Football: Soccer-Real Madrid look to bounce back against Valencia


MADRID (Reuters) – LaLiga leaders Real Madrid will host Valencia on Saturday as they fight to rebound from a disappointing 1-0 loss to Getafe final weekend when coach Carlo Ancelotti slammed his gamers after a sluggish efficiency.

They will face a a lot improved Valencia facet, whose coach Jose Bordalas Jimenez has obtained a lot reward after they went undefeated in LaLiga from late October till they suffered a 2-1 residence loss to Espanyol of their final league outing.

“Our team took a few more days of vacation after Christmas,” an indignant Ancelotti stated after Real’s loss at Getafe, including that what he noticed “was not the identical crew” that managed to construct a snug lead on the prime within the weeks prior to the winter break.

Real had been flat once more as they rode their luck to edge previous Alcoyano within the final 32 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, successful 3-1 with two late objectives that helped them achieve revenge for his or her defeat to the third-tier facet final yr.

Real are nonetheless league leaders with 46 factors from 20 video games, however second-placed Sevilla are actually solely 5 factors behind and have a recreation in hand.

As Getafe snapped Real’s 15-match unbeaten streak, it introduced back reminiscences of the 2014-15 season, when — with Ancelotti as their coach — Real’s 22-match successful run was ended by Valencia in January.

That yr, Barcelona, who struggled at the beginning of the season, stormed back to seize the treble of LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles.

The Catalans are at the moment a great distance off prime, in fifth and 15 factors under Real.

Yet they managed to climb into the European spots final weekend for the primary time since Xavi Hernandez changed activities/xavi-named-new-barcelona-coach-club-statement-2021-11-06 Ronald Koeman as coach in November with a 1-0 win at Mallorca, once they the place lacking 14 gamers due to COVID-19, accidents and suspensions.

Barca will keep in Andalusia, the place they beat third-tier Linares 2-1 within the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, and can face Granada, who’re unbeaten in LaLiga since late November.

Sevilla will strive to preserve their momentum at residence on Sunday against Getafe, who’re led by former Watford supervisor Quique Sanchez Flores.

With their win within the derby against Real Madrid, they prolonged their unbeaten streak in LaLiga to six matches and are sixteenth within the standings, two factors above the relegation zone.

Champions Atletico ended a run of 4 consecutive league losses with a 2-0 residence win against Rayo Vallecano thanks to a brace from Angel Correa.

They will journey down south to face in-form Villarreal, who’re on a four-game successful run beneath former Paris St Germain and Arsenal supervisor Unai Emery.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Toby Davis)

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