LaLiga 2019/20 fixtures: Real Madrid and Barcelona to face off in October and March

4 Jul

Real Madrid and Barcelona will contest LaLiga’s 2019/20 El Clasico matches in October and March after the fixtures were announced on Thursday.

The draw was made at the Spanish Football Federation’s base in Madrid, with the first Clasico match on the weekend of October 27th at the Camp Nou.

El Clasico is viewed by many as the biggest match in world football
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The return Clasico will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu on the weekend of March 1st with both potentially following Champions League games.

Both sides kick off their 2019/20 campaigns away from home, with Real at Celta Vigo while Barca play Athletic Club in Bilbao.

The opening matches are scheduled for the weekend of August 18th and the Spanish Supercopa will happen in January 2020.

Below you can see the opening five fixtures for Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Real Madrid's opening five LaLiga fixtures

Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid (August 18)

Real Madrid vs Valladolid (August 25)

Villarreal vs Real Madrid (September 1)

Real Madrid vs Levante (September 15)

Sevilla vs Real Madrid (September 22)

Barcelona's opening five LaLiga fixtures

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona (August 18)

Barcelona vs Real Betis (August 25)

Osasuna vs Barcelona (September 1)

Barcelona vs Valencia (September 15)

Granada vs Barcelona (September 22)

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid begin their campaign with a match at home to Getafe. They host Madrid rivals Real in the seventh round of games on the weekend of September 29 and are due to play the return derby at the Bernabeu on February 2.

Diego Simeone’s side face Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano on December 1 before going to Catalonia on April 26.

The season concludes on May 24, with Real at Leganes, Barca away to Alaves and Atletico at home against Real Sociedad.

Barcelona won LaLiga convincingly last season but Real Madrid should offer a much better title challenge as they’ve been bought a number of players including Eden Hazard from Chelsea.

Messi and co. are going for a third consecutive LaLiga title
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Behind the scenes at El Clasico – Barcelona’s skills, crazy fan celebrations, Messi, and Suarez’s jokes

30 Oct

Barcelona served up a stunning performance to beat rivals Real Madrid 5-1 in another fascinating El Clasico encounter.

The Spanish giants are now in pole position for the title while Los Blancos sit in ninth spot after a horrendous run which has resulted in the dismissal of manager Julen Lopetegui.

Barcelona fans create a tifo ahead of El Clasico.

Barca fans are no doubt still celebrating such was the manner of the victory, with Luis Suarez bagging a hat-trick at the Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal were the other goalscorers on the day, while Marcelo got one back for Real Madrid.

But what did it look like behind the scenes in Catalonia? Lucky for us, there were cameras picking up every move from the players’ arrival, their crazy skills, fan celebrations, and Lionel Messi’s reaction at the final whistle.

And you can see it all below.

Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid: Former Liverpool stars Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho push Julen Lopetegui to the brink

28 Oct

Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid 5-1  as Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick in what could be Real manager Julen Lopetegui’s first and last experience of El Clasico.

Lopetegui was already under pressure before the eagerly-anticipated clash at the Nou Camp and his players did him no favours as they stumbled to a third straight LaLiga defeat for the first time since May 2009.

Barcelona star Luis Suarez celebrates in front of his fans at the Camp Nou.

The loss leaves Real ninth in the table and seven points behind pacesetters Barcelona, who were without talisman Lionel Messi after he suffered a broken arm in last week’s victory over Sevilla.

The home side took the lead in the 11th minute when Ivan Rakitic’s superb ball over the top found Jordi Alba in acres of space on the left and he pulled the ball back into an ideal position for Philippe Coutinho to simply side-foot the ball into the net from 10 yards.

Barcelona almost doubled their lead after 18 minutes when Sergio Ramos was guilty of giving the ball away in a dangerous area and Arthur’s fierce shot drew an excellent save from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The home fans did not have to wait long before their side made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, although it took the use of the VAR before referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez pointed to the spot after initially waving away claims that Suarez had been brought down by Raphael Varane.

Suarez had plenty to celebrate in El Clasico.

Suarez, who had nipped in front of Varane to collect Alba’s pass before being pushed to the ground, took the penalty himself and found the bottom corner despite the best efforts of Courtois.

Despite his assists for both goals, Alba continued to be given plenty of freedom down the left and Real were grateful that his 38th-minute cross was just too high for Suarez.

Moments later Rakitic and Nacho became the first players to be booked for fouls on Toni Kroos and Coutinho respectively, before Rafinha badly overhit a pass that should have set Suarez clean through on goal.

Rafinha attempted to make amends with a curling 20-yard shot which flew just over the bar and Madrid were grateful to get to half-time only two goals behind.

Barcelona stars celebrate one of their five goals

Real had been restricted to long-range shots in the opening period but were back in the contest after just five minutes of the second half as Isco’s cross from the byline caused panic in the home defence and Marcelo controlled the ball on his chest before stabbing home.

The visitors were almost level five minutes later when Luka Modric’s shot slammed into a post and ran across goal to safety, while at the other end Suarez also hit the frame of the goal with an acrobatic volley as the game began to live up to its billing.

Real missed a great chance to equalise after 67 minutes when Karim Benzema headed over from six yards following a pinpoint cross from half-time substitute Lucas Vazquez.

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui may have had his last match in charge.

And they were made to pay seven minutes later when Suarez showed Benzema how it should be done, heading home from more than twice the distance after being set up by Sergi Roberto.
Roberto was again the provider with eight minutes left, dispossessing Ramos and releasing Suarez to clip the ball over Courtois and complete his hat-trick, while there was still time for a fifth goal as Ousmane Dembele provided the perfect cross for fellow substitute Arturo Vidal to head home.

La Liga and Serie A games may be streamed for free on Facebook in UK in latest threat to Sky and BT dominance

3 Aug

Facebook may stream La Liga and Serie A matches free of charge in the UK as Sky and BT Sport continue to lose their grip on football rights in the UK.

Eleven Sports, owned by Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani, won the rights to show the Spanish and Italian top flights earlier this year.

British fans could be able to watch league champions Barcelona and Juventus for free next season

According to the Times, the company want to show some games for free to British fans, following free screenings in other countries.

Subscriptions for Eleven Sports will cost £5.99 a month or £49.99 a year, with viewers able to watch the top divisions in the Netherlands, China and Sweden alongside Spain and Italy.

The biggest games, including El Clasico and the Milan derby, will remain subscription-only.

It is the latest blow to Sky and BT’s control of football in Britain, with the former losing its Spanish football rights in May after 20 years showing La Liga.

Eleven Sports are owned by Andrea Radrizzani, whose other enterprises include Leeds United

Eleven Sports reportedly bid less than the £18m per year Sky paid for their Spanish rights, while BT were outbid for Italian football, which they have shown since 2012.

Amazon are also on the scene, buying a 20-game package to show Premier League matches over the Christmas period, starting in 2019.

Sky will still show 126 Premier League games this year and 128 per season in the recently-agreed 2019-2022 deal.

BT have the rights to 42 games in 2018/19 and 52 annually in the three years following.

El Clasico will likely remain subscription-only
The Milan derby is also set to be behind a paywall

Eleven Sports will show the US PGA Championship for free as part of a seven-day trial offered to new customers at its launch.

The first two rounds will also be shown live for free on Facebook.

The company’s executive chairman Marc Watson said: “When fans subscribe to Eleven Sports through us they are getting pure sport, without any add-ons, bundles or contracts.

“We have built our business and our reputation in our global markets through our ‘For the Fans’ strategy that is underpinned by our accessibility and our engaging, localised approach that enables fans to get closer to the action.”