FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid: Messi breaks the deadlock (1-0) | FC Barcelona
Ten days before this Spanish Cup quarter final first leg, Barça danced around Atlético to win 3-1 in La Liga. But Wednesday night’s fixture was more reminiscent of the six meetings between the sides last season. For 83 minutes, the two teams were locked in an intense battle, with their defences shining more than their frontmen. But then the deadlock was finally broken and Barça could go on to celebrate a second consecutive victory against the Liga champions.
Five talking points from FC Barcelona 1-0 Atlético Madrid | FC Barcelona
The German stopper has kept clean sheets in all of his four cup appearances. Against Atlético he didn’t have to make any decisive saves but he looked secure every time the ball came near him. And where Ter Stegen once again showed class was with his footwork. His passes found their targets from 40 metres whether he hit them with his right or his left foot. And that went a long way to dispelling the Atlético pressure.
Luis Enrique insists there's still work to be done | FC Barcelona
Barça have beaten Atlético Madrid for the second time in ten days, this time 1-0 in the cup. Luis Enrique feels it was a fair result, saying after the game that "it means we can feel optimistic about the second leg. But we have to go out to win at the Vicente Calderón".
'A fair result' claims Andrés Iniesta | FC Barcelona
"Atlético are always hard to play against" he continued. "They do things very well and don’t allow many chances. But we played well, created danger and looked to outnumber them in the right parts of the field". He concluded by saying that "I always like to think that the best has yet to come and there is a long season left for us to do things well".
Training focussed on Elche game | FC Barcelona
The first team squad trained at the Tito Vilanova Pitch at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on a cold Thursday morning today, with the players who figured in the win against Atlètico Madrid doing mainly recovery work. Luis Enrique led the session as he began preparations for Saturday’s game against Elche. Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Dani Alves all worked inside on specific treatments, whilst Jérémy Mathieu also trained apart as he worked on recovering from his injury.
Busquets upbeat about return game | FC Barcelona
Speaking to the Barça TV programme "El Marcador", Sergio Busquets reckons the 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid is a "good result – scoring a goal in Madrid will take us a step closer to the semi-finals – they’ll then have to score three".
Goal-shy Suarez still struggling to justify €81m price tag - Goal.com
It isn't quite happening yet for Luis Suarez. The Uruguay striker missed the best chance of the whole game and endured another frustrating evening in front of goal for Barcelona. And six months on from his expensive summer signing, he is still struggling to live up to his 81 million euro price tag.
Three million Facebook followers | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona supporters clubs Facebook page can celebrate the new year in style. The movement’s presence on social networks is expanding each day, and can now boast three million fans on Facebook.
Deloitte Money League: Manchester United second only to Real Madrid in list of world's richest clubs | Football News | Sky Sports
The Football Money League compiled by Deloitte sees Real established at the top of the tree for the 10th year in succession, with revenues of £459m, while United are on £433m, Bayern £407m and Barcelona £405m. Manchester City remain in sixth position behind Paris Saint-Germain, with Chelsea and Arsenal sustaining their seventh and eighth places and Liverpool up to ninth.
Real Madrid defender Pepe set for month on sidelines with rib problem - ESPN FC
Real Madrid defender Pepe is facing a month out of action with a rib injury sustained in the Copa del Rey against rivals Atletico Madrid last week, according to AS. Pepe, 31, was substituted an hour into the 2-2 draw in the second leg of the last-16 tie -- which Atletico won 4-2 on aggregate -- after he clashed with Raul Garcia when competing for a cross from Koke.
Carlo named IFFHS Coach of the Year | Football Espana
Carlo Ancelotti has been named 2014 Coach of the Year in a ranking compiled by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). The Real Madrid boss was selected ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Pep Guardiola of Bayern Munich and Chelsea supremo Jose Mourinho.
Real Madrid announce deal for Norway teenager Martin Odegaard | Sky Sports
A deal has been struck with Stromsgodset for the 16-year-old midfielder, who has already been capped at international level and was linked with several other top European clubs. Odegaard watched Real in Copa del Rey action earlier this month and will have his medical in Madrid on Thursday.
Real Madrid win race for Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva | Sky Sports
Real Madrid have won the race to sign Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva from Cruzeiro, according to reports in Spanish newspaper Marca. The newspaper suggests that Real have reached an agreement with Cruzeiro to sign the Brazilian for a reported €15 million.
Arsene Wenger confirms Arsenal are in talks with Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista | Sky Sports
"The talks are progressing quite well. I don’t think there is need to say much more," he said. "We are talking at the moment, whether we can find an agreement or not, I don’t know. "We are slowly progressing, but there is a chance. At the moment we are talking. The 20 million is euros, it’s £15m to transform the amount.