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one: Pow! Ronaldo can strike a ball. Obviously. His fifteenth Real Madrid hat trick, his seventh of the season. And all in an El Derbi where Atleti began to believe. When Falcao headed in a second half equaliser the Vicente Calderon was electric. They believed Jose would be bettered by Diego. Cristiano had other ideas; a marvellous free kick, a magnificent second, a penalty and an assist for Callejon mean the ‘red and whites’ are still without a win over their city rivals this century.
one: Valencia. Sid Lowe’s brilliant insight into the difficulties facing Unai Emery at Valencia hit nail on head in his Guardian sport blog this week. He’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t. Third is the most Los Che can realistically expect, but the gap between them and Barca and Mardid is too much for the fans. Anyway, he’s kept them in tact a little while longer with progression in the Europa League. 4-2 up from the Mestalla, a 1-1 draw in Eindhoven ensured comfortable progression. Amunt!
two. Atleti de Madrid. It was very comfortable. 3-1 up from the Vicente Calderon, Adrian’s first half strike pretty much ruled out any comeback from Besiktas in Istanbul. Late on in the second half Falcao and Salvio made it pretty emphatic truth be told. Diego Simeone, as you must be bored of us telling you by now, has still only lost one game since taking over in the capital. Even that was against Barcelona. Good work sir.
three. Athletic Club. How many B’s can you come up with to form a tabloid headline for Athletic’s dominance over United? Bielsa’s Basque boys of Bilbao blitz blundering United brilliantly. Btwo-Bone. But yeah, they did the business again proving last week at Old Trafford was no fluke. Their intensity, work rate, ability on the ball, movement and just everything really earned rich praise from Sir Alex. Llorente and de Marcos goals were overshadowed only by the impressive San Mames crowd. Not only did they celebrate the win the way you’d expect but they demonstrated great grace. From applauding the departure of Giggs, Rooney’s goal and even the United fans. Fair play.
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