Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 27th 2014 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 27, 2014
Ronaldo is on a goal-scoring
streak, Lionel Messi has
become Barcelona's best play-
maker, and Valencia is leading
the Spanish league for the first
time in three years.
Not to mention that Sevilla
hasn't lost yet, and Atletico
Madrid has come close to per-
fecting the corner kick.
La Liga is only five weeks old
but it has started with a bang.
Here are things you should
know about the sixth round of
the Spanish league:
RAMPANT RONALDO: After
losing consecutive games, Real
Madrid has responded in fierce
fashion, and Ronaldo is largely
responsible for its rebound.
Ronaldo scored three times
last Saturday in an 8-2 demo-
lition of Deportivo La Coruna,
and three days later back in the
Spanish capital he bettered that
mark by finding the net on four
occasions in a 5-1 win over
That gives the Ballon d'Or
holder 12 goals in all competi-
tions this season and a compe-
tition-leading eight in the
Madrid will face a tougher
test when it visits Villarreal
today. Villarreal has lost only
once, 1-0 to Barcelona, this sea-
The European champions
then will travel to Bulgaria to
play Ludogorets in the Cham-
pions League on Wednesday.
MASTERFUL MESSI: Famous
for his goals, Messi is becoming
Barcelona's leading playmaker
with veteran midfielder Xavi
Hernandez reduced to a substi-
tute role under coach Luis
Messi not only floats back to
receive the ball before ducking
his head and dribbling by
defenders. Now he picks out his
teammates' runs with well-
Messi scored three goals and
set up six more in Barcelona's
five wins across all competitions
before the Catalan club stumbled
to a 0-0 draw at Malaga on
Barcelona will be back at
Camp Nou torday to receive a
Granada side that has been one
of the quiet surprises with only
one loss so far under new coach
Barcelona visits Paris Saint-
Germain in the Champions
League on Tuesday.
THE BOSS IS BACK: Diego
Simeone will be back barking
orders and urging both Atletico
Madrid's players and fans to vic-
tory today when the defending
champions face Sevilla in the
highlight match of the round.
Simeone has finished the
four-match ban from league play
for his vehement protest during
the Spanish Super Cup.
Atletico has had mixed results
without its coach, and will need
undefeated Sevilla side that
enters the round in third place
behind Valencia and Barcelona
on goal difference.
The week doesn't get easier
for Atletico with Italian cham-
pion Juventus arriving on
Wednesday in the Champions
SET-PIECES: Atletico Madrid
had two main weapons that
powered it to the league title
With striker Diego Costa gone
to Chelsea, its reliance on set
plays has increased, and so far
it is working.
Six of Atletico's seven goals
in the league have come from
set-pieces. Center back Miranda
leads the team with three goals,
all from set-pieces, while mid-
fielders Jorge "Koke" Resurrec-
cion and Gabi Fernandez con-
tinue to excel with their
"I would be delighted to win
all our matches from set-pieces,"
midfielder Tiago Cardoso said.
"We work on them a lot. The
numbers are there for anyone
OTHERS TO WATCH: Valencia
visits Real Sociedad tomorrow,
three days after returning to the
top of the table for the first time
since early in the 2011-12 sea-
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo
has clicked well with his new
team, which has been in decline
in recent years.
Today, Athletic Bilbao wel-
comes neighbor Eibar, which
will make its first visit to San
Mames in league play.
Bilbao is struggling with four
losses to go with a sole victory.
The promoted Eibar, meanwhile,
has an impressive record of two
wins, a draw and two losses for
the topflight newcomer. (AP)
Ronaldo looks to add
more goals vs Villarreal
Barcelona's Neymar, from Brazil, center, is congratulated by teammate
Lionel Messi, from Argentina, left, and Dani Alves, from Brazil, right,
after Neymar scored a goal against Levante during a Spanish La Liga
football match at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia, Spain, on
Sunday. Today, Barcelona faces Granada. AP PHOTO
BERLIN—Mainz drew 0-0 with Hoffenheim
yesterday as both sides missed the chance
to go provisionally top of the Bundesliga.
“The draw is in order. We’d have liked to
have won but the result is fair,” Mainz sports
director Christian Heidel said.
Hoffenheim forward Anthony Modeste had
the best early chance for the visitors but shot
straight at Lorius Karius. Roberto Firmino
drew a good save from the Mainz goalkeeper
in the 33rd and Niklas Suele headed just over
from the resultant corner.
Then Filip Djuricic tried chipping Oliver
Baumann at the other end but the Hoffen-
heim keeper was alert to it.
Firmino headed against the post from a
narrow angle on the hour, in what was a hec-
tic but error-strewn second half.
“It was very hard-fought from both sides,”
said Hoffenheim striker Adam Szalai, who
came on as a substitute against his former
Both sides remain unbeaten, joint-second
on 10 points ahead of the rest of the sixth
League leader Bayern Munich visits Cologne
today, when Borussia Dortmund visits Schalke
for the Ruhr derby. (AP)
Mainz draws 0-0
ELCHE—Manuel “Nolito” Agudo scored in
the 90th minute to give Celta Vigo a 1-0
win at Elche and provisionally lift the unde-
feated side into fourth place in the Spanish
Nolito scored his fourth goal through six
rounds when the forward fired Michael
Krohn-Dehli’s excellent lobbed pass to meet
his run beyond goalkeeper Manuel Herrera.
Nolito had already shown he was Celta’s
most incisive player with his well-placed
Elche improved after halftime, but the
closest it came to scoring was when Celta
defender Andreu Fontas’ headed clearance
hit the crossbar in the 60th minute.
Celta rose one point above defending
champion Atletico Madrid and one point
behind Valencia, Barcelona and Sevilla at
the top before all play this weekend.
Minister of Housing Dr Roodal
Moonilal has been praised for his
recent statements indicating that the
Government of T&T is seriously look-
ing at the completion of the ill-fated
Brian Lara Stadium at Tarouba in
Originally scheduled to be completed
in time for the ICC World Cricket Cup
in 2007 when it was staged for the first
time in the Caribbean, the stadium
was originally estimated to cost $500
million but which has now escalated
to more than one billion.
The blighted project has also been
hit by a series of problems apart from
the cost over-runs including multiple
delays and claims of corruption. There
were also calls from some quarters that
cricket icon Brian Lara should remove
his name from the incomplete project.
However president of the T&T
Cricket Board of Control (T&TCB),
Azim Bassarath, said on Thursday that
Dr Moonilal should be complimented
for his “brave and courageous” state-
Speaking to the Chaguanas Chamber
of Commerce recently, the minister
spoke of the intention to have the facil-
ity completed and that it could cost in
the vicinity of $130 million before the
first ball is bowled.
“The statement of intent by Dr
Moonilal is sweet music to our ears.
We have been clamouring for the com-
pletion of the Brian Lara Stadium for
many years so we are quite happy to
hear that it could soon be opened to
the public of T&T,” said Bassarath.
Bassarath and the T&TCB have been
a keen advocate for the completion of
the stadium because Bassarath believes
that cricket needs an international stan-
dard venue in south Trinidad.
Currently all regional and interna-
tional matches must be played at the
famed Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-
Spain which is privately owned by the
Queen’s Park Cricket Club and repre-
sents a huge cost factor for the T&TCB
and the West Indies Cricket Board
(WICB) every cricket season.
Bassarath said that he hopes that a
request by the T&TCB for a tour of
the facility with UDecott, the state
company tasked with its construction,
will be possible in the near future.
“We are optimistic that we can go
on a tour of the stadium to assess what
needs to be done and indentify possible
problems going forward. We can also
provide whatever technical advice is
needed,” said Bassarath.
Cricket Board welcomes Moonilal’s plan
Dr Roodal Moonilal,
Minister of Housing.
Nolito’s late goal
gives Celta 1-0
win at Elche
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