Tag Archives: deportivo

Neymar isn"t joining Man City insist Santos as glum Brazil star pictured making low-key departure from London

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:43 GMT, 8 February 2013

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

Neymar at Heathrow as the Brazilian team leave the UK

On his way: Neymar at Heathrow on Thursday to catch a flight to Brazil

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20 per cent in the last two years.'

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the Fifties and Sixties, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as beaten Brazil make low-key departure from London

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

Neymar at Heathrow as the Brazilian team leave the UK

On his way: Neymar at Heathrow on Thursday to catch a flight to Brazil

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years.'

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the 50s and 60s, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Lionel Messi video: Watch Barcelona star"s record breaking 86 goals in 2012

Lionel Messi, record breaker: Watch ALL 86 goals scored by the Barca star this year

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 11 December 2012

Can you remember each and every one of Lionel Messi’s astonishing 86 goals this year

Well, now you can sit back, relax and watch footballing perfection as this video shows the Argentinian magician score every one of his record-breaking goals.

Even Bayern Munich legend Gerd Muller hailed Messi as ‘an incredible player’ after the Barcelona star broke his record for the most goals in a calendar year.

Scroll down to watch the video

Out of this world: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 86th goal of 2012

Beaten: Gerd Muller scored 85 goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972

Out of this world: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 86th goal of 2012 breaking the record of Gerd Muller's 85

Muller grabbed 85 goals for Bayern
Munich and West Germany in 1972 and the mark stood for 40 years until
last night when Messi netted his 85th and 86th goals of an incredible
2012 in Barca’s 2-1 win at Real Betis.

Muller led the tributes today,
telling Sport1.de: ‘My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games –
and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted
for him.

‘He is an incredible player, gigantic.’

Hitting the back of the net: Messi scores the opening goal against Real Betis

Hitting the back of the net: Messi scores the opening goal against Real Betis

Muller, whose record as Germany’s
all-time top goalscorer is also under threat from Miroslav Klose, now
hopes Messi will add to his tally before the end of the year.

‘He’s such a nice and modest
professional and I hope he gets one or two more goals in 2012 and that
he can then hold onto the record for the next 40 years,’ he added.

‘He’s fantastic. He only has one defect and that is that he doesn’t play for Bayern Munich!’

Messi’s Barca team-mates were also in awe of his achievement.

Spain defender Gerard Pique told El
Mundo Deportivo: ‘Leo is supernatural, he has no limits and we always
have to remember everything that he’s given us.

‘We have to enjoy him every single minute that we have him now.’

Unbelievable achievement: Messi is congratulated by his teammates including Gerard Pique

Unbelievable achievement: Messi is congratulated by his teammates including Gerard Pique

Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets
added of Messi: ‘He is the best in the world and I’m very happy he’s
broken that record and I hope he gets more.’

A host of other Barca players also
took to Twitter to offer their congratulations to Messi, including
Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes, Javier Mascherano, Thiago
and Jose Pinto.

As well as passing Muller, Messi’s
double against Betis sent him clear of Cesar Rodriguez as Barca’s
all-time leading league goalscorer after they had been level on 192
before the match.

Earlier this year Messi became
Barca’s record scorer after moving past the tally of 232 official goals
set by Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s.

The Argentina captain has also
claimed a host of other individual records during a remarkable career
that looks certain to include many more memorable moments in the future.

In a league of his own: Messi looks to the skies as he celebrates his achievement

In a league of his own: Messi looks to the skies as he celebrates his achievement

Falcao scores five goals – here"s more five-goal heroes

What do Falcao, Ted Drake and Frankie Bunn have in common (Hint: it has nothing to do with haircuts or salaries)

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 10 December 2012

Radamel Falcao was the hero for Athletico Madrid in La Liga this weekend, as his team stormed to a 6-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

Five of the team’s six goals came from the Colombian himself, as he went on a striking rampage that threatened to overshadow Lionel Messi's record-breaking feats on the same night.

Both Chelsea and Manchester City are rumoured to be courting the 26-year-old for a January transfer, but they will have to shell out a sum in the region of 48 million to meet the release fee in his contract with Athletico.

Radamel Falcao celebrates one of his five goals against Deportivo La Corun

The Colombian scored five goals for Athletico Madrid in their clash with Deportivo La Coruna

Stunning though it is to score five goals in a single game, Falcao is far from the first star to have achieved it. He follows in the footsteps of a number of players who have put on dazzling display over the years.

Fernando Morientes

Fernando Morientes was the last Liga player to net five, as Real Madrid crushed Las Palmas 7-0 in 2002.

The Spaniard could have made it six had he been able to take advantage of a penalty in the closing minutes but he failed to convert.

Oleg Salenko

Oleg Salenko is still the record-holder for the most goals scored in a World Cup game, after he hammered five goals home in Russia’s clash with Cameroon in 1994.

Despite taking the victory 6-1 the team still did not manage to progress into the knockout stages, though Salenko did net once more against Sweden, making him the joint top-scorer in the competition.

Lionel Messi

The list wouldn’t be complete of course without a mention of Lionel Messi’s haul against Bayer Leverkusen.

The Argentinian superstar set a new Champions League record with his sweep of five goals earlier this year, and the 7-1 win took Barcelona through to the tournament quarter-finals.

Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd has impressively managed to score five not once, but twice, and against the same team!

The first opportunity came in 2004 when the Scot blasted five past Dundee United, taking Kilmarnock to a 5-2 victory.

In 2009, he repeated the performance, this time playing for Rangers, and in the process surpassed Henrik Larsson as the Scottish Premier League's all-time top scorer.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer rose to the challenge in 1999. With two penalties and three strikes, he helped Newcastle to an 8-0 drumming of Sheffield Wednesday. No less than you would expect from the all-time leading scorer in the Premier League.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole also scored a quintuple in the Nineties, and was in fact the first Premier League player to do so. When facing off against Ipswich Town in 1995, Cole added five to the 9-0 scoreline for Manchester United.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe became the third player to score five goals in a Premier League (after Cole and Shearer).

Three of his five goals in Tottenham’s 9-1 defeat of Wigan in 2009 came in the space of seven minutes, making it the second fastest hat-trick in top-flight history.

The game was also only the second instance where a Premier League side had scored nine times in one game.

Malcolm Macdonald

Malcolm Macdonald, otherwise known as ‘SuperMac,’ made 14 appearances for England, but only one put him in the history books.

In a 1975 match against Cyprus, Macdonald used his head to great effect, scoring all five of England’s goals at Wembley.

The stunning feat occurred after England manager Don Revie allegedly told Macdonald that he would never pick him again unless he scored.


Dimitar Berbatov

Blackburn suffered from the brilliance of Dimitar Berbatov in 2010, when the Rovers went 7-1 down to a jubilant Manchester United. The Bulgarian was surprised by his own success, having scored his first goal in 11 games during the second minute of the match.

Frankie Bunn

Frankie Bunn astounded himself and his teammates by going one better than all the Premier League stars, scoring an amazing six goals in one game.

Oldham humiliated Scarborough in the third round of the League Cup with an emphatic 7-0 victory.

Bunn still holds the Football League Cup record for the most goals scored by a single player in a match.

Ted Drake

Ted Drake was the most prolific scorer of all, after netting seven against Aston Villa in 1935.

Drake still has an unrivalled strike record, having scored 139 goals in 184 starts.

Playing for Arsenal against Villa, Drake managed the incredible seven goals in his typical fearless style, despite playing with heavy strapping on his knee.

Gerd Muller praises Lionel Messi for breaking his goalscoring record

Messi has just one defect… he should play for Bayern! Muller lavishes praise on Barca star after having his goal record nicked

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 10 December 2012

Gerd Muller hailed Lionel Messi as 'an incredible player' after the Barcelona star broke his record for the most goals in a calendar year.

Muller grabbed 85 goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972 and the mark stood for 40 years until last night when Messi netted his 85th and 86th goals of an incredible 2012 in Barca’s 2-1 win at Real Betis.

Muller led the tributes today, telling Sport1.de: 'My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games – and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted for him.

Out of this world: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 86th goal of 2012

Beaten: Gerd Muller scored 85 goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972

Out of this world: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 86th goal of 2012 breaking the record of Gerd Muller's 85

'He is an incredible player, gigantic.'

Muller, whose record as Germany’s all-time top goalscorer is also under threat from Miroslav Klose, now hopes Messi will add to his tally before the end of the year.

'He’s such a nice and modest professional and I hope he gets one or two more goals in 2012 and that he can then hold onto the record for the next 40 years,' he added.

'He’s fantastic. He only has one defect and that is that he doesn’t play for Bayern Munich!'

Messi’s Barca team-mates were also in awe of his achievement.

Hitting the back of the net: Messi scores the opening goal against Real Betis

Hitting the back of the net: Messi scores the opening goal against Real Betis

Spain defender Gerard Pique told El Mundo Deportivo: 'Leo is supernatural, he has no limits and we always have to remember everything that he’s given us.

'We have to enjoy him every single minute that we have him now.'

Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets added of Messi: 'He is the best in the world and I’m very happy he’s broken that record and I hope he gets more.'

A host of other Barca players also took to Twitter to offer their congratulations to Messi, including Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes, Javier Mascherano, Thiago and Jose Pinto.

Unbelievable achievement: Messi is congratulated by his teammates including Gerard Pique

Unbelievable achievement: Messi is congratulated by his teammates including Gerard Pique

As well as passing Muller, Messi’s double against Betis sent him clear of Cesar Rodriguez as Barca’s all-time leading league goalscorer after they had been level on 192 before the match.

Earlier this year Messi became Barca’s record scorer after moving past the tally of 232 official goals set by Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s.

The Argentina captain has also claimed a host of other individual records during a remarkable career that looks certain to include many more memorable moments in the future.

Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta believes the magnitude of Messi’s achievements may not fully sink in until further down the line.

In a league of his own: Messi looks to the skies as he celebrates his achievement

In a league of his own: Messi looks to the skies as he celebrates his achievement

'I’m sure that we will really appreciate Leo’s records over time. They happen so quickly that they seem to be just one more thing. It all seems very simple but it’s very difficult to describe it,' he told Canal Plus.

The man himself was typically modest and insisted he derived more pleasure from helping Barca preserve their six-point advantage at the top of the Primera Division standings than he did claiming another personal landmark.

'The record is great for what it means, but the most important thing is that the team won and that we maintained the distance with the teams behind us,' Messi told the club’s website.

'When the year starts the objective is to win it all with the team, personal records are secondary.'

But he added: 'I’ll try to score more goals to make it more difficult for the next player that tries to break it.'

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1: World"s reaction

From 'The Great Wall' to the 'greatest night of my life', Sportsmail sees how the world reacted to Celtic beating Barca

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UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 8 November 2012

Celtic's win over Barcelona will live long in the memory of all those who bore witness to it, be them the 60,000 inside Parkhead or the millions watching around the world on television.

Those who tuned in did so, no doubt, expecting a spirited defiance from the hosts against a tide of Catalan brilliance.

What they saw, though, was something altogether more outstanding, as Celtic stood firm against wave after wave of attack, and twice catching the more illustrious opponents. As birthday parties go, the Bhoys 125th will take some beating.

Incredible: Celtic pulled off one of recent history's biggest shocks by beating Barcelona

Incredible: Celtic pulled off one of recent history's biggest shocks by beating Barcelona

The Great Wall: Spanish media pays tribute to Celtic's goalkeeper, Fraser Forster

The Great Wall: Spanish media pays tribute to Celtic's goalkeeper, Fraser Forster

As Spanish newspaper Marca noted, 'Again, it was the formula of Chelsea', referring to the Blues shut-up-shop against-all-odds Champions League semi-final victory in May.

On their website, Marca carried a brilliant summary of the atmosphere inside the stadium, hailing it as 'the 12th man'.

The piece, by Arch Bell, started: 'There is perhaps no greater home pitch advantage in all of football than a Celtic home match at Celtic Park as Barcelona learned the hard way in their Wednesday night Champions League defeat 2-1.'

For the most part, though, Celtic's stunning achievement was relegated to the inside pages of the national press, replaced instead by reflections on Real Madrid's draw with Borussia Dortmund a day earlier.

In a small box in the bottom corner, Marca opted for 'Derrota de Guinness' (Defeat of Guiness), while AS again referenced the counter-attacking style of the victors.

Only El Mundo Deportivo truly gave the game prominence, hailing the hosts' goalkeeper Fraser Forster as 'La Gran Muralla' (The Great Wall).

But you didn't need the papers to gauge the shock and awe that was sweeping across Europe.

Barcelona's official Twitter account, @fcbarcelona, gave begrudging praise to their opponents, writing: “Congratulations to @CelticFC for well-earned victory a day after their 125-year anniversary. #FCBLive”

Others seemed to think the night could signal the end of Barcelona's reign in Europe.

Former Fulham and United States striker Brian McBride (@BMcBride20), said: “Barcelona needs to figure out another way to attack…because right now teams know how to beat them.”

Others focused on Celtic, and rightly so.

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1

Shay Given ‏(@No1shaygiven) wrote: 'Amazing result for @celticfc congrats to every1 connected to the club. @FraseForster was on fire again.'

Former Celtic boss Kenny Dalglish (@kennethdalglish) suggested the win was only the second greatest night in the history of the club, behind the European Cup win in 1967.

He wrote: 'What an unbelievable result for Neil Lennon and all at Celtic. Only Lisbon beats it. The noise was deafening.'

Another
former favourite, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was in the crowd enjoying
the birthday celebrations before the match, and John Hartson
(‏@JohnHartson10) wrote: 'One word brilliant!!'

Jason
Roberts (@JasonRoberts30) added: 'Woke up feeling inspired by what I
witnessed last night with The MIGHTY CELTS…Saturday can't come quick
enough…'

Helping hand: Madrid based newspaper Marca carried a special feature on the crowd

Helping hand: Madrid based newspaper Marca carried a special feature on the crowd

However, the final word belongs to those involved.

Kris Commons ‏(@kcommons15): 'Quite simply the greatest game I've ever been involved in!!'

Joe Ledley (‏@joe16led) 'Got to say I know ever player says it but today was the best atmosphere ever… Thank you.' He earlier wrote: 'Boomtown greatest moment of my life! We have just beaten the best team ever!'

Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama): 'The best moment of my life beating Barca.'

The most popular image doing the rounds in the aftermath of the match was a snapshot of the match statistics from Sky TV.

Dry your eyes mate: Pictures of Rod Stewart crying after the match flooded social networking sites

Dry your eyes mate: Pictures of Rod Stewart crying after the match flooded social networking sites

Most commenting on them were struck by the record-breaking possession stats – 89 per cent in the Spaniard's favour, with 955 passes compared with Celtic's 166.

But it was an incident off the field that became the most talked about thing on Twitter, that of Rod Stewart's tears. An animated Gif quickly becoming the biggest trending image on the site.

Soon, too, people began to see the funny side with a number of comedy pictures doing the rounds, a selection of which can be seen below.

It was that sort of result.

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1

Xisco scores hat-trick for Newcastle reserves

Are you still here! Newcastle flop Xisco hits hat-trick for reserves… and sets sights on unlikely return

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UPDATED:

10:18 GMT, 23 October 2012

One of the names associated with the bleakest periods of Newcastle's recent history has claimed he is ready to produce the goods for the club after four forgettable years.

And he's kick-started his new lease of life with a hat-trick for the Toon's second string.

Xisco, a 5.7million signing from Deportivo la Coruna in 2008, has spent much of the last three seasons on loan in his homeland, but stole the show on Monday night in a 5-1 win over Stoke reserves.

Remember me Striker Xisco is ready to finally make an impact for Newcastle

Remember me Striker Xisco is ready to finally make an impact for Newcastle

In only his second appearance in the famous black and white shirt in 18 months Xisco showed his class with three smart finishes.

Speaking afterwards, the 26-year-old told the Chronicle: 'Maybe there is a happy chapter still to come for me with Newcastle. In football, these things can happen – all I can do is try my best. We’ll see after that what happens.'

'Sometimes it has been hard here for me. When I came here I was happy to sign, I wanted to play for the first team. I haven’t always had that chance. You train hard, do your best and you don’t get your chance.

'It’s difficult, and you get frustrated. That’s why I tried to go back to Spain each season. When I came here in the first season, it was difficult.

'We had three or four managers, it was my first season and it wasn’t good. It was a bad start in the Premier League for me.

'Then I went back to Spain every year because I felt comfortable there. They gave me the confidence and the chance to play.'

Discussing Toon manager Alan Pardew – Xisco's fourth boss at St James' Park – the Spaniard added: 'He just told me I don’t need to give up. He said to try hard and do my best and that anything can happen.'

Tito Vilanova says he is scared of Celtic firepower

Barca boss Vilanova admits he is scared of Celtic's threat on the counter

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 22 October 2012

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has admitted he fears being picked off by Celtic’s pace on the counter-attack and their strength at set-pieces.

The Spanish giants enter Tuesday’s Group G clash as clear favourites, with maximum points from their opening matches against Spartak Moscow and Benfica.

But while the Catalans have also started their La Liga campaign in record-breaking fashion — eight wins and a draw — concerns over their defence were heightened after their 5-4 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Wary: Tito Vilanova is watching out for Celtic's counter-attacking threat

Wary: Tito Vilanova is watching out for Celtic's counter-attacking threat

Worried Lionel Messi (right) with Sergio Busquets

Worried Lionel Messi (right) with Sergio Busquets

And, having watched Celtic take four points from their corresponding games against the same Champions League opponents, the man who succeeded Pep Guardiola this season fears Neil Lennon’s men might again exploit their apparent Achilles heel.

‘Celtic drew at home to Benfica then won in Moscow, so they have done very well,’ said Vilanova. ‘They’ll wait for us at the back and then try to get us on the break. They have pace and will be good on set-plays.

Threat: Star man Gary Hooper

Threat: Star man Gary Hooper

‘If Celtic were able to tie with Benfica
and win in Moscow, they are doing things well. Maybe people didn’t take
into account that Celtic could go through but, with four points and two
games to come at home, they have a chance. So we’ll see how it goes.

‘They are dangerous and good aerially. They are very strong. I’m worried about Celtic being fast up front as they proved against Spartak.

‘And their good crosses — I’m really worried about that side of their game, too.

‘I like that Lennon liked our game on Saturday. I said it before, tomorrow will be a champions match and we have to win it.’

Vilanova believes that not only can Celtic qualify for the last 16 with them, there is every chance they can emulate the remarkable achievement of Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia last season by going one stage further.

‘There are four games left and we’ll
see in them which two teams can get through,’ he added. ‘No one is in,
no one is out. It is still very qualified.

‘But Celtic have already four points so, at this moment, they have a better chance than the other two sides.

‘Also, Apoel made the quarters last year when no one expected it.’

Real Madrid 5 Deportivo La Coruna 1: Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helps Real Madrid beat Deportivo La Coruna

Real Madrid 5 Deportivo La Coruna 1: Ronaldo hat-trick helps put Mourinho's men back in the title race

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 30 September 2012

Real Madrid reduced the gap at the top of the Primera Division to eight points ahead of next week's El Clasico as Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick led them to a 5-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

Riki had given the visitors a shock lead on 15 minutes but Real were level seven minutes later when Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot after Manuel Pablo had brought down Angel Di Maria.

And the hosts were in cruise control by half-time as Di Maria and Ronaldo nodded in from close range just before the break.

The main man: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid won 5-1

The main man: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid won 5-1

Spot on: Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot

Spot on: Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot

Pepe headed in the fourth 25 minutes from time following Xabi Alonso's free-kick, before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with another penalty after Evaldo had been harshly adjudged to have handled Kaka's cross.

Two goals in the opening 20 minutes were enough to hand Granada their first victory of the season as they withstood a second-half onslaught from Celta Vigo to win at Nuevo Los Carmenes.

Getting in on the act: Pepe celebrates his goal

Getting in on the act: Pepe celebrates his goal

Looking up: Ronaldo kept his goalscoring record up

Looking up: Ronaldo kept his goalscoring record up

Guilherme Siqueira had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot after 11 minutes and the Brazilian left-back then brilliantly set up Gabriel Torje to double the advantage moments later.

Iago Aspas quickly reduced the arrears for Celta and the hosts were thankful to goalkeeper Tono as he made a number of fine saves after the break, most notably to deny Park Chu-young an equaliser two minutes from time.

All together now: Pepe celebrates with Ronaldo and Kaka

All together now: Pepe celebrates with Ronaldo and Kaka

Playing his part: Jose Mourinho kicks the ball on the pitch back to his players to resume the game after conceding an early opening goal

Playing his part: Jose Mourinho kicks the ball on the pitch back to his players to resume the game after conceding an early opening goal

Four second-half goals – three in the last eight minutes – saw Osasuna wrap up their first victory of the season as they despatched a poor Levante side.

Emiliano Armenteros opened the scoring 10 minutes after the break before Roland Lamah (82), a David Timor penalty a minute from time and Nino's injury-time strike wrapped up a resounding victory of which there had been little indication after a poor first half.

Sevilla 2 Barcelona 3: Match report

Sevilla 2 Barcelona 3: Fabregas and Villa rally back for Barca to snatch victory

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 29 September 2012

Barcelona maintained their 100 per cent start to the new Primera Division campaign with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over 10-man Sevilla.

Tito Vilanova's men appeared to be heading for defeat when Piotr Trochowski and Alvaro Negredo fired Sevilla into a deserved 2-0 lead, but Cesc Fabregas' brace pulled Barca level before substitute David Villa secured the win in stoppage time.

Sevilla were not helped by the 72nd-minute dismissal of Gary Medel following a clash with Fabregas, with Barca's final two goals coming while the hosts were attempting to hold on with 10 men.

Comeback complete: David Villa (right) scored the winner for Barcelona

Comeback complete: David Villa (right) scored the winner for Barcelona

The win leaves Barca four points clear of Malaga at the summit, and 11 clear of Real Madrid ahead of their arch-rivals' game with Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow. Barca face Madrid in El Clasico at the Nou Camp next weekend.

Malaga climbed up to second spot after thrashing 10-man Andalusian rivals Real Betis 4-0 at La Rosaleda.

The visitors got off to nightmare start as goalkeeper Casto was sent off after just 11 minutes for bringing down Eliseu inside the area and Joaquin confidently stroked home the penalty.

Javier Saviola then continued his great form with the second just before the half-hour and the hosts' fine afternoon was rounded off in the final 20 minutes when Antonio Amaya could only direct Nacho Monreal's cross into his own net before Isco dinked in the fourth moments later.

In another derby match, this time in the Basque country, Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-0 in a scrappy game at Anoeta.

It's not over yet: Lionel Messi (left) and Cesc Fabregas (right) looked dejected after going two goals down

It's not over yet: Lionel Messi (left) and Cesc Fabregas (right) looked dejected after going two goals down

Doubled up: Alvaro Negredo scored for Sevilla as the hosts looked set to steal a win

Doubled up: Alvaro Negredo scored for Sevilla as the hosts looked set to steal a win

Second-half goals from Antoine Griezmann (62) and Carlos Vela (72) earned Sociedad the victory, the second coming from the penalty spot in an incident that saw Athletic defender Fernando Amorebieta shown a second yellow card for handball.

Today's other Primera Division match saw Valencia record only their second victory of the new season after easing past Real Zaragoza 2-0 at the Mestalla.

Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring for Los Che in the 12th minute and Jonathan Viera doubled the advantage just before the hour mark.

The dismissal of Feghouli moments later meant Valencia were left facing a nervy final half-hour, but Mauricio Pellegrino's men held on for a much-needed victory.

Turnaround: Fabregas (right) scored two goals before Villa sealed the win

Turnaround: Fabregas (right) scored two goals before Villa sealed the win

Still the star: Lionel Messi did not score... for once

Still the star: Lionel Messi did not score… for once