BBC BLOGS - Phil Minshull

Archives for April 2011

Real and Ronaldo show that Barca can be beaten

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Phil Minshull | 15:58 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

Did Real Madrid's victory over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey signal a shift in the balance of power between the Spanish giants?

Real are unbeaten in the first two of four back-to-back meetings in 18 days and their success on Wednesday will have fortified them for the two Champions League semi-final encounters to come.

We learned several things from Real's cup win. First and foremost, it showed Barcelona can be beaten.

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El Clasico enters new dimension

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Phil Minshull | 20:51 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

One of the world's great sporting rivalries enters a new dimension on Saturday when Real Madrid play Barcelona in La Liga to kick off the first of four meetings in just over two weeks.

After Saturday's match the two clubs meet in the Copa del Rey final on 20 April, which will be followed by their two-legged Champions League semi-final - with the first game at Real's Bernabeu stadium on 27 April and Barca hosting the second on 3 May.

Both teams have a chance of winning the Treble, a feat only achieved in Spanish football history by Barca two years.

However, Real are eight points behind the defending Spanish champions with only seven games to go and as Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho admitted after the recent defeat by Sporting Gijon, mathematically the league might not be lost, but "in practical terms it is".

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Can Madrid make Real Champions League strides?

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Phil Minshull | 12:02 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

This might not be the best time to ask, in the wake of their first home defeat of the season, but can Real Madrid finally win the Champions League again and be crowned the kings of Europe for a 10th time?

Of course they can. Logic dictates that any one of the remaining eight teams in this year's competition has a chance to lift the trophy at Wembley on May 28.

However, is it a realistic proposition that it will be Real Madrid who will win a first title since 2002?

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