Left Menu
Development News Edition

Soccer-La Liga talking points

Mariano was easily Madrid's most threatening player in an otherwise poor performance and his display led to many in the Spanish media questioning why he is so rarely used by Zinedine Zidane despite scoring five league goals in only four starts in the last three seasons. "Mariano has done more in 35 minutes than Luka Jovic has in 18 months," said Cadena Ser radio commentator Antonio Romero during the first half, contrasting Mariano's impact with that of Real's 60-million-euro ($71 million) forward.

Reuters | Madrid | Updated: 23-11-2020 04:17 IST | Created: 23-11-2020 04:17 IST
Soccer-La Liga talking points

Talking points from the weekend in Spanish soccer after Atletico Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 and Real Madrid were held 1-1 at Villarreal. WILL KOEMAN LAST THE SEASON?

Barcelona's defeat at Atletico Madrid sealed their worst start to a La Liga season in 29 years and the first seeds of doubt about coach Ronald Koeman's early spell in charge were planted in the post-match news conference. The Dutchman roundly dismissed suggestions that players and the club could lose faith in him, but the outlook looks bleak.

Lionel Messi looked far from his usual best against Atletico and got little support from the midfield, while the whole team was at fault for Yannick Carrasco's winning goal, which provoked the ire of Koeman. Barca only have three fit defenders available, including one centre back, after losing Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto to serious injuries and the coach no longer has an ally in president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October.

The club faces elections in January and unless Koeman turns things around quickly, he could be the first casualty once a new president is elected. ATLETICO'S NEW APPROACH PAYS OFF

The most striking thing about Atletico's win over Barcelona was that Diego Simeone's side were so keen to have the ball. Atleti are infamous for their cautious approach against the top teams but they looked assured in possession and saw out the victory without resorting to defending deep in their own half.

"We were a lot calmer than them and when we had the ball we tried to circulate it in order to tire out our opponents," said match-winner Carrasco. "We're always thinking about defending well but this season we are playing the ball much more."

If Atletico can maintain this attacking outlook while continuing to defend resolutely, the title could be theirs to lose. IS MARIANO THE ANSWER TO REAL MADRID'S STRIKING TROUBLES?

Real Madrid's injury crisis led to forward Mariano Diaz being handed his first start in 18 months and the Dominican certainly made the most of the opportunity, needing less than two minutes to open the scoring in the eventual 1-1 draw. Mariano was easily Madrid's most threatening player in an otherwise poor performance and his display led to many in the Spanish media questioning why he is so rarely used by Zinedine Zidane despite scoring five league goals in only four starts in the last three seasons.

"Mariano has done more in 35 minutes than Luka Jovic has in 18 months," said Cadena Ser radio commentator Antonio Romero during the first half, contrasting Mariano's impact with that of Real's 60-million-euro ($71 million) forward. With Karim Benzema still nursing a muscle injury and Jovic out with COVID-19, Mariano could get another chance to prove himself in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan. ($1 = 0.8436 euros)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Biden names economic team to address U.S. pandemic recovery; two more states confirm vote

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named several women to his top economic policy team on Monday, including former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary nominee, setting the stage for diversity and a focus on recovery from th...

'Pandemic' chosen as Word of the Year

The 2020 prize for Merriam-Websters Word of the Year went to an obvious choice pandemic. The term had the most online dictionary lookups of any word, Merriam-Webster said on its website, after a year in which at least 1.4 million people glo...

Serbia to make lab tests of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine -statement

Serbia plans to start laboratory testing of Russias Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus and it will also continue talks with drugmaker Pfizer Inc about purchasing its shot, the countrys prime minister said on Monday. Russia will deliv...

Motor racing-Perez says he has options to return to F1 in 2022

Mexican Sergio Perez said on Monday he has options for a Formula One comeback in 2022 if he has to sit out next season, with the possibility also of carrying out a reserve role at a top team for 2021. Perez is being replaced at Canadian-own...

Give Feedback