Real Madrid Sign Midfielder Marcos Llorente to New 4-Year Deal

​La Liga champions Real Madrid have tied down Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente to a new four-year extension.

The 22-year-old, who joined Los Blancos from Rayo Majadahonda in 2008 – has garnered quite a bit of attention from clubs around Europe, prompting Madrid to sign him to a new deal to possibly ward off interest.

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“A statement on the club’s ​official website reads: Real Madrid C. F. and Marcos Llorente have agreed to extend the player’s contract, which will see him remain at the club until the 30th June 2021.”

“Tomorrow, Sunday, at 2pm, Marcos Llorente will appear before the media in the press room of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.”

Llorente now plays for Spain’s Under-21 side, having given a great account of himself at the Bernabeu in both the youth and senior side.

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Madrid reportedly rejected over 20 offers for him during the transfer window, and will hope that he can become a regular in the first team soon.

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Alavés 1 – 2 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Return to Winning Ways Thanks to Brace From Dani Ceballos

Real Madrid returned to winning ways against Alavés on Saturday thanks to an impressive brace from Dani Ceballos, who found himself on the score-sheet for the first time in his Los Blancos career.

Despite sitting at the bottom of the La Liga table, the home side proved to be no easy feat as they notched their first goal of the season from a thunderous header by Manu Garcia, as they ensured the Spanish champions found it hard to control much of the games proceedings. 

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Real Madrid settled into possession early at the Mendizorroza as they looked to bounce back from a poor run of form against an Alavés side who had yet to score a single league goal this season.

However, despite a half-chance coming the way of Cristiano Ronaldo inside the first few minutes, it was the home side who came close to breaking the deadlock early as Munir threatened to run in behind the Los Blancos back-line, which was quickly backed up by two dangerous crosses which threatened to undo the unorganised back-line of Real Madrid. 

But, as we know you can’t keep a top team down for long, just as Real Madrid appeared largely lacklustre inside the first ten minutes a special effort from Dani Ceballos who, had found space in the box, dispatched a right footed shot into the bottom left corner to give the visitors an early lead – his first goal for Real Madrid in his first starting appearance. 

​​Despite the set-back Alavés continued to commit players in the final third and take the game to the Whites, which allowed Real Madrid to absorb the pressure and look to counter-attack, a strategy which they seemingly had no qualms about executing as Zinedine Zidane’s side seemed to have moved up a gear half-way through the first period. 

The visitors tested the resolve of the Alavés’ stopper in back-to-back corners, where a close-range headed effort from Nacho had to be superbly tipped over the bar by Pacheco to ensure the deficit remained as one. 

Not to be disheartened Alavés continued to hold their own despite Madrid dominating possession, offering a real threat moving forward which they finally made count when they notched their first goal of their La Liga season when Garcia blasted a thumping header beyond a hapless Keylor Navas. 

The ecstasy and party atmosphere was quickly put to an end however, as Ceballos restored Real Madrid’s lead a mere three minutes later after a weak clearance from stopper Pacheco fell straight into his path, where his first time strike found the bottom right corner with little trouble – ensuring Zidane’s side took a 2-1 lead into the break. 

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A bright start to the second half offered chances for both sides as an early cross into the box from the home side required the intervention of Navas to catch the incoming header, whilst the other end saw Ronaldo scuff a volley which clipped the outside of the left upright. 

As both side’s traded blows in midfield clear-cut chances were momentarily hard to come by, but a superb reading of the offside trap allowed Isco to charge into the opposition’s box unmarked but an untimely slip ensured his strike was saved by the legs of Pacheco – a real let off for Alavés.

Desperate to get on the score-sheet Ronaldo freed himself up in the box and unleashed a stunning strike from the right sight of the penalty area which looked bound for the back of the net, but it once again found the left upright with the rebound unable to be capitalised on as Alavés cleared their lines. 

Just as Real Madrid looked to be pulling away and asserting themselves in the game, the home side almost levelled the scores on two occasions through Pedraza, the first coming when his effort agonisingly hit the crossbar, and the second a toe-poke beyond Navas which found the left upright – a game of small margins. 

Chances to extend their lead continued to fall for Real Madrid as the game came to a close, but none were taken advantage of as Ceballos’s brace ultimately proved to be the difference. 

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The win against Alavés restores Real Madrid back onto the winners list and sends them into fourth position in the table, four points off leaders Barcelona, with their next league fixture coming against Espanyol next Sunday.

Despite scoring their first goal of the season, Alavés remain on the hunt for their first points in La Liga with their next chance now coming against fifth-placed Levante on Saturday.

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Real Madrid Keeping Tabs on Liverpool’s Star Winger Sadio Mane as Senegalese Continues to Impress

​Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing a move for Liverpool’s flying superstar winger Sadio Mane after they shortlisted the 25-year-old as a future transfer target. 

Mane has been an instrumental part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool since his arrival from Southampton in a move worth £34m in 2016, and his consistent dazzling performances for the Reds have seemingly caught the eye of one of Europe’s top sides. 

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According to Spanish outlet ​OkDiario, Real Madrid are continually monitoring the progress of Mane at Liverpool as it is understood they are impressed with his pace and skill which is only set to improve as he enters the prime stage of his career.  

However, they could also face competition from arch rivals Barcelona who have reportedly turned their attention towards Mane after missing out on his teammate Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window. 

25-year-old Mane has hit the ground running at Anfield as he made 27 league appearances in his debut campaign – where he scored 13 goals and provided five assists – and the start of his second season has continued in the same vein as he has scored three goals in his opening four league games. 

The Senegal international’s impressive start to the season earned him August’s Premier League Player of the Month award, but a red card against Manchester City stopped Mane in his tracks as he was banned for three domestic matches. 

A linchpin in Klopp’s side will not be allowed to leave easily despite interest from members of Europe’s top table, in which Liverpool’s hand will be strengthened by the fact that Mane is contracted to the club until 2021. 

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Mane will have successfully completed his three game ban following Liverpool’s trip to Leicester on Saturday, allowing him to return to Premier League action next week against Newcastle. 

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FIFA Announce Shortlists for Best Players, Coach and Goal of the Year

​Friday saw FIFA announce the 2017 finalists for their highly coveted awards ceremony, celebrating everything good about football – from the brilliance of fans, to the best goal scored over the past year, and, of course, the Player of the Year award.

Now, there’s a fair few amount of awards to be handed out in London on October 23, and voting has already started – so wouldn’t it be really useful if all the information was just piled into one article?

Funny you should say that…

1. The Best FIFA Men’s Player

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid CF)

Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona) 

Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)

Now whether you class FIFA’s player of the year award or the Ballon d’Or as more prestigious, no one can dispute that this individual award means a great deal. 

The three finalists in Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar have been cut down from an original shortlist of 24; but, let’s be honest – was it ever going to be anyone other than those three? Highly regarded as the planet’s best trio, Twitter always gets a bit intense when this kind of debate rears its head – and this year it will be no different.

​​2. The Best FIFA Women’s Player

Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela/Santa Clarita Blue Heat/Florida State Seminoles) 

Carli Lloyd (USA/Houston Dash/Manchester City Women)

Lieke Martens (Netherlands/FC Rosengard/FC Barcelona)

At only 18 years old, Deyna Castellanos makes the list after a season worthy of earning UWS Player of the Year. She’s joined by highly decorated US international and current FIFA Women’s Player holder Carli Lloyd, as well as Lieke Martens – UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 winner and Player of the Tournament.

3. The Best FIFA Men’s Coach

Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus) 

Antonio Conte (Italy/Chelsea)

Zinedine Zidane (France/Real Madrid CF)

Scudetto and Coppa Italia winner? Check. Debutant Premier League winner? Check. Champions League and La Liga winner? Check. This year’s Men’s coach award looks to be one hell of a battle.

​​4. The Best FIFA Women’s Coach

Nils Nielsen (Denmark/Danish national team) 

Gerard Precheur (France/Olympique Lyonnais) 

Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands/Dutch national team).

Nils Nielsen earns his name amongst the top three for a superlative Euro 2017 campaign – reaching all the way to the final (and beating Germany along the way). Meanwhile Gerard Precheur was almost a dead cert to make the list after a second treble winning season in a row with Lyon, and Sarin Wiegman rightfully takes the third spot after guiding the Dutch national team to Euro 2017 glory.

​​5. The Best FIFA Goalkeeper

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus) 

Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid CF) 

Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern München).

Ever-present Juventus stopper Gianluigi Buffon has become part of the soil at the Allianz Stadium in the last 20 years – helping his side reach all the way to the Champions League final last season. Keylor Navas’ rise to power after an impressive 2014 World Cup performance, and Manuel Neuer also makes the list – despite a rather injury plagued 2017.

​​6. FIFA Puskas Award

Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana/Las Palmas/23.10.2016)

Alejandro Camargo (Argentina/Universidad de Conception/04.12.2016)

Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela/Venezuela U-17 Women national team/24.10.2016)

Moussa Dembele (France/Celtic FC/05.02.2017)

Olivier Giroud (France/Arsenal/01.01.2017)

Aviles Hurtado (Colombia/Tijuana Xolos/01.04.2017)

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia/Juventus/03.06.2017)

Oscarine Masuluke (South Africa/Baroka FC/30.11.2016)

Nemanja Matic (Serbia/Chelsea/23.04.2017)

Jordi Mboula (Spain/ FC Barcelona Youth/22.02.2017)

Now while we can’t fit videos of all of these goals in here, take the word from FIFA that there are some absolute screamers amongst that list. We’re talking scorpion kicks, cup final bicycle kicks. and wonderkid solo efforts (but no spoilers) – go discover for yourselves. You’ll be grateful.

Okay fine, here’s one just to whet the appetite a little. Kevin Prince Boateng’s effort for Las Palmas. It’s honestly something that’s come straight out of that childhood classic Shaolin Soccer…

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​​Oh lord, that’s tasty. Check the rest out here, and don’t forget to vote: FIFA Puskas Award.

7. FIFA Fan Award

Borussia Dortmund

Celtic FC

FC Copenhagen

By far the most heartwarming award. Dortmund make the list after offering to shelter Atletico Madrid fans for the night after the German side’s team bus was attacked and their Champions League fixture agaisnt the Spanish outfit was postponed by a day.

Celtic Park gave off a 360 degree card display towards the end of the 2016/17 season that coincided with their 50th anniversary of winning the European Cup.

When Copenhagen won the Danish Cup final, the players offered the trophy to the fans – who then halted celebrations in order to give the cup to a wheelchair-bound fan.

Voted for your favourite set of fans here: FIFA Fan Award.

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Real Madrid Hit With Fresh Setback as Marcelo Is Ruled Out for 4 Weeks with Hamstring Tear

​Zinedine Zidane’s week has gone from bad to worse after news emerged on Friday that first choice Real Madrid left back Marcelo will be out of action for four weeks after tearing his hamstring.

Los Blancos’ poor start to the season continued on Wednesday evening as the club slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to Real Betis – the first occasion in 73 matches where Real have failed to score a goal.

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And now, matters have gotten even worse for the after Marcelo was forced off the pitch in the 72nd minute during the match. According to Spanish outlet AS, the Brazilian has suffered a grade two tear in his left hamstring that will see him sidelined for four weeks.

As a result, he will miss Champions League matches with both Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund, as well as La Liga encounters with Alaves, Espanyol and Getafe.

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After putting Barcelona to the sword in the Spanish Super Cup at the end of summer, the Bernabeu outfit have suffered a mighty fall from grace after last year’s heroics. The Madrid club sit seventh in the league with only eight points from five games.

To make matters worse, Barcelona are flying high. The Blaugrana are enjoying unexpected success after Neymar’s departure. Without dropping points so far in the campaign, the Catalan club sit on top of the pile with 15 points – and Lionel Messi has scored the same amount of goals (nine) as the entirety of the Real Madrid side combined.

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Zidane’s men already have a big job to do in order to gain ground on their fierce rivals.

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Brazilian Legend Insists Real Madrid Should Keep Faith in Karim Benzema After Shaky Start

Brazilian footballing legend Ronaldo has rubbished claims that Real Madrid need a new striker in their ranks after a poor start to their league season.

Los Blancos are yet to win a home game this campaign, and there have been murmurs of a need for a new number nine at the Bernabeu – having let Alvaro Morata (the only like for like replacement for Karim Benzema) leave for Chelsea in the summer.

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However, former Madrid striker Ronaldo claims that Zinedine Zidane doesn’t need to change anything in regards to his forward line.

“Real Madrid’s approach is perfect,” Ronaldo told Marca at a charity golf event. “They have Cristiano Ronaldo, the best player in the world, and Benzema, they do not need another No. 9.”

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The attacking legend has faith in the current Spanish champions despite a tricky start that leaves them seven points adrift from table toppers Barcelona – and Ronaldo maintains that come the end of the season, they will be back at the top, competing to retain their title.

“Real Madrid have shown their ability in the last few years,” he added. “In other years it has been similar and they have still won titles.I hope the good results come back.”


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However, news has gone from bad to worse for Zidane and Co after a shock 1-0 defeat to Real Betis in midweek (the first time in 73 matches that Los Blancos have failed to score). Having left the pitch after 72 minutes, left-back Marcelo has now been ruled out of action for a month with a torn hamstring – giving his manager a further headache.

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Arsenal Offered Chance to Finally Sign Long-Term Target Karim Benzema in £44m Deal

According to reports in Spain, Arsenal are set to be offered the opportunity to bring Real Madrid and France striking starlet Karim Benzema to north London.

There have been frequent whispers over the past three or four transfer windows of Arsenal attempting to sanction a move for the 29-year old, but these rumours have persistently failed to come into fruition.

However, according to notorious Spanish rumourmongers Don Balon (via the Daily Star), that could be about to change.

Perez is in search of a new-look frontline for Real.

Real Madrid are considering allowing Benzema to leave Los Blancos – whom he has represented since 2009 – for a fee expected to be in the region of £44m, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez reportedly wanting to cash in on the attacker to fund a shake-up of the club’s attacking line.

Benzema has bagged 127 goals in 247 appearances for Real, and would be a welcomed addition to Arsenal’s side, providing a much-needed winning mentality in the Gunners’ long quest for the Premier League title. However, this deal doesn’t come without its cons for the north Londoners.

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Despite formerly representing Barcelona, Real have supposedly identified Arsenal talisman Alexis Sanchez as an ‘ideal replacement’ for Benzema. The Chilean has entered the final 12 months of his current contract, with the Gunners running the risk of losing their prized asset on a free transfer in the next summer transfer window.

Benzema could lead a new-look frontline with French compatriot and former Lyon striker, Alexandre Lacazette, who has enjoyed an impressive start to his Arsenal career following his club-record £52m move, scoring two goals in his first five appearances.

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Unhappy Defender Demands Exit Talks With Real Madrid President After Failing to Win First Team Place

​Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo has demanded immediate exit discourse with the head figures at the club, according to Spanish source Don Balon, cited by the ​Express.

The player joined Los Blancos from Real Zaragoza two years ago, yet he is yet to make his first appearance for the club, having been loaned back to Zaragoza for the 2015/16 season and then Frankfurt in the next.

Vallejo is reported as having already met with Madrid’s president Florentino Perez to insist that the Spanish champions let him go.

The 20-year-old came to Madrid with huge expectations, having been scouted by Perez himself. His loan spell at Frankfurt suggested that he would be given a chance at the Bernabeu this season, yet Zinedine Zidane has continuously overlooked him and doesn’t seem to believe that the player is good enough to slot into the senior side.

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With three years left to run on his contract, Madrid are under no obligation to sell the player. But given his status in the side, they may just decide that a transfer would be best for both parties.

Vallejo, who was a huge presence for Frankfurt last term before suffering an injury, plays as a centre-back, but can also be deployed in the right full-back position.


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He has only made the bench on one occasion this season, and is obviously very dissatisfied with the way things have turned out for him at Madrid. But it’s all left to the club to decide his future.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Desperate for Real Madrid to Snap Up Manchester United Wonderkid

​Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly urged his club’s hierarchy to make Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes a key transfer target, as he believes the 17-year-old has the potential to be his successor at the Bernabéu. Gomes is one of the most exciting young talents in English football, and is ready and waiting to burst onto the scene.

As reports by Spanish football outlet ​Don Balon, Europe’s top sides are clamouring to secure the services of the prodigious young talent, given the widespread excitement over his rapid development at Manchester United. The youngster won the club’s Young Player of the Year award last season, and looks set to embark on an illustrious career.

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While United boss José Mourinho will be eager to hang on to the pacy midfielder, Ronaldo is rumoured to have insisted that his club sign the player, in a bid to stop their arch-rivals Barcelona competing the deal before them. Gomes is yet to sign a professional contract with the club, and could leave on a tribunal fee of just £4m in the summer transfer window.

Gomes has risen rapidly through the England international youth ranks, and impressed for the Under-16 and Under-17 sides before making his debut for the Under-18’s in a 0-0 draw with Brazil earlier in the month. The starlet’s dribbling skills and creativity make him a tantalising prospect, and England fans will also be watching the player’s progress with excitement.


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Manchester United have started the Premier League in style, and currently sit joint-top of the Premier League table, after a series of barnstorming performances – including 4-0 victories over West Ham, Swansea City and Everton. United are yet to face a real tough test this season, but will face a tricky trip to Anfield to face Jürgen Klopp’s attack-minded Liverpool next month.

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Real Madrid 0-1 Real Betis: Visitors Hit Dramatic Winner as Los Blancos Fall 7 Points Behind Barca

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to league action was ruined on Wednesday night, as Real Betis shocked the champions with a last-gasp winner.

Ronaldo, Marcelo and Toni Kroos all came back into Zinedine Zidane’s starting eleven, with the former starting up front with Gareth Bale as Los Blancos deployed a 4-3-1-2 formation. Isco occupied the hole behind the strikers as Marco Asensio and Borja Mayoral dropped to the bench. 

It was the visitors that started the brighter at the Santiago Bernabeu and they could have gone one up if it hadn’t been for Dani Carvajal scrambling back to clear Antonio Sanabria’s shot off the line. It was an early warning sign for Madrid and one that proved that Betis weren’t to be taken lightly. 

Zidane’s men did come into the game after the early scare, with Luka Modric twice coming close to breaking the deadlock. Firstly, the Croatian midfielder carried the ball through a parting sea of Betis defenders to find himself entering the penalty area. With no option but to shoot, Modric sheepishly fired the ball into ex-Madrid keeper Antonio Adan.

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The second opportunity for the midfielder, who was the star of the opening 45 minutes, came from the right-hand side, as Dani Carvajal took advantage of space left by Betis’ Cristian Tello. The right-back whipped a ball to the penalty spot which was met by Modric who guided the ball just over the crossbar. 

The lack of first-half action was exemplified by the number of times that the Spanish broadcasters replayed the chance…

The last two opportunities of the half fell to either side, as both goalkeepers were called into action. Betis almost stunned the crowd into silence when Fabian Ruiz picked up a loose Carvajal throw-in before lashing the ball towards the top corner. Fortunately for the home side, Keylor Navas was on hand to pull out an incredible reflex save. 

It was Modric again who crafted Madrid’s final chance of the half, as he threaded a ball through to Isco whose low drive was met quickly by the diving Adan. That was the last main action of a first-half that proved frustrating for Ronaldo and co. The returning Portuguese star registered seven shots and only eight passes in the opening 45 minutes.

It was Ronaldo who fluffed his lines within five minutes of the restart, skying a perfectly driven Gareth Bale cross with an open goal to aim for. Whilst it was good to see the two stars linking up, Ronaldo should have done better.

As the half went on, the chances kept coming. Carvajal hit the post, Kroos hit a venomous long-ranger inches wide and Bale nearly scored the goal of his life, when he backheeled a cross towards the far end of the goal. Unfortunately for the Welshman, Adan was there again to tip the effort against the post.

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Asensio and Mayoral were introduced into the bubbling cauldron of the Bernabeu. The pitch was quickly becoming a war zone, as Madrid’s frustrations were tested by the physical nature of Betis’ defending. Every set-piece brought cries of foul play by Ronaldo and Ramos, yet the referee stood firm and nothing was given. 

As the game entered stoppage time, Betis thought they’d snatched a famous win. With half of Madrid’s defence up in attack, the visitors found themselves attacking in numbers and Sanabria’s tap-in sparked brief jubilation… until the linesman’s flag flew into the air.

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With two of the five stoppage time minutes remaining, a much-expected game finally arrived. However, as the ball was headed emphatically into the net, it was the men in green that were jubilant. Yet another open counter-attack resulted in a cross landing on the forehead of the unmarked Sanabria, who sealed a famous win for Betis at the Bernabeu. 

It was Madrid’s first home defeat to a team other than Barcelona or Atletico Madrid in over five years and ensured that Zidane’s patchy start to the season continued. Los Blancos now find themselves seven points behind Barcelona after three home games without a win.

For Betis, it was a phenomenal result and they can be complimented for playing a classy brand of football whilst maintaining their defensive steel at the back. The ex-Madrid keeper Adan was phenomenal, making seven saves, and the underdogs kept their cool to exploit Madrid’s blasé attempts at grabbing a winner of their own. 

What next for Madrid? They travel to Alaves next Saturday before heading to Germany to contest a tough group stage tie with Borussia Dortmund. With their home for the way it is, Zidane and co. will be happy to see the back of the Bernabeu, as Los Blancos look to salvage their season.

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