Real Madrid are having a terrible time of late. They’re poor run of form has been summed up by a mauling at the hands of Tottenham Hotspurs in the Champions League on Wednesday evening and their shock defeat to La Liga new boys Girona.
The sides met last Sunday night at the Estadi Montilivi; the stage of a historic victory for the Catalonian side. Cristiano Ronaldo was made to suffer, following his recent title as recipient of the FIFA Best award. The Girona fans showed no sympathy for the Portuguese talisman as he was made to endure the chanting of ‘Messi! Messi! Messi!’ for long spells of the match. Girona deservedly won the game 2-1, but in the first half alone they struck the post twice and could have found themselves in the lead before the break. Their magnificent intensity and pressing style continued into the second half. Goals from Cristhian Stuani and Portu gave Girona their first victory over Los Blancos. Madrid’s 2-1 defeat by Girona leaves them trailing Barcelona, at the top of La Liga, by eight points. At the end of the game Cristiano Ronaldo refused to give his jersey to Girona midfielder Alex Granel. There will have been few who would have predicted a Girona win. This is their first season in the top flight and for obvious reasons this is by far the biggest result in the minnows’ history. The victory over the establishment team will no doubt be celebrated widely throughout Catalonia given the current political backdrop.
If you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Zinedine Zidane you were wrong. Real Madrid tasted defeat once again, this time against Spurs in their first game at Wembley Stadium in the Champions League. Madrid were blown away by Delli Alli, Harry Kane and Co.
Patrice Evra, the happy-go-lucky footballer who pops up on your instagram or facebook most mornings to do a wee dance or sing a wee song or sometimes both was sent off before Marseilles Europa League tie with Vitoria Guimaraes for kicking one of his own supporters in the head. L’Equipe have elaborated on the incident reporting that Marseille supporters had been taunting Evra while he was warming-up. The account states that Evra approached the supporters to talk to them and was insulted. Football journalst Julien Laurens stated that Evra was told: “Keep doing your videos, but stop playing football”. Marseille lost the game 1-0. Evra has been handed a one-match ban, for now.
Kieran Tierney signed an extended contract with Celtic. The 20-year old penned a six year deal keeping him at Celtic until 2023, unless bought out of his contract. A Celtic fan and a cracking left-back, compared with the likes of Danny McGrain and Tommy Burns, made veteran midfielder Arjen Robben look like a lost little school boy during their Champions League encounter on Tuesday night. The Hoops were disappointed not to pick up all three points at home against the German giants, having matched Bayern all over the park and creating the best of the chances. The defeat means that Celtic are out of the Champions League, but are in pole position to head into the Europa League knock-out stages. The infamous atmosphere at Celtic Park was later described by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, former player and now chief executive of the club, as:
“Football in pure culture, like it was in the old days.”
Arjen Robben also wade in on the atmosphere at Celtic Park saying:
“That was a football experience of pure culture. Throughout the night we felt goosebumps.”
Celtic’s Supporter Liason Officer John Paul Taylor received a rather special e-mail from Bayern supporter Urns, which he shared on Twitter.
In other Scottish football news, Kilmarnock’s long wait for a home victory continues after their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hibernian on Tuesday night. Rangers have parted ways with Pedro Caixinha; the caravan was towed but the dugs still barking (don’t sweat guys, the dogs alive -just about). It was appeal central at Hampden on Thursday as Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson was given one touchline ban but has been cleared for the cup final against Celtic. The date for the Scottish Cup Final between Glasgow City and Hibernian Ladies will not be challenged. Glasgow City were hoping to appeal the date due to the fact they will likely miss four of their Irish internationalists through World Cup qualifying duties. In a repeat of last year’s final, cup holders Hibs and City will meet at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena, with BBC Alba providing live coverage of the 16:10 kick off. Dreadful time for a game of football. Especially when the men’s final takes place at 15:00 on the same day. Not great!
Everton crashed out of the Europa League following a 3-0 defeat to Lyon. Their losing streak continues. Arsenal reach the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a goalless draw against Red Star Belgrade.
Cowdenbeath’s Jordan Garden concedes a penalty after an unusual challenge during the the Blue Brazil’s Scottish League Two tie with Berwick Rangers last Saturday. With just 10 minutes remaining and the match tied at 0-0 Garden dives head first at the feet of Berwick’s Michael McKenna, bringing him down in the process. The referee awards Berwick a penalty which McKenna himself dispatches to seal a 1-0 win for the Gers.
Al-Ahly’s training session was cancelled on Tuesday as thousands of fans turned up at the club’s training facility in Cairo, hoping to watch their team prepare for the second leg of the African Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca this weekend. The final is tied at 1-1, from the first leg.
ONES TO WATCH
GIRONA 2 – 1 REAL MADRID: https://youtu.be/kP3LAT12_aM
PATRICE GOES MAD: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41853841
HIBS 3 – 0 KILMARNOCK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/41825785
STEPHEN ROBINSON: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41848091
BIZARRE PENALTY: https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/oct/30/cowdenbeath-head-first-tackle-penalty-berwick-rangers-scotland-video
PITCH INVASION: https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/nov/01/al-ahly-abandon-training-session-fans-try-to-watch-video