Good Morning and welcome to our brief round up of the Spanish Papers, which look closely at Barcelona’s win over Deportivo and Real Madrid’s Club World Cup victory.
Barcelona were already three points clear from Valencia at the top of La Liga, but their victory tonight has doubled their advantage.
Pre kick-off, Lionel Messi was awarded the 2016-17 Gold Shoe award.
The ball was in the back of the Deportivo net after five mintues through Luis Suarez, but it was disallowed after Paco Alcacer, who had provided the assist was judged to be offside.
Barcelona had to withdraw Paco Alcacer due to injury and Aleix Vidal took his place.
Deportivo ‘keeper Ruben was forced into a couple of decent saves from shots from Messi and Vidal, but from the corner, which had been initially cleared, a lofted ball back into the box found an unmarked Messi, who unselfishly squared the ball to Suarez who had the simplest of tasks of tapping the ball into the back of the net on the 28 minute mark.
10 minutes later, Barcelona’s lead was doubled through Brazilian midfielder Paulinho, Messi’s shot hit the inside of the post and Paulinho was the quickest to react and tap the ball into an empty net.
Barcelona had been on the wrong end of several decisions, including the goal which wasn’t given against Valencia, although the ball had evidently gone over the line. Suarez’s rabona rebound seemed to have crossed the line, but the referee and linesman didn’t think so and the score remained at 2-0.
A minute into the second half though, Barcelona did make it 3-0 through Suarez, once again through a low cross across the Deportivo penalty area from Sergi Roberto and comfortably finished by the Uruguayan.
Messi had been a threat all game, but couldn’t make the score sheet and he even missed a penalty, although it was well saved by Ruben who had had made a series of good saves.
On the 75 minute mark, Paulinho made it 4-0 and it was once again a case of being at the right place at the right time, Jordi Alba’s shot hit the post and fell at Paulinho’s feet, who was quick to react.
Deportivo host Celta Vigo on Saturday, whilst Barcelona travel to Madrid to face Real in El Clasico, a real Christmas present for football fans who will be guaranteed a spectacle as always with this fixture.
Club World Cup success for Real Madrid
Real Madrid became the first team to win back-to-back FIFA Club World Cup titles after Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick defeated Brazilian side Gremio in the final.
The European Champions controlled the early tempo, but were restricted to long-distance efforts in the first half.
Gremio deservedly ended the first period level, but trailed early on in the second when FIFA Ballon D’Or winner Ronaldo struck a trademark free-kick beyond the reach of keeper Marcelo Grohe.
Real could have added to their tally, but had to settle for victory by a solitary goal.
The La Liga Champions made hard work of their semi-final win over Al Jazira, and this continued against the South American Champions.
Isco flashed an early long-range effort over the crossbar, as Real Madrid struggled to open their opposition’s defence.
Gremio themselves, offered some threat as Edilson’s ambitious free-kick flew just north of the Real Madrid crossbar, and they were deservedly level at the break.
After the interval, Ronaldo arrived at the forefront of the action, warning Gremio with a powerful effort wide of the post, as Los Blancos cranked up the pressure.
Two minutes later, Ronaldo found the net, striking home low free-kick to give his side the lead.
With the confidence of a goal, Real Madrid looked by far the more dominant team. Grohe pushed a Luka Modric shot onto the post as the Spaniards looked to extend their narrow lead.
The scoreline would have been more emphatic if it wasn’t for Grohe’s assured performance in goal. Substitute Gareth Bale’s strike was kept out by an outstretched save.
Gremio, who didn’t manage a shot on target throughout, never looked like equalising in the second half, as Real Madrid held out to win the title comfortably.