FOOTBALL – There has been so much going on in Spanish and UK football lately, it´s difficult to catch up. But here is your summary for all that is happening now!
European football is in the final stages. The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Champions League took place yesterday. They are as follows;
- Real Madrid v Liverpool
- Porto v Chelsea
- Manchester City v Dortmund
- PSG v Bayern
The first leg quarter finals will take place over April 6 and 7, with the second legs on April 13 and 14. The semi-final draw is as follows;
- The winner of Bayern v PSG v the winner of Manchester City v Dortmund
- The winner of Real Madrid v Liverpool v the winner of Porto v Chelsea
The first leg will be between April 27 and 28, with the second leg taking place May 4 and 5. The final will be held on May 29 in Istanbul.
UEFA Europa League
Villarreal and Granada from Spain and UK teams, Arsenal and Manchester United remain in the final stages.
The first leg of the quarter-finals is due 8th with the return matches on 15th April, the semi-final legs on 29th April and 6th May while the final will take place at Gdansk Arena on 26th May.
- Granada v Manchester United
- Arsenal v Slavia Praha
- Ajax v Roma
- Dinamo Zagreb v Villarreal
- QF Winner 1 v QF Winner 3
- QF Winner 4 v QF Winner 2
Final May 26, Gdansk
- SF 2 v SF1
As reported by Marca, “With Real Madrid being the only remaining Spanish team in the Champions League and Granada and Villarreal in the Europa League, this has seen England overtake them in UEFA’s coefficient ranking.
England’s rise to the top of the pile is down to their strong representation in the latter stages of European competition, with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City still in the Champions League. And in the Europa League, Arsenal and Manchester United are still involved”.
Following the appointment of Laporta, there is renewed excitement at FC Barcelona. Including optimism that Messi will consider remaining at the club and renewing his contract when it runs out in June. It is no secret that Laporta will do everything in his power for this to happen.
The domestic double is also a possibility, and there is a talented stream of up-and-coming youngsters in the Barcelona squad. This includes Pedri, Ilaix Moriba, Oscar Minqueza and Ansu Fati.
Another youngster working his way through the ranks, and as reported by El Mundo Deportivo, is Nico González who has been at the club since the age of 11. He turned 19 in January and is renowned for his vision and reading of the game. He shows skill in possession and tactical nous. He can play in the centre mid-field and is now ready for promotion to the first team.
However, Laporta must turn the club finances around.
Last night Real Betis took on Levante at home and won 2-0. This moves them up to 6th position, equal on points with Real Sociedad.
Today there are three games Athletic Club v Eibar, Celta Vigo v Real Madrid, Huesca v Osasuna and Real Valladolid v Sevilla.
Sunday´s matches are Getafe v Elche, Valencia v Granada, Villarreal v Cadiz, Atletico Madrid v Alaves and Real Sociedad v Barcelona.
Latest on La Liga table
Atletico still top with 63 points, Barcelona 2nd on 59 with Real Madrid just behind on 57. Sevilla in 4th place have 54 points. On Sunday top of the table Atletico take on 3rd from the bottom, Alaves at home. Also, Barcelona are away to Real Sociedad who sit in 5th place. Real Madrid are away on Saturday to 10th place Celta Vigo
El Clasico: Barcelona vs Real Madrid – April 10
This is in some ways similar to the `old firm´ matches in as much as it is old rivals. This match will take place on. It will take place on April 10 with Barcelona at home to Real Madrid.
Copa del Rey finals
Following our previous article when La Liga President, Tebas was optimistic of fans being allowed in the stadium for the two Copa del Rey finals, it looks like hopes have been dashed.
According to Marca, despite recent reports claiming that fans could be allowed to attend the 2020 Copa del Rey final between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have released a statement to indicate that the game will be played behind closed doors.
The RFEF, the Spanish Ministry of Health and Andalusia’s regional government agreed that the match, which will be disputed on April 4 at the Estadio de La Cartuja, will be held without fans in attendance due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 in the country.
“It is not possible, adequate, timely nor convenient [to allow fans back to the stadium for the Copa del Rey final],” the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, said during a press conference.
“We all want to be in person again at these events, but they will understand that this is not the moment [to begin the return to normality].”
No fans have been permitted in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank games since last year when countries around the world went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.