La Liga wide open as Real, Barca, Atletico stumble

La Liga wide open as Real, Barca, Atletico stumble

La Liga wide open as Real, Barca, Atletico stumble

Welshman Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's Champions League game at CSKA Moscow due to a thigh injury.

"That's all it is, simply management", he added.

Despite drawing at home to Girona and losing at minnows Leganes after starting without key first-team players, Valverde made the eye-catching decision to field a starting XI without midfield anchor Busquets and all-time top scorer Messi.

Real Madrid's 3-0 defeat to Sevilla on Wednesday has set the alarm bells ringing after they were outplayed and outfought by Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was left frustrated with VAR after Casemiro was not penalised for appearing to handle the ball in the penalty area during Saturday's 0-0 draw at Real Madrid.

Madrid club captain Sergio Ramos was also left out of the travelling squad for the trip to Moscow after a clash of heads with Atletico's Saul Niguez.

"Last year with [Samuel] Umtiti [against Barcelona] the same thing happened, they said it was involuntary, but what do you want me to say?"

More news: Trump says he and North Korea’s Kim ‘fell in love’

Juan Martínez Munuera wil ref the Madrid derby on Saturday night and he becomes the first referee to have VAR at his disposal in such a game.

Real controlled the game with more possession although Atletico looked more unsafe going forward and had the two clearest chances of the first half.

It means Real second, level on points with Barcelona, while Atletico are just two behind in fourth. "But we were far superior to Atletico Madrid, in the end of first half and entire second half. However, if you don't score, you don't win football matches".

The good news is that Dani Carvajal has recovered from a muscle problem and will be able to return after missing the last two matches, although Isco will be out for another three weeks after his appendix operation.

There were many doubts about Real Madrid's potential after it lost Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane in the offseason, but the team excelled after the opening loss to Atletico, winning five of its first six games.

"We know what the atmosphere will be like, we have to be prepared for a Champions League match of the highest demand". Barca defender Jordi Alba, meanwhile, was fiercely critical of his side after they took two points from a possible nine.

Related news