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Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Match Report: Didier Drogba gives Jose Mourinho a scare

Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Drogba and Sneijder give Jose a scare as Spaniards make the semis

PUBLISHED:

20:42 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 9 April 2013

Real Madrid progressed to the last four of the Champions League despite defeat on the night to a Galatasaray side whose second half comeback had Jose Mourinho's side in a panic.

Already three goals up from the first leg at the Bernabeu, the tie was seemingly put to bed by Cristiano Ronaldo's seventh-minute strike.

But an Emmanuel Eboue thunderbolt after 57 minutes brought Gala back level on the night, before Wesley Sneijder put the home side ahead after 70 minutes.

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

MATCH FACTS

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue (Elmander 80), Zan, Kaya, Riera, Altintop (Amrabat 46), Felipe Melo, Inan, Sneijder, Bulut (Sarioglu 63), Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Iscan, Aydin Yilmaz, Balta, Kurtulus.

Booked: Sneijder, Eboue, Amrabat.

Goals: Eboue 57, Sneijder 71, Drogba 72.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Essien (Arbeloa 31), Pepe, Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Modric, Di Maria, Ozil (Albiol 81), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 73).

Subs Not Used: Casillas, Marcelo, Callejon, Morata.

Sent Off: Arbeloa (90).

Booked: Arbeloa.

Goals: Ronaldo 8, 90.

Attendnace: 52,000

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

Seconds later Did Drogba reduced the aggregate deficit further and although Real substitute Alvaro Arbeloa saw red late on, Ronaldo notched his second in injury time, as Madrid's quest for a 10th European Cup continued.

The visitors started quickly and just three minutes were on the clock when Fernando Muslera rashly came out to clear, his effort falling to Angel Di Maria, who shot wide.

Four minutes later they were on the scoresheet. Sami Khedira was allowed to cross from the right and in came Ronaldo, who got to the ball before the home defender to shoot past a helpless Muslera from three yards out.

The tie looked finished as a contest and Ronaldo could have doubled his night's tally moments later when the home side backed off, but from 25 yards the Portuguese shot straight at Muslera.

Drogba went close to converting a Sneijder shot after 20 minutes in Gala's first meaningful attack, before Madrid almost went two-up.

A delicious back-heel pass from Ronaldo played in Di Maria, but his angled effort was well tipped over by the Gala stopper.

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

Mourinho was forced into his first change after 31 minutes when Michael Essien had to be replaced by Arbeloa due to a leg injury.

Sneijder forced Diego Lopez into his first save after 38 minutes in what was a lacklustre first-half display from the hosts.
Madrid missed another chance to go two up 11 minutes after the restart when Ronaldo somehow missed from eight yards out – scuffing his effort with the ball trapped under his feet.Moments later and the home side were level thanks to a tremendous goal, albeit from an unlikely source. Sneijder's hopeful cutback found a sprinting Eboue who from the edge of the box powered an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

And just three minutes later they should have gone ahead. Drogba's strength caused all sorts of problems for the Real defence with the ball falling to Sneijder.

However with just Lopez to beat and from 12 yards out he screwed his shot wide of the far post.
Eboue's goal had, however, galvanised the home side and with the Ataturk Stadium firmly behind their side Gala took a deserved lead.

Sneijder showed a turn of pace more associated with his best days at Inter, nutmegged Rafael Varane before side-footing into the corner.

And moments later it was 3-1 when Drogba got in front of his defender to flick a cross into the corner of the net.

Raul Albiol replaced Mesut Ozil as Mourinho looked to arrest his team's slide, but they had to play out the final moments with 10 men after Arbeloa saw red after receiving a second yellow card for dissent.

There was still time for a fifth goal on the night when Ronaldo scored in injury time.

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Agg 2-4) – match report: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to reach Copa del Rey final

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Agg 2-4): Ronaldo sends Jose's men into Copa del Rey final on miserable night for Messi

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 26 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 26 February 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid cruised to a 3-1 win against their clasico rivals Barcelona to send Jose Mourinho's team into the Copa del Rey final.

The Portuguese star gave the visitors the lead when he scored a penalty in the 13th minute, which he earned after being brought down Gerard Pique, before he doubled their advantage just before the hour mark.

Raphael Varane headed in a corner in the 68th minute to put the tie beyond doubt but there was still time for a late consolation from Jordi Alba.

Madrid won the semi-final 4-2 on aggregate and set up a final showdown with either Sevilla or city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Star: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp

Star: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp

MATCH FACTS

Barcelona: Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Jordi Alba, Sergio, Xavi (Alcantara 74), Cesc (Villa 60), Pedro (Tello 71), Iniesta, Messi.

Subs not used: Valdes, Mascherano, Adriano, Song.

Goals: Alba 89.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao, Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil (Pepe 79), Xabi Alonso (Essien 84), Arbeloa, Higuain (Callejon 70), Di Maria.

Subs not used: Adan,Kaka, Benzema, Modric.

Goals: Ronaldo 13, 57, Varane 68.

Att: 90,002.

Referee: Undiano Mallenco.

Latest La Liga results, fixtures and table

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Cynical: Ronaldo was brought down by Gerard Pique in the penalty area in the 13th minute

Cynical: Ronaldo was brought down by Gerard Pique in the penalty area in the 13th minute


Lead: Ronaldo sent Jose Manuel Pinto the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot

Lead: Ronaldo sent Jose Manuel Pinto the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot

Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hostile: The Portuguese star was targeted by supporters with lasers


Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Cruising: Raphael Varane rose highest to head home from a corner and put Real 3-0 up

Cruising: Raphael Varane rose highest to head home from a corner and put Real 3-0 up

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Too little, too late: Jordi Alba scored a late consolation for Barcelona

Too little, too late: Jordi Alba scored a late consolation for Barcelona

Downbeat: Lionel Messi looked dejected as Madrid cruised past Barcelona

Downbeat: Lionel Messi looked dejected as Madrid cruised past Barcelona

Lionel Messi

Scouting: Sir Alex Ferguson and his United assistant Mike Phelan were in the stands at the Nou Camp

Scouting: Sir Alex Ferguson and his United assistant Mike Phelan were in the stands at the Nou Camp

Real Madrid 4 Getafe 0 match report

Real Madrid 4 Getafe 0: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo passes 300 club goals as champions end explosive week on a high

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:54 GMT, 27 January 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and passed the landmark of 300 club goals as Real Madrid put a turbulent week behind them with a 4-0 win at home to Getafe in La Liga on Sunday to close to within four points of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

The build-up to the game at the Bernabeu had been dominated by a report in Marca sports daily that said captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had threatened to leave unless coach Jose Mourinho was dismissed.

Real president Florentino Perez called a news conference to deny the story and accused the newspaper of lying and the Spanish champions let their football do the talking with a comfortable victory against their city rivals.

Big hug: Mesut Ozil celebrates with hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo

Big hug: Mesut Ozil celebrates with hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo

Prolific: Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal as Real Madrid smashed Getafe 4-0 in an early kick-off

Prolific: Ronaldo scored his 300th club goal as Real Madrid smashed Getafe 4-0 in an early kick-off

Mourinho, who turned 50 on Saturday, left several key players out of his starting lineup, including Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira, and Real struggled to break through a determined Getafe defence in the first half.

Once Ramos had scrambled the ball into the net at a corner eight minutes after the break the home side turned the screw and Ronaldo struck three times in 10 minutes, the first his 300th club goal.

The Portuguese, who was substituted with around 15 minutes left after a knock to his right ankle, scored five for Sporting, 118 for Manchester United and now has 179 for Real thanks to his 20th career treble.

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Lead: Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Real Madrid

Real have 43 points from 21 of 38 matches, with Atletico on 47 ahead of their match at Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday when they will be without injured top scorer Radamel Falcao.

Leaders Barcelona, who play at Real in their Spanish Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday, are looking to get back to winning ways when they host struggling Osasuna.

Tito Vilanova’s side lost their unbeaten
record and dropped points for only the second time this season when
they suffered a 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad last weekend but still have
an eight-point lead over Atletico.

Chase: Ronaldo's hat-trick helped Real Madrid close the gap to city rivals Atletico to four points

Chase: Ronaldo's hat-trick helped Real Madrid close the gap to city rivals Atletico to four points

Smile, Jose: Reports this week suggested Iker Casillas and Ramos wanted Jose Mourinho dismissed otherwise they would leave

Smile, Jose: Reports this week suggested Iker Casillas and Ramos wanted Jose Mourinho dismissed otherwise they would leave

Getafe, who beat Real 2-1 at their Coliseum stadium earlier in the season but whose form has dipped in recent weeks, are 11th on 26 points.

Jurgen Klinsmann will face Joachim Low in Germany v USA friendly

Klinsmann will face former assistant Low as Germany take on USA

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UPDATED:

18:39 GMT, 14 November 2012

The apprentice will face the master with Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side set to play his former assistant Joachim Low's Germany in a friendly.

Low took the reins of the German national side in 2006 after Klinsmann had taken the hosts to third place in the World Cup.

The venue for the friendly, on May 29, has not been decided yet.

Hello there: USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann (left) shakes hands with Russia boss Fabio Capello

Hello there: USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann (left) shakes hands with Russia boss Fabio Capello

Germany will be missing several of their star men because some club seasons not have finished.

Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, for instance, will still be needed by Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid – the final round of La Liga is on June 1.

Germany will play a second friendly in America on June 2, against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Klinsmann brought Low into his Germany set-up after taking over from Rudi Voller and his protege has gone on to great things.

In control: Joachim Low (centre) took over the German side after Klinsmann left

In control: Joachim Low (centre) took over the German side after Klinsmann left

Low took Germany to the final of Euro 2008 where they lost 1-0 to Spain.

He then steered an extremely young side to the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup, where they again came a-cropper at the hands of the Spaniards.

Germany were the nearly-men yet again at Euro 2012, with a Maio Balotelli-inspired Italy putting them to the sword in the semi-final.

Marcelo out of Manchester City Champions League clash for Real Madrid

Champions League boost for City as Real Madrid defender Marcelo is ruled out

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 17 October 2012

Manchester City's chances of progressing in the Champions League have been helped by confirmation Real Madrid's in-form full-back Marcelo will be out for three months with a fractured metatarsal.

The 24-year-old is to undergo surgery in Amsterdam after damaging his foot on international duty with Brazil.

Best foot forward: Marcelo (centre) will be out for the next three months

Best foot forward: Marcelo (centre) will be out for the next three months

He said: 'I hope this will be the first and the last time I pick up a serious injury. I would not wish this on anyone.'

Real's Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain also picked up injuries while on international duty.

Real deal: Marcelo is one of the highest-rated full backs in the world

Real deal: Marcelo is one of the highest-rated full backs in the world

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni backs young guns to fire against Germany

Ireland boss Trapattoni backs young guns to fire against Germany

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 11 October 2012

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni
Trapattoni has urged his young guns to seize their moment in the game he
has earmarked as the most crucial in the World Cup 2014 qualifying
campaign.

Ireland go into a competitive match
without one of Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff
for the first time in 15 years.

Given was on the bench for the dead
rubber against Romania on October 11 1997, but this will be the first
time the golden quartet, who were stalwarts of the squads which reached
the 2002 World Cup Finals, and last summer's European Championships,
have not featured in a qualifier.

Injury nightmare: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Injury nightmare: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Match details

Ireland (4-3-3): Westwood; Coleman, O’Shea, O’Dea, Ward; Fahey, McCarthy, Andrews; McGeady, Walters, Cox.

Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Badstuber, Mertesacker, Schmelzer; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Ozil, Mueller, Reus; Klose.

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).

And on Friday night at the Aviva Stadium, Trapattoni's new-look Irish team, still reeling from their Euro 2012 disaster, will be facing the might of FIFA's second-ranked team Germany, who are unbeaten in nearly five years in qualifying matches.

Under-fire manager Trapattoni, who has named Sunderland defender John O'Shea as his captain after Robbie Keane failed his fitness test, says he is looking to the new generation to pull off a major shock against Joachim Low's slick outfit who bring a 12-game winning run to Dublin.

The 73-year-old Italian said: 'We are missing a lot of players but this is a great opportunity for the younger players to show us what they can do.

'They have quality, they have the possibility to grow and help us look to the future and the new campaign. We have to see if they can change the page and look at this new energy. I am an optimist.

'This is the most important match in our pool and this is one of those matches that personally I would love to play in myself.

'I am very excited about this game. I
have very beautiful memories of Germany and I know also their players. I
will be proud if we can beat or draw with them. We don't have players
like Moller, Ozil, Klose, Gomez, Goetze, and Podolski but we have our
quality.'

Former
Manchester United defender O'Shea will wear the captain's armband for
the first time in his 82nd international with few other options
available to Trapattoni who has suffered the worst injury crisis of his
51-game reign this week.

Ruled out: Robbie Keane

Ruled out: Robbie Keane

Keane, whose Achilles injury suffered at the hands of Paul McShane in training, has remained with the squad in the hope of being fit for Tuesday's trip to Faroes Islands.

But the stand-in skipper has acknowledged there are significant boots to fill for players like Seamus Coleman who will be making his competitive debut.

O'Shea added: 'Obviously it will be a bit strange not having the four of them there but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around.

'He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.

'But the new blood has to get a
chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream
of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young
players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this
season and in the Champions League.

'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and
management and the fans are looking forward to. We have to grab hold of
it and really take our chance.

'Your first couple of games for Ireland are really special, they all
are, but this really counts because there is qualification at the end of
it.

'All the lads have
impressed in training and friendlies and shown it at club level too so
they are picked on merit. Look at Seamus Coleman. He was playing on
right side of midfield and then he has gone back to full back and he has
done fantastically.

Threat: Germany's Lukas Podolski

Threat: Germany's Lukas Podolski

'There is a bit more pressure to it but he has shown in his attitude and ability that he will be able to overcome that. He has done brilliantly at Everton who have had a great start to the season. He has shown he is ready for this test.

'Four players from the Euros will be starting the game and the rest are, shall we say younger, and the experience is missing but people have been calling for these players to be given a chance . Now they have a massive chance and what a way to do it against Germany.

'Obviously it will be a bit strange without the four but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around. He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.

'Yes there are some familiar faces missing but the new blood has to get a chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this season and in the Champions League.

'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and management and the fans are looking forward to. You look forward to playing an occasion like this and playing against the best in the world is something you dream of. We have to grab hold of it and really take our chance.'

Meanwhile Germany coach Low warned his players not to underestimate their hosts and believes this could be the toughest test they will face in the 2014 campaign.

He said: 'The Irish never gave up and always fought back, even when they were behind. They were so proud to play for their country.

'That impressed me. I expect there to be a fantastic atmosphere tomorrow and I expect the Irish to play at a very high tempo and with a high level of intensity, and we are going to have to resist. We must not think at any time that the Irish will accept defeat.'

Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 2 match report – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both score twice

Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 2 (or Messi 2 Ronaldo 2)… star pair share the goals in Clasico thriller

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UPDATED:

06:57 GMT, 8 October 2012

Maybe they should just make a second golden ball when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo contest the Ballon D’Or at the end of the year.

Here they battled for Spanish supremacy and the result was a dead heat.

After both players scored twice as Barcelona and Real Madrid fought out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp, Real manager Jose Mourinho said: ‘Saying who is the best in the world at the moment should be banned because these two are both such fantastic players.’

Anything you can do: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shared four goals as Real Madrid and Barcelona drew

Anything you can do: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shared four goals as Real Madrid and Barcelona drew

Anything you can do: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shared four goals as Real Madrid and Barcelona drew

MATCH FACTS

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves (Montoya 28), Mascherano, Adriano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Fabregas (Sanchez 64), Messi, Pedro. Subs not used: Pinto, Bartra, Song, Roberto, Villa

Goals: Messi 31, 61

Booked: Pedro, Busquets

REAL MADRID: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Ronaldo, Ozil (Kaka 81), Di Maria; Benzema (Higuain 62). Subs not used: Adan, Albiol, Coentrao, Essien, Modric, Higuain

Goals: Ronaldo 23, 66

Booked: Alonso, Khedira, Pepe

His opposite number Tito Vilanova
said: ‘Perhaps Ronaldo would have received slightly more recognition if
he were not playing at the same time as Messi.’

They now have 100 goals between them
this calendar year and this season Ronaldo leads Messi 14 to 12. Both
scored with their first shots on goal and both added a second in the
second half as the Clasico lived up to its name once more.

The promised chants for independence
came 17 minutes into the first half but Mourinho had stressed that this
game would be about football and not politics. Almost to prove a point,
his team almost scored immediately after the protest.

Dani Alves was left marking Sergio Ramos at a corner and the Real defender sent Mesut Ozil’s corner just past the post.

First blood: Ronaldo struck the first blow when he unleashed a fierce drive inside the near post

First blood: Ronaldo struck the first blow when he unleashed a fierce drive inside the near post

First blood: Ronaldo struck the first blow when he unleashed a fierce drive inside the near post

Ronaldo then became the first player
to score in six consecutive Clasicos on 22 minutes when fed by Karim
Benzema. It was a goal more in keeping with Barcelona’s style — Xabi
Alonso, Ozil, Marcelo and Sami Khedira all exchanging passes.

Messi made it 1-1 eight minutes
later. Andres Iniesta played the ball out to Pedro and when his cross
hit Alonso the Real Madrid player got himself tangled up with Pepe and
as neither cleared, Messi scored.

Back on terms: It didn't take long for Messi to haul his side back on level terms from close range...

Back on terms: It didn't take long for Messi to haul his side back on level terms from close range…

Back on terms: It didn't take long for Messi to haul his side back on level terms from close range...

...but Real Madrid cried foul after Pepe ended up on his backside in the build up to the equaliser

…but Real Madrid cried foul after Pepe ended up on his backside in the build up to the equaliser

Madrid had never lost in La Liga with Ronaldo scoring — Barcelona likewise when Messi strikes — and the record was to remain.

Ronaldo led the charge in the second half and Sergio Busquets was booked for clipping his heels.

Big claim: There were several penalty shouts waved away, notably when Andres Iniesta hit the deck after the break

Big claim: There were several penalty shouts waved away, notably when Andres Iniesta hit the deck after the break

The Portuguese hit his free-kick into
the wall and on the hour his nemesis had the chance from a similar
distance and left Iker Casillas flapping in the wind to make it 2-1 to
Barcelona.

Ronaldo tried and failed with a
bicycle kick as Real pushed for the equaliser. Then, with 66 minutes
gone, he ran on to an Ozil pass, drew Victor Valdes and slotted in the
second. It was anything you can do, I can do just as well.

Stunning: Messi produced the goal of the night when he shaped a glorious freekick up and into the net

Stunning: Messi produced the goal of the night when he shaped a glorious freekick up and into the net

Visiting defender Pepe accused Andres Iniesta of 'doing theatre' in a bid to win a second-half penalty and Mourinho – who infamously poked a finger into the eye of Vilanova on the touchline last season when he was Pep Guardiola's assistant – claimed the referee made 'one mistake at a certain moment'.

'He said he does not want to discuss referees, yet he has,' Vilanova said of his opposite number. 'If you talk about referees you should talk about all actions, not a few in particular.'

On Pepe's claims of simulation against Iniesta, Vilanova quipped: 'We should make a video of all his fouls and actions.'

Stunning: Messi produced the goal of the night when he shaped a glorious freekick up and into the net

Stunning: Messi produced the goal of the night when he shaped a glorious freekick up and into the net

Right place: Ronaldo showed his class again after springing the offside trap, despite Victor Valdes' protests

Right place: Ronaldo showed his class again after springing the offside trap, despite Victor Valdes' protests

The result allowed Atletico Madrid to join Barca at the summit of La Liga thanks to their 2-1 home win over Malaga in the late kick-off, but Vilanova remained more than satisfied with his team's start to the campaign.

'Of course we always think that we have to win games and in the end I thought we could have,' he said on www.fcbarcelona.cat. 'We had late chances with (Martin) Montoya and Pedro (Rodriguez).

'If at the beginning of the season we were told that we would be eight points ahead (of Madrid) at this stage we would have taken that.'

Right place: Ronaldo showed his class again after springing the offside trap, despite Victor Valdes' protests

Special occasion: Barcelona fans used the match as a chance to call for independence for Catalunya

Special occasion: Barcelona fans used the match as a chance to call for independence for Catalunya

Special occasion: Barcelona fans used the match as a chance to call for independence for Catalunya

Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 2: Match report

Real Madrid 3 Man City 2: Ronaldo breaks Mancini's heart with late winner for hosts

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UPDATED:

21:06 GMT, 18 September 2012

Soemone forgot to tell these two teams that this was the first game of the first round. At least they must have done given a concluding 21 minutes as insane as any you are likely to see in the Champions League this season.

The opening goal was ludicrous. After surviving an onslaught for 69 minutes, Manchester City somehow found themselves in front thanks to a burst of acceleration from Yaya Toure and a goal from Edin Dzeko, who beat Iker Casillas in the resulting one-on-one.

They went ahead again when Aleksandar Kolarov’s deflected free-kick cancelled out an equaliser from Marcelo.

Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in the dying seconds

Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in the dying seconds

MATCH FACTS:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo, Khedira (Modric 73), Alonso, Di Maria, Essien (Ozil 65), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 73).

Subs Not Used: Adan, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Kaka.

Goals: Marcelo 76, Benzema 87, Ronaldo 90.

Man City: Hart, Maicon (Zabaleta 74), Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Javi Garcia, Silva (Dzeko 63), Toure, Barry, Nasri (Kolarov 36), Tevez.

Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Aguero, Rodwell.

Booked: Javi Garcia,Kompany,Dzeko.

Goals: Dzeko 69,Kolarov 85.

Att: 67,000

Ref: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).

Then came, in four astonishing minutes, the two goals that prompted Jose Mourinho to slide on to the pitch on his knees. The first came from Karim Benzema, the second from the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo.

It just had to be the Sad One, didn’t it.

Real’s victory may have been dramatic, but it was also deserved. The first-half statistics perfectly illustrated how their hosts dominated, Real enjoying 74 per cent of the possession, unleashing 16 attempts on goal with only one in response.

When Samir Nasri was injured, City manager Roberto Mancini actually responded by sending on Aleksandar Kolarov, creating a five-man defensive wall whenever Madrid had the ball.

Only in Yaya Toure did they have a player capable of easing the pressure on the City defence. On more than one occasion he burst forward on the counter attack, only for the move to break down before City could even begin to trouble Casillas in the Madrid goal.

Mancini will try to focus on the positives, and the mere fact they avoided anything like the controversy that marred last season’s visit to Bayern Munich is a sign of progress.

Kneesy does it: Jose Mourinho celebrates Real Madrid's late winner

Kneesy does it: Jose Mourinho celebrates Real Madrid's late winner

But if one team looked equipped for the challenge the Champions League represents, it was Madrid. They were not just more creative. They worked relentlessly, playing the pressure game that the Spanish have perfected at club and international level and one that opposing teams find completely suffocating.

It was surprising to see Michael Essien playing in such an advanced position in the Madrid midfield, particularly when Mourinho could have deployed Luka Modric in such a role and when Essien seems better suited to more defensive duties these days. The legs are not what they used to be, even if he remains a fine player.

Gutted: The Manchester City defence are stunned by Ronaldo's late goal

Gutted: The Manchester City defence are stunned by Ronaldo's late goal

The major shock for the locals, of course, was the omission of Sergio Ramos, who was clearly paying for challenging his manager’s authority at the weekend. If Madrid’s ‘captains’ think they have power and influence at this club, it seems to count for little with Mourinho (left).

One player he will probably select come what may is Ronaldo, however, and the Portuguese winger was quick to make an impression. He had already had two attempts on goal when he forced a quite brilliant save from Joe Hart in the eighth minute, skipping past Vincent Kompany before testing the Manchester City goalkeeper with a teasing right-foot shot.

Opener: Manchester City's Edin Dzeko puts his side in front against Real Madrid (above) and celebrates (below)

Opener: Manchester City's Edin Dzeko puts his side in front against Real Madrid (above) and celebrates (below)

Short lived: Edin Dzeko put Manchester City in front in the second half

Exploiting the space being given to him by Maicon, who had left Kompany completely isolated on that occasion, Ronaldo would demand the best of Hart again minutes later. This time his shot took a nasty deflection off Gonzalo Higuain but Hart still somehow reacted fast enough to make the save.

City were under considerable pressure, with Alvaro Arbeloa then asking questions of Hart and further chances falling to Higuain, Ronaldo and Sami Khedira. The Spanish champions were certainly dominating this contest, with Ronaldo just terrific.

Leveller: Marcelo scored Real Madrid's first equaliser after his shot was deflected in

Leveller: Marcelo scored Real Madrid's first equaliser after his shot was deflected in

City, by contrast, were struggling. Maicon looked as lost here as he had against Gareth Bale for Inter Milan two seasons ago. Gael Clichy was drowning too, and a lack of possession made it difficult for Mancini’s forwards to make any kind of impression.

In fact it was only when Yaya Toure wrestled the ball off Khedira and made a marauding run upfield that City fans got even remotely excited. Frustratingly for Toure, however, Nasri drifted into an offside position and the opportunity was gone.

Strike: Manchester City's Aleksander Kolarov (centre) scored a free kick to put his side back in front

Strike: Manchester City's Aleksander Kolarov (centre) scored a free kick to put his side back in front

Nasri did not last much longer, injury seemingly marking the end of his night after 35 minutes. That Mancini responded by sending on Kolarov said it all; a more defensive player for a pure attacker and someone who seemed to position himself wide of Clichy to form what looked like a five-man defence when Madrid were in possession.

Toure would launch another one-man assault on the Madrid half, only to play the ball behind David Silva when the Spaniard was in a dangerous position.

In top form: Joe Hart earlier pulled off a string of brilliant saves to keep Real Madrid at bay

In top form: Joe Hart earlier pulled off a string of brilliant saves to keep Real Madrid at bay

In top form: Joe Hart pulled off a string of brilliant saves to keep Real Madrid at bay

But Mancini would have felt a sense of relief at the sound of the half-time whistle. His side had been distinctly second best but they were still level, not least because of the saves made by Hart.

Madrid continued to dominate after the break but with Kompany starting to get the measure of Ronaldo, they were looking less dangerous. Alongside Kompany, Serbia’s Matija Nastasic also impressed on his debut.

There was a decent effort from Marcelo and Mesut Ozil replacing Essien meant more trouble for City.

Blow: Samir Nasri was forced off injured for Manchester City

Blow: Samir Nasri was forced off injured for Manchester City

Manchester United offered Kaka on loan

United offered shock Kaka loan deal as Madrid await Modric arrival

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 19 August 2012

Kaka has been offered to Manchester United on a season-long loan as Real Madrid prepare for the arrival of Luka Modric.

Galatasaray and Kaka’s former club AC Milan have also registered their interest in the 2007 World Player of the Year, but United are the biggest draw for the Brazilian.

Sir Alex Ferguson is giving the 30-year-old serious consideration but has fears about his form and fitness after so many injuries.

Benched: Kaka has struggled to impress at Real Madrid

Benched: Kaka has struggled to impress at Real Madrid

United, who could have Robin van Persie on the bench at Everton on Monday, have signed left back Alexander Buttner, 23, for 3.9million from Vitesse Arnhem. They go to Goodison Park without Rio Ferdinand, who has a groin injury.

Ferguson is considering selling Dimitar Berbatov to Sunderland but has decided not to offload anyone else.

Kaka was an unused substitute on Sunday night as Real were held 1-1 by Valencia in their opening game. He has also lost his place in the Brazil squad.

Xabi Alonso, Lassana Diarra, Angel de Maria and Mesut Ozil all started. Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, who was also on the bench, is further competition and the 30m arrival of Modric from Spurs will push Kaka even further down the queue.

England bound Kaka (left) could be set to join Manchester United

England bound Kaka (left) could be set to join Manchester United

The Brazilian’s salary is close to the 250,000 a week earned by Van Persie and Wayne Rooney and, although Real are reluctant to let Kaka join a Champions League rival, his wages are a burden considering he will spend most of the season on the bench at the Bernabeu.

Kaka has struggled with injury since he joined Real for a then world record 60m in 2009 after six successful years with AC Milan. But he still managed to make 27 appearances in last season’s La Liga triumph.

Buttner was thrilled to have completed a rapid move to Old Trafford — Kaka or not. He said: ‘If you had told me one week ago that I would be training with and playing for the same team as Robin van Persie, I would have sent you to a mental home!

Done deal: Alexander Buttner has joined United from Vitesse

Done deal: Alexander Buttner has joined United from Vitesse

'This is crazy stuff, beyond all my dreams. I am looking forward to this challenge so much. I am so proud and so glad that it has worked out like this.

‘I’m so glad that it has happened and everything has turned out like this. This is really a dream come true.’

Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher played 90 minutes as an overaged player for United’s Under 21 squad against Stoke on Saturday.

Germany v Italy – Euro 2012 live

EURO 2012 LIVE: Germany v Italy – follow the semi-final action as it happens

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UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 28 June 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of Euro 2012 as Germany take on England's conquerors, Italy for a place in the final when they clash in Warsaw. Having defeated the Three Lions on penalties in the quarter-finals, the Azzuri are in for a tougher test when they face Joachim Low's side. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Germany 0-1 Italy (7.45pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels,
Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez.
Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Muller,
Bender, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.

Italy: Buffon, Balzaretti, Barzagli,
Bonucci, Chiellini, Pirlo, Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi, Balotelli,
Cassano.
Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Abate, Di Natale,
Giaccherini, Borini, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.

Goals: Balotelli 20.

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

27min: Mesut Ozil tries his luck from 23 yards, but what he has in accuracy he lacks in power as Buffon dives low to his right to save.

26min: Germany with most of the ball but they have been rattled by that strike as passes are already starting to go wayward.

The closest they have come to equalising is Gomez's header which lacked power and accuracy from 16 yards.

23min: Including qualifiers, that is the first time Germany have gone behind in a European Championship game since the 2008 final.

Unfamiliar territory for Low's side.

20min: GOAL! Germany 0-1 ITALY

Credit to England, they did what the Germans couldn't do and that's stop Mario Balotelli.

Cassano wriggles his way past two defenders on the left flank before his near post cross is nodded home by the Manchester City striker, outjumping Holger Badstuber in the process.

19min: Shoot on sight from the Italians as Antonio Cassano tries his luck from a similar distance, but the Bayern Munich stopper this time dives to his left to save.

18min: Worth a go from Riccardo Montolivo, whose low strike from 25 yards is comfortably saved by Manuel Neuer, who dived to his right.

16min: From InfostradaLive:

Germany have won their previous 4 ECh matches. A win tonight would equal France's all-time record of five successive wins in a single ECh tournament (1984).

13min: Buffon has looked out-of-sorts at the start of this game.

He was at fault for the corner after five minutes and now spills a low tame Jerome Boateng cross that Andrea Barzagli clears.

The Juventus keeper makes amends though by punching clear a powerful Toni Kroos effort moments later.

11min: So now it's over 250 minutes without a goal at Euro 2012. Don't write this one off yet though – I have the feeling this is going to be a slow burner.

8min: Germany slightly edging the game so far as Italy clear another corner.

5min: Corner for Germany as Federico Balzaretti clears behind in front of Lukas Podolski.

The corner into the box nearly results in a scrappy goal, as the cross clatters off Mats Hummels' knee and past Gianluigi Buffon, but Andrea Pirlo clears off the line.

3min: Both sides feeling each other out here in a sparring session – no real pattern to the game yet.

You're not getting past: Germany's Holger Badstuber stops Italy's Andrea Pirlo in his path

You're not getting past: Germany's Holger Badstuber stops Italy's Andrea Pirlo in his path

Kick-off: Italy get us underway.

19.43: Naturally you can understand if a few players are nervous, but looking at how relaxed Mario Balotelli is, this may as well be a pre-season kick-about in Poland.

Nothing seems to get the Manchester City striker rattled…in a nervous aspect anyway.

19.40: Out come the players as Warsaw and Poland prepare for their Euro 2012 farewell.

19.37: So let's hope we get some goals this evening – we've now gone over 240 minutes since our last one.

It seems an age ago since Xabi Alonso converted a penalty against France in the quarter-final.

19.34: From InfostradaLive:

The winner of this semifinal will qualify for the Confederations Cup next year. This because finalist Spain have already qualified for the Conf. Cup as the 2010 World Cup winner.

19.29: Sportsmail's Ian Ladyman has been keeping a diary on events at Euro 2012, and here is his latest helping. It's worth reading just to see a picture of Sara Carbonero.

19.24: From InfostradaLive:

Riccardo Montolivo is the son of an Italian father and a German mother. He always plays with a small German flag stitched on his boots and on his shinpads. For tonight's match, he will only wear the German flag on one of his boots and shinpads.

You can read more about Montolivo's split loyalties here.

19.19: Check out our preview of tonight's game here, where Joachim Low at least seems confident his Germany side can finally beat Italy – explaining his team have matured since that heartbreaking defeat six years ago.

19.14: Here are the full line-ups from Warsaw. With the final in Ukraine, this is of course the final Euro 2012 match in Poland:

Germany v Italy
Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez. Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Muller, Bender, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.

Italy: Buffon, Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pirlo, Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi, Balotelli, Cassano. Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Abate, Di Natale, Giaccherini, Borini, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis.

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

Dress rehearsal: German fans (above) show off a replica trophy, while one couple will have split loyalties during the game

Dress rehearsal: German fans (above) show off a replica trophy, while one couple will have split loyalties during the game

Dress rehearsal: German fans (above) show off a replica trophy, while one couple will have split loyalties during the game

19.11: From InfostradaLive:

Germany have never won a match against Italy in 7 competitive encounters (5 WC & 2 ECh). Italy beat Germany 3 times and the other 4 matches ended in draws.

19.06: The most recent major meeting between the sides was Italy's 2-0 extra-time win in the 2006 World Cup semi-final.

Twenty four years earlier, Italy caused German heartache again at the World Cup by defeating them 3-1 in the final.

But my pick of a classic match has to be the 1970 World Cup semi-final at Mexico.

The game finished 1-1 in 90 minutes but 4-3 to Italy after extra-time – when was the last time you saw five goals in the additional 30 minutes

In the mood: A German fan shows his support before the game in Warsaw

In the mood: A German fan shows his support before the game in Warsaw

19.01: From InfostradaLive:

Philipp Lahm plays his 14th ECh match, new German record. Klinsmann, Hassler and Schweinsteiger (incl. today) played 13 matches.

18.56: The notable change for Italy is the inclusion of Giorgio Chiellini, who missed the England game through injury.

He replaces Ignzaio Abate who picked up a strain in the quarter-final victory.

18.51: Interesting team selection from Germany.

No surprise to see Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez restored to the line-up, but Toni Kroos effectively comes in for Thomas Muller – who started the first three games.

My guess is Joachim Low has charged Kroos with tracking Andrea Pirlo – all will be revealed in due course.

18.46: Italy starting XI:

Buffon, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Marchisio, De Rossi, Motolivo, Pirlo, Balotelli, Casano.

18.43: Germany starting XI:

Neuer, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Boateng, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Kroos, Podolski, Gomez.

18.40: If there is one country you would think could shake off a hoodoo against any national side, it is Germany.

But Die Mannschaft have a truly awful record against Italy – they have never beaten them in a competitive game. I've always found that a bit strange – but they have been mighty close.

18.30: Blockbuster. That's the one word that comes to my head when I think of this fixture. Portugal v Spain may have sold short last night but the Iberian derby always lacks when it comes to crunch clashes.

/06/27/article-0-13D15E37000005DC-598_634x386.jpg” width=”634″ height=”386″ alt=”Heading back: Germany's top scorer, Mario Gomez is poised to reclaim his starting spot” class=”blkBorder” />

Heading back: Germany's top scorer, Mario Gomez is poised to reclaim his starting spot