Goals by striker Gonzalo Higuain and Dutch winger Arjen Robben helped beleaguered Real Madrid rally from a goal down at half-ftime to a 3-1 victory over Osasuna in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Madrid’s Sergio Ramos canceled out Javad Nekounam’s first-half strike for Osasuna, before Higuain and Robben led the Spanish champion to their fourth straight win, two days after president Ramon Calderon resigned after being linked to a vote-rigging scandal.
“The team has been through a lot this week because of that happened, but it also knew how to overcome. I hope we can continue picking up wins and finish the season confidently,” new president Vicente Boluda said.
Last-place Osasuna led through Iran midfielder Nekounam, who got over Fabio Cannavaro and headed Jaroslav Plasil’s looping cross into the far corner in the 20th. Goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez mishandled Ramos’ long shot in the 50th to allow Madrid to begin its rally.
Higuain tapped in Robben’s cross in the 64th minute and the Dutchman added Real’s third goal in injury time.
Osasuna’s Juanfran Torres was sent off in the 83rd after a second booking for protesting even though he appeared to deserve a penalty after being tripped inside the area.
“Madrid isn’t playing so well but is still picking up good results and those results provide confidence and confidence allows you to play much better,” Madrid coach Juande Ramos said.
Barcelona beat Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 on Saturday to become the first team to reach 50 points at the halfway point of the season.
Fernando Llorente converted a 90th-minute penalty as Athletic Bilbao rallied for a 3-2 win over Valencia on Sunday.
David Villa put Valencia ahead two minutes in, but Igor Gabilondo headed an equalizer in the 18th at the San Mames.
Fernando Morientes restored Valencia’s lead in the 30th minute, only for Javi Martinez to level in the 42nd, moments after Valencia goalkeeper Renan Brito Soares limped off with a leg injury.
Meanwhile, Almeria held on for the final 35 minutes with 10 men to draw 1-1 against Atletico Madrid.
In a scrappy match at the Juegos Mediterraneos stadium, Atletico’s slack defense allowed Kalu Uche to move in and slot in his own rebound in the sixth.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle equalized with a header in the 22nd while Diego Forlan threatened before the close of the half.
Almeria defender Hernan Pellerano was ejected in the 54th minute and Atletico’s Pablo Ibanez headed off the crossbar from the ensuing set piece.
Atletico were reduced to 10 men for injury time after Ever Banega picked up a second yellow card in the 90th. Nine yellow cards were shown in all.
At El Madrigal, Villarreal snapped a six-game winless streak and picked up their first victory in all competitions since Nov. 30.
Joan Capdevila headed Miguel Ibagaza’s corner home in the 29th and Giuseppe Rossi scored his eighth from the penalty spot five minutes later to leave Mallorca winless in 12.
Antonio Galdeano and Nabil Baha scored penalties while Adrian Lopez and Albert Luque also scored as Malaga moved into a UEFA Cup place, while 18th-placed Espanyol’s winless streak was stretched to 10 after their 2-2 draw.
Huelva moved five points clear of the drop zone thanks to an early own-goal by Jorge Garcia and Adrian Colunga’s strike in the 55th.
At Valladolid, Sergio Garcia scored two second half goals to lead Betis, who snapped a six-match winless run.
Garcia caught goalkeeper Justo Villar out for goals in the 63rd and 90th after Francisco Munoz had opened for the visitors in the 16th.
Luis Prieto was unmarked to turn Pedro Leon’s curling free kick in for Valladolid in the 23rd.
Nicola Zigic’s goal for Racing handed Getafe a fourth-straight loss.
Sevilla beat Numancia 1-0 on Saturday.
When two Spanish soccer players took to the controls of FIFA 20 after the COVID-19 pandemic saw their La Liga match canceled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online. The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment and friendship with the “real world” seemingly falling apart. Real Betis Balompie striker Borja Iglesias kicked the winning goal using his own digital likeness in the 6-5 battle against Sevilla, which was broadcast on popular video game streaming platform Twitch. It took place at the same time the
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has said that the sport is “fighting for survival” as competitions at all levels are shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Robinson told Sky Sport’s The Breakdown that he cannot say when professional rugby might resume in New Zealand and in what form, whether it would be the five-nation Super Rugby tournament or the domestic Mitre 10 Cup. Rugby is New Zealand’s national sport and the All Blacks, the national men’s team, are one of the country’s most recognizable brands. The continuing suspension of competitions has been fully testing rugby’s resilience, Robinson said. “We’re fighting for sport’s survival in
Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez might be able to celebrate his first win of the season today when the Spaniard takes part in a virtual race from the comfort of his home. The dominant Honda rider has had no opportunity to triumph on the real racetrack so far this year, with this month’s opening Qatar round canceled and the following four races all postponed. The season is not due to start until mid-May at the earliest. Marquez has a remote chance, in the strictly literal sense, in what is being presented by MotoGP organizers as the #StayAtHomeGP. “All of us are living in
BASEBALL CPBL to begin on April 11 The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is to start on April 11, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with games on the opening day to be played behind closed doors. The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association said that games in the five-team league’s season-opening weekend would be played without fans, with the situation due to be assessed on a round-by-round basis. The opening day of the CPBL season was originally scheduled for Saturday. To abide by rules set out by health authorities, the CPBL has said that it would limit attendances to 150 fans once games are opened