Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Real Cedes Ground to Barca
ESPN Soccernet, February 18th, 2008 5:45PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

ESPN's Phil Ball looks back on a weekend in Spain where neither of the league's two best teams played very well. In the end, Real Madrid ended up ceding ground to second-place Barcelona for the second time in three weeks, losing 2-1 at Real Betis despite scoring in the first six minutes and having more than 60 percent of the possession. Los Merengues were felled by an opponent that found and exploited the team's weakness: defending against crosses. And after seeing its 1-0 lead evaporate through a pair of nearly identical crosses and headers, Ball says that Real "played as though another goal would come, just as long as they kept the ball and passed it around with no particular plan in mind."

Barcelona, meanwhile, had a similarly listless outing at La Romareda against Real Zaragoza, but the Catalans came away 2-1 winners thanks to a gift from referee Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez. With the match tied 1-1 with 10 minutes to go, the TV commentators praised Juanfran for taking a lofted ball down on his chest and clearing it in one motion, but the linesman immediately raised his flag for handball. Not only did Vazquez point to the spot, but he also gave Juanfran a yellow card. Ronaldinho stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty-an extremely harsh decision against Zaragoza, which was the better team throughout. Barca's win was a costly one for Real, which has seen its nine-point advantage fall to five in the last three weeks.

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Creighton shuts down Jordan Morris    
No. 24 Creighton got goals by freshman Ricky Lopez-Espin and Fabian Herbers to beat No. 13 ...
Redknapp to Sign Two-Year QPR Extension    
Despite losing his first three games of the season, Queens Park Rangers coach Harry Redknapp revealed ...
Hernandez, Juve Agree Personal Terms    
The Corriere dello Sport on Friday reported that Juventus has agreed personal terms with Manchester United ...
Cambiasso Joins Leicester City     
Former Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso on Friday officially joined Premier League club Leicester City. The ...
Fringe Players' Pay Could Derail Man United Transfer Plans    
Following the British record $99 million arrival of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, Manchester United ...
Chelsea's Torres Wants AC Milan Move     
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is said to be closing in on a move to AC Milan ...
Report: Gunners Favorite to Sign Falcao on Loan     
ESPN on Thursday reported that AS Monaco has made sought-after striker Radamel Falcao available for a ...
Xabi Alonso Transfer Raises Question Marks in Germany    
Xabi Alonso's 10 million-euro ($13.2 million) transfer from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich has been met ...
Rooney Named England Captain     
Roy Hodgson on Thursday named Wayne Rooney captain of England following the retirement of former captain ...
Van Basten Exhibits 'Severe Symptoms'; Leaves AZ Indefinitely     
Netherlands and AC Milan legend Marco van Basten on Thursday mysteriously left his post as AZ ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives