Luka Modrić played the second half for Real Madrid as they suffered a crucial defeat to Real Betis. With Madrid down 1-0 at halftime, Jose Mourinho took off Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil for Kaka and Modrić as they put more emphasis on the attacking side of the game. Modrić completed 36 passes with 83% accuracy, crossing the ball four times and created one chance, but Real were unable to score. The loss leaves Real Madrid 11 points behind Barcelona and eight behind Atletico Madrid, their next opponent.
Ivan Rakitić picked up two late yellow cards and was sent off in Atletico Madrid’s 4-0 demolition of 9-man Sevilla. Prior to his sending off, Ivan completed a team high 46 passes with 85% success. He received a yellow card in the 77th minute for a handball and five minutes later was given his marching orders after Rakitić was very slow to the ball and lazily caught Tiago. Sevilla sit in tenth following the loss and remain just two points out of a Europa League spot.
Rakitić sees red versus Atletico Madrid
Nikica Jelavić and Everton just can’t seem to close out games these days. After going up 1-0 in the 12th minute via a Steve Naismith goal versus a hot Norwich City side Saturday, Everton couldn’t find another to put the match away and suffered the consequence in injury time. Jelavić only managed two shots on the day (0 on goal) but was wide open in front of the net in the second half, but Naismith’s attempted pass to the Croatian sailed wide and out of bounds. The ball surely would have found the back of the net if the pass was completed.
It showed that Everton playmaker Marouane Fellaini was missed for this match due to a red card suspension as the Toffees looked uninspired in their transitional game. Norwich would score in the 90th minute to force a 1-1 draw, which now sees Everton with only six points from their past fives games. Jelavić played the full 90, but Everton need to start piling up wins if their dream of a top-four finish are to come true.
Mladen Petrić received the start for Fulham on Saturday and played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to a very physical Stoke City side. Petrić fired off three shots during the match (1 on frame) alongside Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov. Fulham are now winless in their past five matches and currently sit 10th on the Premier League table. The Cottagers are currently underachieving at the moment and things won’t be getting any easier as their next two games are against Chelsea and Tottenham.
Vedran Ćorluka started and played the full match for Lokomotiv Moscow as they picked up a 3-2 win over Kuban Krasnodar. Dario Krešić was left out of goal for a third consecutive match with Guilherme Marinato returning from injury to take back his starting job. Vedran filled in at right back as he returned to the position he’s been used at most over his career. He was not at fault for either of Kuban’s goals and played a part in Lokomotiv’s second, winning the initial header on a deep free kick, which bounced around the box before being finished by Dame Ndoye. Loko remains in eigth and have closed the gap to Europa League qualification to just three points.
Ćorluka header at 1:20
Stipe Pletikosa was injured and subbed off in the 32nd minute of Rostov’s 2-0 victory over Mordovia Saransk. Stipe said after the match that he came into the weekend at less than 100% and the sub was largely a precaution. He expects to play in Rostov’s game next Sunday against Kryliya Sovetov. Rostov remain in 12th with seven points in their last three matches.
Tomislav Dujmović (#20 above) played the full match for Mordovia and failed to impress. Tomo clumsily barged into Timofey Kalachev to give Rostov a penalty and their opening goal. He also picked up a yellow card in the 62nd minute. This was Mordovia’s sixth consecutive defeat as they remain bottom of the Russian Premier League with just eight points in 17 matches.
Dujmović penalty call
Both Darijo Srna and Eduardo got the start for Shakhtar Donetsk on Saturday in a routine 5-1 victory over Hoverla. Srna assisted on Willian’s 13th minute goal to make it 2-0, sending a sharp pass from outside the box to the Brazilian, who made a move and shot low to the far post. Srna was subbed out in the 55′ while the unproductive Eduardo was taken off in the 63′. With the win, Shakhtar now have 48 points from the first 17 matches of the season, good enough for a 14-point lead on second place Dynamo Kyiv.
Ognjen Vukojević made a brief cameo appearance for Dynamo Kyiv on Sunday in a 4-0 win over crosstown rivals Arsenal, coming off the bench in the 86th minute. Niko Kranjčar was left off the squad as he tries to recover from an ankle injury. Dynamo move up to second place in Ukraine with the win.
Ivan Strinić, Nikola Kalinić and Dnipro will take on Metalurh Zaporizhya on Monday with sole possession of second place on the line. Earlier in the week, Dnipro defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in Europa League to top the group and confirm their seed going into the knockout round draw. Kalinić remained on the bench while Strinić received the start, assisting on the equalizing goal in the 24th minute.
The Bayern München bus continues to bulldoze its way through the Bundesliga this season as the German Giants smashed on Hannover 96 5-0. Mario Mandžukić started and played 85 minutes in the win. The Croatian international finished the game with only two shots on goal and will receive some strong competition from Mario Gomez after Mario reached the back of the net just minutes after coming in for Super Mario. Mandžukić and Co. will host Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Photo: REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen
Wolfsburg continued its fine play with an impressive 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen on Saturday. Former Dinamo Zagreb striker, Ivica Olić, started and went the distance for Wolfsburg in the draw. Ivica was quiet most of the match and had his best chance saved by Werder keeper Sebastian Mielitz in the 75th minute of play. Srdjan Lakić looked on from the bench.
Fortuna Düsseldorf snapped a seven match winless streak with a 2-0 win over Hamburger SV. Former Dinamo Zagreb captain, Milan Badelj, started and played 74 minutes in the loss. Hamburg had 2 goals disallowed and dominated 66% of possession but were outplayed and out-hustled by Fortuna Düsseldorf. Ivo Iličević remains sidelined because of injury.
PHOTO: European cy
Ivan Perišić has been pretty quiet the past few weeks since asking for a transfer out of Dortmund. The 23-year-old, former Club Brugge star came off the bench in the 82nd minute for Borussia Dortmund in a 2-1 win over Mainz 05 on Saturday. Ivan had a few touches on the ball but failed to register a shot. Dortmund moved up to second place on the Bundesliga table with the win.
PHOTO: European cy
Ivan Klasnić made his first appearance in two months after coming on in the 85th minute of play for Nicolai Müller in search of an equalizer. The 32-year-old, Croatian international will have to wait until Wednesday to get another chance.
The injury bug continues to follow Dejan Lovren as the 23-year-old Croatian international will be out at least two weeks because of a thigh injury. The former Dinamo Zagreb defeder was quoted from his twitter account: “Two to three weeks injured? I am really angry.” Lyon could have used Dejan in defense as they fell 3-0 to Toulouse on Sunday as Lyon dropped to fourth place on the Ligue 1 table.
Former Hajduk Split captain, Ante Vukušić, looked on from the bench and failed to reach the pitch for Pescara in a 1-0 home loss to Roma. The 21-year-old striker is still looking for his first Serie A goal for Pescara after registering 18 shots in 10 games. Chances are that Ante will be looking on from the bench until he starts to produce.
Fortuna Düsseldorf at Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 at Hamburg, Alcoyano at Real Madrid(Copa Del Rey),
Fulham at Chelsea, Arsenal at Everton, Bayern München at Freiburg, Wolfsburg at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Olympique Lyonnais at Olympique Marseille, Sevilla at Espanyol(Copa Del Rey),
Dynamo Kyiv at Hoverla, Shakhtar Donetsk at Kryvbas, Lokomotiv Moskva at Alaniya
Tottenham at Fulham, Everton at Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund at Bayern München, Montpellier at Olympique Lyonnais, Atlético Madrid at Real Madrid, Dnipro at Metalurh Donetsk, Rostov at Krylya Sovetov, Rubin Kazan’ at Dinamo Moskva
Hamburg at Wolfsburg, Pescara at Napoli,
~Ante Kvartuč and Denis Svirčić reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN