Tag Archives: sergio

Sergio Aguero apologises for stamp on David Luiz

Aguero apologises to Luiz for two-footed stamp in FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

21:35 GMT, 16 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 17 April 2013

Sergio Aguero has apologised to David Luiz for his two-footed stamp on the Brazilian defender during Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea.

The Argentine escaped a three-match ban after Chris Foy missed the horror tackle and the FA ruled the incident could not be re-refereed.

Influential: Sergio Aguero played a key role in Manchester City reaching thee FA Cup final

Influential: Sergio Aguero played a key role in Manchester City reaching thee FA Cup final

Luiz had called on Aguero to say
sorry and the striker tweeted: ‘I’ve contacted @DavidLuiz_4 and
apologised for what happened during the match. It was an impulse
reaction that shouldn’t have happened.’

The victim responded: ‘Thank you
@aguerosergiokun for a demonstration of character. We get to know great
man and athletes this way.’

Luiz suffered no serious harm in the
challenge and played on until the end of the match – but in the
aftermath did call on his fellow South American to apologise.

Over the top: But Aguero has apologised to David Luiz

Over the top: But Aguero has apologised to David Luiz

The defender said: 'Aguero is a great player but he needs to be honest with himself and say, “I don't like to do bad tackles”.

'Kids see the game and they want to
see the good things and not the bad – I would apologise. Football is
beautiful, but sometimes in games people have five seconds like that – I
forgive him because I have a good heart. I don't like to beat people.

'Sometimes in a game people have five
seconds when they are angry and do things they don't like to do. I
think it was that. I never saw Aguero do a bad tackle on other players.'

City won 2-1 after goals from Samir Nasri and Aguero when only Demba Ba could score for Chelsea.

Vincent Kompany "race taunt" to be investigated by Greater Manchester Police

Police to investigate Kompany 'race taunt' after City skipper leads side to derby win

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

08:02 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:58 GMT, 10 April 2013

Police are investigating post-match footage to determine whether Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was racially abused after his side's win over rivals United.

Greater Manchester Police say they have received no complaints from either club but were made aware of the footage by local newspaper Manchester Evening News.

Kompany was being interviewed with team-mate James Milner by Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves when a man can be heard shouting in the background.

Scroll down for video

Victorious: Police are investigating footage of Vincent Kompany's post-match interview

Victorious: Police are investigating footage of Vincent Kompany's post-match interview

A police statement released on
Tuesday says 'the force will work with both clubs and review any footage
to investigate the incident.'

City had previously closed the gap on
Premier League leaders United to 12 points with victory at Old
Trafford, as goals from Milner and Sergio Aguero sealed their win.

Ugly scenes had marred United's
victory at the Etihad in the corresponding fixture on December 9 when
players of the visiting side, including Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand,
were pelted with coins after Robin van Persie's winning free-kick.

Dominant: Kompany (right) guided his side to another Premier League win at Old Trafford

Dominant: Kompany (right) guided his side to another Premier League win at Old Trafford

Match winner: Sergio Aguero celebrates his brilliant winning goal at Old Trafford

Match winner: Sergio Aguero celebrates his brilliant winning goal at Old Trafford

See moment Vincent Kompany may have been racially abused

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Borussia Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2) – match report

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2): Klopp's side complete stunning comeback with injury- time double

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 10 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund came back from the dead to book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League with a quite unbelievable victory over Malaga at Signal Iduna Park.

The German side's run in the competition appeared to be as good as over after Eliseu's strike in the 82nd minute made it 2-1 to Malaga and left the hosts needing two goals to progress after last week's first leg ended goalless.

Marco Reus breathed life into Jurgen Klopp's side with a close-range finish in the first minute of stoppage time but there was even greater drama to come as Dortmund pressed on in search of a third goal, which duly arrived with seconds remaining as Felipe Santana scrambled home.

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Jubilation: Dortmund players celebrate their remarkable win

Jubilation: Dortmund players celebrate their remarkable win

Bundle: The German side looked dead and buried when Eliseu put Malaga 2-1 ahead with eight minutes left

Bundle: The German side looked dead and buried when Eliseu put Malaga 2-1 ahead with eight minutes left

Gutted: Malaga's Antunes shows his dejection as Dortmund fans celebrate

Gutted: Malaga's Antunes shows his dejection as Dortmund fans celebrate

Hero: Winning goalscorer Felipe Santana

Hero: Winning goalscorer Felipe Santana

Give me a hug! Jurgen Klopp and Santana

Give me a hug! Jurgen Klopp and Santana

Stunning: Dortmund fans unveiled this spectacular banner ahead of kick off

Stunning: Dortmund fans unveiled this spectacular banner ahead of kick off

Magnificent: The message on the banner read: 'On the trail of the lost cup'

Magnificent: The message on the banner read: 'On the trail of the lost cup'

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan (Hummels 86), Bender (Sahin 72), Blaszcykowski (Schieber 72), Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski. Subs Not Used: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Grosskreutz.

Booked: Bender, Schmelzer.

Goals: Lewandowski 40, Felipe Santana 90, Reus 90.

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Sergio Sanchez, Antunes, Joaquin (Francisco Portillo 87), Toulalan, Camacho, Duda (Eliseu 74), Isco, Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 83). Subs Not Used: Kameni, Lugano, Saviola, Piazon.

Booked: Jesus Gamez, Toulalan.

Goals: Joaquin 25, Eliseu 82.

Att: 65,000

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Joaquin's 25th-minute opener for
Manuel Pellegrini's visitors was cancelled out by Robert Lewandowski's
superbly crafted goal five minutes before the break, but that was mere
prelude to the drama – and acrimony – that was to come after the break.

Both Eliseu's strike for Malaga and
Santana's third for Dortmund should both have been ruled out for
offside, as the officiating team led by Scotland's Craig Thomson ensured
this memorable contest would also be tainted by controversy.

Dortmund's players and fans will
probably not lose too much sleep over the shortcomings of the officials,
with the frenzied delight of the home contingent starkly contrasted by
Malaga's crestfallen players, who as the final whistle blew clearly were
struggling to comprehend how they had been turned over.

A nervy opening was perhaps
understandable with so much riding on the result, and it took until the
16th minute for the first effort on goal to arrive as Lewandowski sent a
chipped effort sailing over the bar.

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

After failing to produce a shot on
target in the first quarter of the match, Malaga went ahead courtesy of
their first meaningful attack.

Julio Baptista started the move with a
pass into Joaquin, who exchanged passes with Isco before selling his
marker a dummy and sending a low finish into the left corner.

Reus saw a shot charged down in the
37th minute as Dortmund searched for a way back, but the home fans did
not have much longer to wait for the breakthrough as the hosts conjured a
goal of real class five minutes before the break.

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Mario Gotze's incisive forward pass
was backheeled beyond the Malaga backline by Reus into the path of
Lewandowski, who expertly dinked the ball over the sprawling Willy
Caballero before tucking the ball home under pressure from Jesus Gamez.

The second half began with a bang with both sides going close to adding to the scoring inside three minutes.

First Lewandowski was afforded time to
take aim from the edge of the area but Caballero got down to save,
while two minutes later Roman Weidenfeller produced a fine reflex stop
to deflect away Joaquin's downward header.

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

The hosts were given a let-off when
Marcel Schmelzer appeared to raise his hands to the face of Gamez amid a
tussle by the touchline, but rather inexplicably it was the Malaga man
who went into the referee's book.

The home fans were on their feet in
the 75th minute ready to acclaim a goal as the unmarked Reus looked to
turn home a low centre from six yards but Caballero's trailing leg was
in the right place as the Malaga number one made a wonderful save.

Caballero was again the hero for the
visitors in the 79th minute as Gotze was played clean through but the
goalkeeper flicked out a leg to deflect the ball inches wide of the
post.

Caballero's heroics looked set to be
the cornerstone of a famous win when three minute later Malaga went 2-1
up as Baptista's goalbound shot was turned home by Eliseu from almost on
the goalline, despite the substitute having strayed offside.

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

The match appeared to be destined to
end in Malaga's favour as added time arrived, but all that changed when
Dortmund were awarded a free-kick 40 yards from goal.

Caballero was helpless to deny
Dortmund yet again as woeful defending from the set-piece saw the ball
break to Reus to fire in from close range.

The hosts still needed a goal to progress to the last four, and incredibly it arrived in the third minute of added time.

The officials failed to spot three
Dortmund players in offside positions when the ball was launched into
the area, but when the ball broke to Santana – also in an offside
position on the goal-line – he had no hesitation in blasting home to
trigger scenes of disbelieving delight at Signal Iduna Park.

Turnaround: Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Turnaround: Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dortmund

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

PS – Sorry Jurgen, your comeback doesn't beat the 1999 final

Dortmund's stunning comeback was thrilling, but it can't hold a flame to the famous night in Barcelona when Manchester United yanked the Champions League trophy out of Bayern Munich's hands at the death.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were facing defeat in the face after Mario Basler's sixth-minute free-kick kept the sides apart until the final moments, when Teddy Sheringham swept home in the 91st minute followed two minutes later by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

Heineken Cup quarter-final previews 2013

Your weekend guide to the Heineken Cup: Three English sides in the last eight

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

Harlequins, Saracens and Leicester will be flying the flag for the Aviva Premiership in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals this weekend.

Here, Sportsmail tells you everything you need to know ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated weekend's of the season…

Flying the flag: Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester against Toulon

Flying the flag: Manu Tuilagi starts for Leicester against Toulon

Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier

(Saturday: Stade Marcel Micheli, 3.40pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Clermont are favourites to extend a run of 58 successive home wins. Wales’ Lee Byrne and Scotland’s Nathan Hines face Scot Johnnie Beattie.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Harlequins v Munster

(Sunday: The Stoop, 2pm, live on Sky Sports 2)

England captain Chris Robshaw returns for Quins’ bid for a first semi-final. Munster are boosted by return of lock Paul O’Connell and wing Simon Zebo.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Home tie: Owen Farrell is in the Saracens side to face Munster at Twickenham

Home tie: Owen Farrell is in the Saracens side to face Munster at Twickenham

Saracens v Ulster

(Saturday: Twickenham, 6.30pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Saracens opt for fly-half Owen Farrell over Charlie Hodgson. They also recall Scotland flanker Kelly Brown. Ulster welcome prop John Afoa.

PREDICTION: Home win.

Toulon v Leicester

(Sunday: Stade Felix Mayol, 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2)

Leicester name same starters for third week running. Toby Flood faces former Newcastle colleague in Jonny Wilkinson. Prop Andrew Sheridan starts.

PREDICTION: Away win.

Amlin Challenge Cup — quarter-final

Bath v Stade Francais

(Saturday: The Rec, 1pm, live on Sky Sports 1)

Bath move Horacio Agulla to centre for Matt Banahan. Nick Abendanon returns on wing. Italy captain Sergio Parisse is in a Stade team alongside ex-Wallaby flanker David Lyons.

PREDICTION: Away win.

Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Match report

Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate in Spain as Gotze rues missed chances

PUBLISHED:

20:39 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 3 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund wasted a host of chances to take a healthy advantage into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Malaga tonight.

Mario Gotze was the main culprit, spurning three golden openings, as the visitors failed to find a way past the impressive Willy Caballero at La Rosaleda.

The away draw still leaves Jurgen Klopp's side in a strong position ahead of the home leg, but the boss will know the tie could have been all but wrapped up already.

Getting stuck: Felipe Santana of Dortmund challenges for the ball with Isco

Getting stuck: Felipe Santana of Dortmund challenges for the ball with Isco

Match Facts:

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes, Toulalan, Iturra, Joaquin, Saviola, Isco, Julio Baptista.

Subs: Kameni, Lugano, Camacho, Duda, Sergio Sanchez, Santa Cruz, Francisco Portillo.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan, Kehl, Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz, Lewandowski.

Subs: Langerak, Bender, Leitner, Sahin, Kirch, Schieber, Bittencourt.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sigtuna)

Instead Malaga, who, for all their opponents' dominance, still caused Dortmund the odd nervy moment, will travel to the Westfalenstadion still in with a shout of the last four.

Malaga had the first chance when Javier Saviola ran onto a clipped pass down the right of the area, got to the byline and cut inside, only to opt to go for the near post rather than the far and dragged his shot wide.

But it did not take long for Dortmund's attacking triumvirate of Robert Lewandowski, Gotze and Marco Reus to start exerting their influence as Dortmund started to open their hosts up almost at will.

Gotze ran clear on to a Lewandowski header as the Malaga backline appealed in vain for offside, but his shot lacked power and Caballero dived to make a one-handed save.

Battle for the ball: Marcel Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaqun of Malaga

Battle for the ball: Marcel Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaqun of Malaga

Over he goes: Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaquin

Over he goes: Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaquin

The Germany international then got in one-on-one down the right of the area, but Caballero was again equal to his side-foot shot.

Reus then brought another save out of the keeper after neat link-up play and a low shot from the edge of the area.

The young trio were causing Malaga all sorts of problems, with only the killer finish lacking.

The hosts showed they could still be a threat when Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller had to be quick off his line to get to the ball ahead of Saviola.

Their defence, though, continued to live dangerously and Weligton was booked for pulling back Lewandowski right on the edge of the area, Reus curling the resulting free-kick wide.

But Malaga ended the half in the ascendancy.

Weidenfeller, under no pressure, spilled a Joaquin cross and Felipe Santana go to scramble the ball away to spare his team-mate's blushes.

But the keeper redeemed himself with a fine save to keep out a Weligton header from a Joaquin corner.

Lewandowski fluffed another golden Dortmund chance minutes after the break, skewing his shot horribly wide when Gotze's cut-back found him in plenty of space in front of goal.

Gotze then fired wide of the far post after racing on to a measured pass down the right as another opportunity came and went for the Germans.

At the other end, Isco drilled effort was parried well by Weidenfeller, but it was Dortmund who left the pitch at full-time with a feeling of what might have been.

England players sneak headphones back on despite FA ban

Those cans are banned! England strugglers sneak headphones on despite crackdown

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 28 March 2013

England stars' shameless tactic of wearing headphones to avoid requests for interviews from reporters following international matches appears to be creeping back in.

Ashley Young was the latest star to cover his ears after England's 1-1 draw in Montenegro – despite Football Association rules specifically outlawing the practice.

In the aftermath of games, players pass through an area known as the mixed zone where journalists wait to talk about matters of importance and interest.

Ashley Cole

Wayne Rooney

Can you hear us Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young show off their oversized headphones last summer on England duty. They are often worn to dodge post-match interviews

Theo Walcott

Steven Gerrard

Ashley Young

There was a time when these discussions would be open and frank but then came the trend for certain players to wear headphones in order to swerve any post-game chat.

Last October, the FA issued wide-sweeping guidelines on player conduct and included a directive aimed specifically at stopping the practice. If there was a breach, it said, an investigation would be carried out by Club England.

The media clauses led to FA personnel ensuring England players did not go through the interview zone after England's match against Poland that month wearing headphones.

Mario Balotelli

It's not just England players who wear them: Mario Balotelli, Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Ramos with their cans

Rio Ferdinand

Sergio Ramos

Young, however, shuffled through following the disappointing draw in Podgorica on Tuesday. Ashley Cole has also been known to employ the tactic.

This latest headphone headache comes after last year’s Olympics ambush by Dr Dre’s popular brand of Beats headphones.

Customised versions with Union flag colours were delivered to members of Team GB, despite strict IOC rules regarding any non-rights holder advertising. Goalkeeper Jack Butland sent an ill-advised tweet praising the gear, leading to a reprimand from senior BOA officials.

France v Spain – watch it live for FREE

LIVE France v Spain: Watch the crunch clash in Group I as Les Bleus take on the world and European champions

PUBLISHED:

10:23 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 26 March 2013

Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of what promises to be the game of the night as France take on Spain in Group I.

The French can take a huge step towards qualification for Brazil 2014 with a win over their near neighbours in Paris.

Victory would move them five points clear at the top with just three games to go and leave the reigning world and European champions staring at the prospect of a two-legged play-off.

The sides drew in Madrid last October and Spain followed that up by sharing the points with Finland on Friday night while Les Bleus eased past Georgia.

Sergio Ramos, on his 100th appearance for his country, captained Vicente del Bosque's side against Finland and led by example with the goal.

Karim Benzema, his Real Madrid team-mate, drew a blank in France's victory and will be out to make amends if he is given the nod after being booed by the home support for missing chances in the Stade de France.

***Full coverage will start at 8pm***

Live : France – Spain par ffftv

Sergio Aguero to miss Argentina"s World Cup qualifiers and return to Manchester City

Aguero to miss Argentina's World Cup qualifiers in bid to recover for City's title
run in

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

20:19 GMT, 20 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 20 March 2013

Sergio Aguero has revealed he is to return to Manchester City as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury and will consequently miss Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Bolivia.

The international forward hasn't featured for the Premier League champions since their 2-0 victory over Chelsea on February 24 and in his absence City's form has suffered but he today insisted he is confident about being available for the season's run in.

'My knee is better but the squad's physicians would rather have me be safe and stick with the treatments until it's completely healed,' Aguero tweeted.

Saying his goodbyes: Sergio Aguero with Argentina team-mates Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi

Saying his goodbyes: Sergio Aguero with Argentina team-mates Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi

'It's a pity to miss out on the national squad matches but I'll be cheering for Argentina from Manchester, while I finish the recovery.'

The possible return of Aguero to City's first-team squad would represent a significant positive for under-pressure manager Roberto Mancini, whose side hope to take advantage of any potential points league leaders Manchester United may drop and at the very least finish second.

In the Argentinian's absence, Mancini has used both Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko who have both consistently been linked with summer exits from the club.

Returning: Aguero is unquestionably one of City's key players

Returning: Aguero is unquestionably one of City's key players

Manchester City squad ordered in for extra training by Roberto Mancini – PICTURES

Push for the burn, Carlos! Mancini orders City squad in for extra training in hope that hard yards can help overhaul United's lead

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 20 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 20 February 2013

Manchester City players have been put through a double training session today as Roberto Mancini bids to keep his side in the title race.

City's grip on the crown they won so spectacularly last summer is loosening at a worrying rate, and they trail rivals Manchester United by 12 points.

Wednesday's extra workout came at the expense of a Champions League knockout clash after the Premier League champions finished bottom of their group before Christmas.

Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Maicon were among the players putting in a shift in the gym before they moved outside to challenge a specially installed steps.

You could see it was ideal preparation for the mountain City have to climb in the league.

More to follow.

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days...)

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days…)

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

|

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.