Barcelona’s greatest ever wins at the home of their fiercest rivals

first_img1 As Barcelona prepare for Saturday’s game at Real Madrid, potentially without Lionel Messi who remains a doubt, talkSPORT look at Barca’s most memorable victories at the home of their eternal rivals.5. Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona – La Liga November 1st 1997 In a thrilling back-and-forth match Barcelona defeated Los Blancos 3-2 en route to winning the La Liga title, with Barcelona goalkeeper Ruud Hesp making a series of saves to keep his side in the game.Barca took the lead in the fifth minute through new arrival Rivaldo before Madrid legend Raúl equalised early in the second half. Just a minute later a thumping solo effort from now-manager Luis Enrique made it 2-1 but Madrid pegged their rivals back again through future Arsenal striker Davor Šuker. Then 11 minutes from time Luis Figo, before his infamous move to Madrid, brilliantly set up Giovanni Silva who crashed home to decide the contest.Barcelona would go on to beat Madrid 3-0 in the home fixture and win La Liga with four matches still to play, as Louis Van Gaal managed the side to the title in his first year at the helm.4. Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona – Champions League Semi-final First Leg 27th April 2011With Mourinho’s arrival before the start of the season, the El Clásico was given another dimension with the fierce rivalry between him and Guardiola. And having beaten Madrid 5-0 earlier in the season in La Liga, this match represented the third of four El Clasico’s in three weeks as the sides met in the two-legged Champions League semi-final.It was a bad-tempered affair marred by ill-discipline from both sides. Substitute goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto was sent off from the bench after his slap on Madrid’s Alvaro Arbeloa sparked a melee on the touchline just before half time. The game failed to flow due to constant stoppages and Madrid centre-back Pepe was then shown red early in the second half following his high tackle on Dani Alves, Mourinho himself was sent to the stands after his sarcastic reaction to the decision.But the match was lit up by Lionel Messi with two second half goals, the second a majestic solo effort. After breaking the deadlock in the 76th minute, Messi embarked on a run from midfield, jinking past defenders and penetrating the heart of Madrid’s defence before sliding home past Iker Casillas late on.Barcelona would go on to draw 1-1 in the second leg en route to winning the Champions League, outclassing Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley.  3. Real Madrid 0-5 Barcelona – La Liga 17th February 1974 After Barcelona had dallied in signing of Ballon D’or holder Johan Cruyff from Ajax, rumours emerged that Real Madrid had tried to step in and sign the superstar. However Barcelona would eventually complete the transfer for a then-world record fee after it emerged Cruyff would refuse to play Madrid due to their association with Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco. Cruyff then further endeared himself to his new supporters as he starred in his appearance for Barcelona in the Bernabéu, setting up three goals and scoring one himself as Barcelona preceded to dismantle their opponents. Goals from Juan Manuel Asensi (2), Hugo Sotil, Juan Carlos and Cruyff saw Barca fans watching on TV back home pour into the Barcelona streets in celebration as they outclassed an impotent Madrid side with ease.The win sent Barca on their way to their first La Liga title since 1960 and Cruyff to another Ballon D’or, his third, while a lumbering Madrid finished in 8th place. 2. Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona – La Liga 19th November 2005Barcelona thrashed the Galacticos of Madrid 3-0 led by a brilliant performance from an unstoppable Ronaldinho, who bagged a brace.A Real Madrid team featuring Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Beckham, Raul and Ronaldo were poor defensively and were completely dominated by Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona. First an eighteen-year-old Lionel Messi was afforded space and dribbled through midfield to set up Samuel Eto’o, who stabbed home for the opener. Then Ronaldinho took over the game in the second half with two spectacular solo goals. Both times the Brazilian picked up the ball from deep, cut in from the left, beat Sergio Ramos with ease and finished past Casillas.And in an iconic moment, the Santiago Bernabéu stood up and applauded Ronaldinho, putting aside their team’s fierce rivalry to show their appreciation of his brillianceBarca would go on to win the league by 12 points that season and also tasted European success, beating Arsenal 2-1 in the Champions League final. The Madrid manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo meanwhile was sacked just over two weeks later.center_img Barcelona 1. Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona 6 – La Liga In one of the most high-stakes El Clásicos ever, Madrid were stunned by Barcelona in a late season fixture which all but decided the La Liga title race. The away side’s goals came courtesy of Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry who scored braces, as well as one apiece from centre-back partners Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.After going a goal behind to a Gonzalo Higuain header, Barca reacted brilliantly to tear apart their opponents and they hit back through Henry, Puyol and Messi to go 3-1 up by half-time. Though Madrid were given hope by a Ramos header, Henry punished Madrid’s high-line to restore his side’s two-goal cushion shortly after. Barca then proceeded to pass their opponents off the pitch in the second half as Madrid chased the equaliser and Messi added a fifth before Pique completed the embarassment of their biggest rivals.The win truly announced the Guardiola-era and his side became renowned as one of the greatest teams ever. The 2008/09 Barcelona went on to win the La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League to complete a first-ever treble in a historic season.last_img read more

GALLERY: Nine brilliant images from the Boxing Day madness in the Premier League

first_imgAnd some people are still calling for a winter break?The Premier League showcased yet again the joys of Boxing Day football after a bumper set of fixtures amassed 18 goals – all before the two late kick offs.Manchester United and Louis van Gaal were condemned to yet more doom and gloom by Stoke, allowing the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City to extend their lead over the Red Devils.Surprise mid-season pace setters Leicester lost for the first time away from home against an improved Liverpool side, while Chelsea and Watford played out a hugely entertaining 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.We’ve assembled some of the best photos from the day’s top-flight action – just click the yellow arrow above, right, to see our selection… Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is surrounded by his team-mates after firing the winner against Leicester 9 9 9 9 9 Phil Jones and Memphis Depay despair after a calamitous Stoke opener Marko Arnautovic celebrates scoring the Potters’ second against United 9 9 9 9 Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal can barely watch his side’s desperate 2-0 defeat at Stoke Harry Kane grabs his first of two goals from the penalty spot in Tottenham’s convincing 3-0 win over Norwich Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes celebrates after Chelsea playmaker Oscar misses a penalty late on in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge Jordan Ayew’s second goal in a week grabbed a 1-1 draw for Aston Villa against West Ham David Silva congratulates man of the match Kevin De Bruyne as Manchester City got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win over Sunderland Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yeung bundles in what proved to be the winner against West Brom at the Liberty Stadiumlast_img read more

Liverpool fans tell owner John Henry who their next signing should be

first_imgAre you listening John Henry?Liverpool fans have pleaded with their club owner to move for Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland as an upgrade to current maligned number one Simon Mignolet.Mignolet has been far from convincing in the last 18 months of his Anfield career and has cost his side on numerous occasions already this season.But would the Reds’ board consider making a move in January? And is Butland – a reported a target – a viable alternative?His display against Arsenal in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium would certainly seem to suggest the latter – and Liverpool fans were left eulogising about his heroics… 1 Jack Butland last_img read more

Turkey recalls its envoy from D.C.

first_imgIn Turkey, there was widespread expectation that the House committee vote and any further steps could damage relations between the two countries. Turkish officials and lawmakers warned that if the resolution were approved by the full House, they would reconsider supporting the American war effort in Iraq, which includes permission to ship essential supplies through Turkey from a major air base at Incirlik, in southern Turkey. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, refused to say what effect the resolution might have on American access to the base, but he did not exclude the possibility of a policy change.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ISTANBUL, Turkey – Turkey reacted angrily Thursday to a House committee vote in Washington to condemn the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey during World War I as genocide, recalling its ambassador from Washington and threatening to withdraw its support for the Iraq war. In uncharacteristically strong language, President Abdullah Gul criticized the vote by the House Foreign Relations Committee in a statement to the semi-official Anatolian News Agency, and warned that the decision could work against the United States. “Unfortunately, some politicians in the United States have once more dismissed calls for common sense, and made an attempt to sacrifice big issues for minor domestic political games,” Gul said. The House vote comes at a particularly inopportune time. Washington has called on Turkey to show restraint as the Turkish military mobilizes on the border with Iraq, threatening an incursion against Kurdish insurgents. On Thursday, Turkish warplanes were reported to be flying close to the border, but not crossing it. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The possibility of Turkish military intervention in Iraq against Kurdish separatists has long worried U.S. officials for its potential to ignite a wider war spilling from Iraq. On Wednesday, the Turkish government began the process of gaining parliamentary approval for crossborder operations. The committee vote in the House, though nonbinding and largely symbolic, rebuffed an intense campaign by the White House and earlier warnings from Turkey’s government that such a vote would gravely strain relations with the United States. In Washington, the Bush administration tried to ease the hard feelings between the two countries, and vowed to try to defeat the resolution on Capitol Hill. “One of the reasons we opposed the resolution in the House yesterday is that the president has expressed on behalf of the American people our horror at the tragedy of 1915,” said Dana Perino, President George W. Bush’s chief spokeswoman. “But at the same time, we have national security concerns, and many of our troops and supplies go through Turkey. They are a very important ally in the War on Terror, and we are going to continue to try to work with them. And we hope that the House does not put forward a full vote.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would definitely take up the measure. “I said if it comes out of committee, it will go to the floor,” she said at a news conference. “Now it has come out of committee, and it will go to the floor.” last_img read more

Tests show excessive lead levels in some toys

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsMattel Inc. recalled more than 21million Chinese-made toys on fears they were tainted with lead paint and tiny magnets that children could accidentally swallow. Mattel’s own tests on the toys found that they had lead levels up to 200 times the accepted limit. The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys, which is available to the public at, shows how the commonly purchased children’s products rank in terms of containing lead, cadmium, arsenic and other harmful chemicals. It comes in time for holiday shopping – and amid the slew of recalls. “This is not about alarming parents,” said Tracey Easthope, director of the Ecology Center’s Environmental Health Project. “We’re just trying to give people information because they haven’t had very much except these recall lists.” Easthope said 17percent of the children’s products tested had levels of lead above the 600 parts per million federal standard that would trigger a recall of lead paint. Jewelry products were the most likely to contain the high levels of lead, the center said, with 33.5percent containing levels above 600ppm. Among the toys that tested above that limit was a Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game. The case tested at 3,056ppm. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a level of 40ppm of lead as the maximum that should be allowed in children’s products. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death. DETROIT – Tests on more than 1,200 children’s products, most of them still on store shelves, found that 35percent contain lead – many with levels far above the federal recall standard used for lead paint. A Hannah Montana card game case, a Go Diego Go! backpack and Circo brand shoes were among the items with excessive lead levels in the tests performed by a coalition of environmental health groups across the country. Only 20percent of the toys and other products had no trace of lead or harmful chemicals, according to the results being released today by the Michigan-based Ecology Center along with the national Center for Health, Environment and Justice and groups in eight other states. Of the 1,268 items tested, 23 were among millions of toys recalled this year. A spokeswoman for New York-based Cardinal Industries Inc., which sells the Hannah Montana game, said Tuesday that Cardinal was unaware of the environmental groups’ tests or procedures but the product has passed internal tests. “We test every (product) before it ships numerous times,” Bonnie Canner said. “We have not tested this product high for lead.” Easthope said the product is manufactured in China. Canner declined further comment until she had more information. The center and its testing partners found The First Years brand First Keys, Fisher-Price’s Rock-a-Stack and B.R. Bruin’s Stacking Cups were among the 20percent that contained none of the nine chemicals. “There’s a lot of doom and gloom about lead in the products – people only hear about the recalls,” said Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center’s campaign director. “Companies can make clean products. Our sampling shows that there’s no reason to put lead in a product.” Gearhart and Easthope said the products, while not necessarily representative of everything on the market, were considered among those commonly bought and used. Testers also purchased most at major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us. Calls to a Mattel spokeswoman were not immediately returned Tuesday. A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman declined to comment because the company had not seen the report. Toys “R” Us Inc. spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh also declined to comment because she needed to fully review the report’s findings, referring questions to the Toy Industry Association. Joan Lawrence, the association’s vice president of standards and safety, said the group and its members support limiting accessible lead in children’s products. But she said the industry and standard-setting bodies are struggling with how to measure exposure, accessibility and what limits to set. She said she hasn’t seen all of the Ecology Center’s findings but called them misleading because the testers did not appear to follow recognized test procedures for lead and other substances. The two most common ways are to use solutions to simulate saliva and digestion, and another to attempt to dissolve the surface coating. The center and its testing partners performed what they describe as a “screening” of chemicals using a handheld X-ray fluorescence device that detects surface chemical elements. “The mere presence of any substance alone is only half of the answer – you need to know if it’s accessible to the child,” Lawrence said. “We can’t tell that from what I know of the tests that have been done by this group.” HOW THEY FARED A look at how several popular toys fared in screenings for toxic chemicals by several environmental health groups. TOYS WITH HIGH LEAD CONTENT: Tatiti Brush Your Teeth! Robot Elmo’s Take-Along Card Games Nick Jr. Go Diego Go! backpack My Pasture Play Set Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game case TOYS WITH NO LEAD CONTENT: The First Years First Keys Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Hippo B.R. Bruin Stacking Cups Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack First Play Caterpillar Grasping Toy SOURCE: Ecology Center, The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgCELEBRITY wedding planning duo Ant and Dick are offering their services to gay couples hoping to ‘tie the knot’ in April this year when the first Civil partnerships in Donegal will take place.This week gay couples in the county hoping to have a Civil Partnership can register for their ceremony.And Ireland’s only Civil Partnership experts say they are on hand to help Donegal couples through the planning process.  They are also on the look out for couples planning their big day for the first day in April as they have suppliers on board offering their services for free! Advertisement Ant said today: “The world’s Press will be watching how Ireland handles the first Civil Partnerships and it could even influence other countries such as America in their decision to allow gay couples the same privilege.“This really is the biggest thing to happen in Ireland since Divorce and for Ireland to have come so far so quickly since decriminalisation really is fantastic.”Ant and Dick are the only Civil Partnership experts based in Ireland – and say they’ve already had enquiries from Donegal!Said Dick: “With a thorough understanding of the industry we are able to ensure that gay couples in Donegal not only find suppliers happy to work with them but they will also negotiate on behalf of couples to ensure the right and fair price is being paid and is within the couples budget.” Advertisement The national average spend of any wedding is approx €20k and gay unions will be roughly the same, he said.But he warned: “Businesses should not get carried away with it all, there will be a great interest at the beginning and the initial influx of couples will most likely be older couples who have been together many years and want to cement their relationship legally for next of kin and financial reasons.“Then the figures will drop, it will be at least three years before a trend can begin to appear and it could take up to ten years for the ‘normalisation’ to really take hold.“Until now gay men and women pretty much accepted that getting married wasn’t an option when they came to terms with being gay, so now that they can enjoy a Civil Partnership it may take some time for that option to sink in and for it to become a normal expectation for gay couples.”The gay wedding planners are at endsGAY DONEGAL WEDDINGS BEING PLANNED BY CELEBRITY DUO was last modified: January 5th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgONE OF Donegal’s leading lawyers, who specialises in banking matters, has told that people who invested in ETIC Solutions could wait ‘up to five years’ to get any monies back.And despite the fact we know more than 200 people in Donegal gave convicted crook Francois de Dietrich millions of euro, so far just EIGHT people have made a formal complaint to Gardai.The lawyer we spoke to has also warned that just because Stg£20.2M has been located by authorities in the North, it doesn’t mean all the money has been found. One account located by Gardai contains less than €2M. Two businessmen have won a Dublin High Court case preventing that money from being withdrawn.Gardai believe dozens more investors will now come forward after revelations the French crook is a career criminal who specialises in conning people out of cash. He has a lengthy criminal record for deceit.The lawyer told us: “My advice to people could not be more clear. Anyone who lost money needs to record that as soon as possible with the authorities.”It is thought that some investors will not come forward as they invested ‘undeclared’ monies in the scam. FRANCOIS INVESTIGATION: IT COULD TAKE YEARS TO GET MONEY BACK, JUST 8 PEOPLE COMPLAIN TO GARDAI was last modified: January 30th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liverpool captain Henderson in contention to start Europa League final

first_img Jordan Henderson made his return from injury against West Brom on Sunday Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is in contention for a starting spot in Wednesday’s Europa League final after making his comeback from a knee injury on Sunday.The midfielder came through the final half hour of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with West Brom unscathed and will travel to Basel for the showdown against Sevilla.And Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was pleased to give Henderson the chance to prove his fitness before making a decision on his starting line-up for Wednesday.“I said from the beginning I don’t want to force the situation with him,” said Klopp.“We gave him half an hour in the end and everybody could see there was no issues.“I haven’t made a decision about the line-up on Wednesday but it’s good to have him back.” 1last_img read more

Swansea FC news: Leroy Fer joins on permanent basis from QPR

first_img1 Swansea have completed their first signing of the summer after reaching an agreement with QPR for Leroy Fer.The Dutchman has joined for an undisclosed fee, penning a three-year deal with the Welsh club.Fer spent the second half of last season on loan at the Liberty Stadium and did enough to persuade Francesco Guidolin to sign him permanently.“He [Guidolin] was really happy with how I gelled with the team and he said that I did very, very good,” said Fer.“He said he was surprised because he didn’t know much about me. But I said to him that I just wanted to prove myself.“At the end of the season he said he wanted to keep me here and when the coach wants you, that makes it easy.“I am very happy to be back. From the first moment I came here, I felt at home.” Leroy Fer in action for Swansea last_img read more

2 men killed in RPV collision

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ The driver overcorrected, sending the car back onto the pavement, but causing it to skid sideways. It slid into the eastbound lanes and was broadsided on its passenger side by a Chevrolet Tahoe, Souza said. Both men were dead at the scene. The Tahoe contained five occupants, but no one was seriously injured. The male driver complained of pain in his arm. His female passenger, who is 4 months pregnant, complained of pain to her head, leg and stomach. She was taken to a hospital for treatment. The dead men’s names were not immediately released pending notification of relatives. An autopsy will determine if the driver was intoxicated, Souza said. [email protected] A driver and his male passenger were killed and two people in another car were injured in a collision in Rancho Palos Verdes, deputies said today. A half-full broken bottle of hard liquor was found in the men’s car, but it was unknown if it had been partially consumed or just shattered in the crash, sheriff’s traffic Investigator Ray Souza said. The crash occurred as the men traveled together at 10 p.m Friday in the 4100 block of Palos Verdes Drive South. Souza said the Lexus was headed west near Schooner Drive when the car went off the roadway onto the dirt shoulder. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more