Nations League: Record-breaker Fati stars in Spain rebuild
Spain's Ansu Fati is airborne as he attempts to control the ball during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Spain and Ukraine at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. Spain goes top of its Nations League group by a point from Ukraine. Barely a year since he became Barcelona's youngest league scorer, he appears set to be the future for both club and country. NO WIN FOR GERMANYThe Nations League just isn't Germany's competition. The Nations League format keeps teams of similar competitive strength together.
Spanish league forced to deal with another star departing
Barcelona's Lionel Messi leaves the pitch after the the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The Spanish league is about to see another top player leave one of its clubs, all within a four-year span. The league wasnt hugely affected financially after Neymar left Barcelona or Ronaldo left Real Madrid. The league still benefited from Messis presence after Ronaldo left, but now it wouldn't have that same star power anymore. Since Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, Spain gained few top-notch players.
Madrid beats Alavs 2-0 for 8th straight win in title march
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)BARCELONA Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid move one step closer to dethroning Lionel Messis Barcelona on Friday. Benzema scored one goal and set up another to lead Madrid to beating Alavs 2-0 and restoring a four-point lead over Barcelona in the Spanish league with only three rounds left. Benzema scored a penalty kick in the 11th minute and assisted Marco Asensio in the 50th to ensure an eighth straight victory since La Liga resumed play after stopping for three months due to the pandemic. His 18th league goal of the season is second only to Messis 22. Madrid took full control just after halftime when Benzema broke Alavs offside trap to reach Rodrygos through-ball.
Refereeing criticism increases as Madrid nears Spanish title
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, right, scores the opening goal from a penalty shoot during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at the San Manes stadium in Bilbao, Spain, Sunday, July 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)MADRID The closer Real Madrid gets to the Spanish league title, the stronger the accusations it is benefiting from the referees. Im tired of always talking about the same thing, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said after the 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Real Madrid and its players deserve respect.The victory kept Madrid as the only team with a perfect record since the restart. When asked if Madrid was in the lead only thanks to VAR, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu didn't do much to dismiss the insinuation.