatment and played on, but was replaced at half-time.

The Spain captain tweeted after the game: “I would bleed a thousand times for this badge and this shirt. Thanks for your support. I’ll be back in no time.”

“He couldn’t continue. We’ll have to see how long he’s out for,” Real boss Zinedine Zidane said following the goalless draw against Atleti, which set defending champions Real 10 points behind leaders FC Barcelona.

It was another frustrating night for Real Madrid, with the team lacking spark in attack. Strikers Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have scored only one goal each in their past eight La Liga games, were quiet.

Zidane admitted his side could not be happy with the chances they were missing lately, but said he was sure things would change soon.

“We played well but just lacked a goal,” he said. “I have nothing to reproach my players for. We played a great game, deserved more tonight but it was not to be. We should be patient, we are on the right path. I am sorry for the players, the effort they put in, they deserved more.”

“This is football, sometimes the ball won’t go in. I cannot explain it really. But it will come, for sure. Like last year, and like just two months ago. When a team makes a lot of chances, we cannot be happy, and the players first.”

Lionel Messi: forward was unaware of Neymar’s Barca exit

Lionel Messi said that he was unaware until the very last moment over Neymar’s decision to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.

Last month, both Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez revealed that they found out the Brazilian was off to France while they were at Messi’s wedding to longtime partner Antonela Roccuzzo at the end of June in Rosario, Argentina.

However, despite being briefed on the options Neymar had on the table, Messi says it was much later when he actually learned the deal was going to take place.

“Honestly, no,” he said when asked if he was aware during his wedding that Neymar had plans to join PSG. “Until the last day of the tour [of the United States] we were talking and we didn’t know anything. He said that he still wasn’t clear what to do and he didn’t know what he was doing. Others said they knew. But right until the last minute, we were speaking to him.”

Xavi had told the BBC last month that Neymar “told us at Messi’s wedding that he wanted to change, he wanted to change the club.”

Luis Suarez, who along with Messi and Neymar once formed the famed Barca offensive trident MSN, added that he and Messi tried to convince Neymar to remain at Camp Nou right up until the last possible moment, although without putting too much pressure on him.

“We never said, ‘Don’t go because you won’t be happy,’” Suarez said. “We said, we didn’t want him to go, but that he was free to do what he wanted. Because of the friendship we have, it was painful that he left.”

PSG paid Neymar’s €222 million buyout clause in August to take him to France.

Alcacer double helps Barca edge past Sevilla

Barcelona’s Paco Alcacer scores their first goal during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla, at Camp Nou, in Barcelona, Spain, on November 4, 2017. Photo: Reuters

FC Barcelona needed Paco Alcacer to deliver a double that helped the La Liga leaders to a 2-1 home win over Sevilla for their 10th victory in 11 games.

Alcacer, 24, who had to endure a disappointing first season at the Camp Nou, was making only his second league start of the campaign, but made an impact by putting the hosts ahead midway through the first half by slotting home his first after 23 minutes from Luis Suarez’s long pass..

Even after Guido Pizarro had levelled for Sevilla after the break with a header from a corner, another first-time finish from Alcacer maintaining Barca’s unbeaten run in La Liga. Only three teams — Valencia, Barca and Atletico Madrid — are left unbeaten in the Spanish top-flight at the moment.

The win also maintains Barcelona’s four-point lead at the top of La Liga, with Valencia second, Atletico Madrid third and Real Madrid, who play Las Palmas on Sunday, fourth. Sevilla would remain in fifth following their defeat.

However, they did went close to doing damage to Barca’s campaign through Luis Muriel, whose two long-distance strikes narrowly missed the Barca goal. Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had little to do otherwise, and was thankful to Nelson Semedo who produced a great block to prevent Pablo Sarabia from testing him.

Alcacer also registered an attempt with a header over from close range, while his team-mate Gerard Pique saw his shot come off the crossbar.

Earlier, Valencia took their tally of league goals to 30 — level with Barca —  with a 3-0 win over Leganes. Dani Parejo, Rodrigo and Santi Mina, with a penalty, ensured their team continued their great start to the season.