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Football: Atletico the Robin Hood of Spain, claims Tiago

Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago Mendes has compared his side's ability to compete with the far richer Barcelona and Real Madrid this season to the tale of Robin Hood. Atletico face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Camp Nou on Tuesday and also lead La Liga ahead of the two traditional giants of Spanish football with just seven games remaining.

Barça coach stresses defense ahead of Champions clash with Atletico

Sant Joan Despi, Spain, Mar 31 (EFE).- FC Barcelona coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said Monday that he wants his squad to focus on playing sound defense in this week's first-leg Champions League quarterfinal with Atletico Madrid. "We cannot go in to play a desperation match. We need order," he said after practice for Tuesday's contest at Barcelona's Nou Camp. While not expecting a wide-open game, Martino said he knows Atletico will "come out in the first moments with the idea of scoring a goal, knowing the value it can have."

Football: Valdes out for seven months with knee injury

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will miss the rest of the season and Spain's defence of the World Cup as he will be sidelined for seven months following knee surgery. "Victor Valdes underwent surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament on Monday morning with doctors Ulrich Boenish and Ricard Pruna in Augsburg, Germany," Barcelona said in a statement on Monday. "They made an incision in the internal meniscus of the right knee and the surgery was completed in a satisfactory manner. "The estimated time out will be seven months."

Football: Demands on Neymar unrealistic, claims Alves

Barcelona full-back Dani Alves believes there has been too much expectation placed upon Brazilian international teammate Neymar in his first season with the Catalan giants. Neymar has had an up and down campaign as 14 goals in all competitions has been offset by a lack of form and fitness for much of the season. The 22-year-old has also been under intense scrutiny due to the controversy surrounding his transfer from Santos last May with Sandro Rosell resigning as the club's president in January as he faced legal action over misappropriation of funds in the deal.

Football: Barcelona's Xavi fears Atletico inside knowledge

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is concerned that Atletico Madrid will know exactly how to stop the Catalans when they meet in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday. Both sides have already clashed three times this season, twice in the Spanish Supercup and once in La Liga with all three encounters ending in draws. Barca took the spoils in the Supercup on away goals, but it is Atletico who lead the way in La Liga, a point ahead of second placed Barca, with just seven games remaining.

Football: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid factfile

Factfile on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid ahead of their Champions League quarter-final, first leg tie on Tuesday: Form: Barcelona have bounced back from a run of three defeats in six league games to put themselves back in the fight to retain their La Liga title with four straight wins, most notably in beating Real Madrid 4-3 in El Clasico on March 23. Lionel Messi's return to top form has played a huge role in his side's revival as the Argentine struck a hat-trick at the Bernabeu and now has nine goals in his last five games.

Football: Man United look for cracks in Bayern's armour

Manchester United manager David Moyes says that his side must exploit the smallest weaknesses in Bayern Munich's game if they are to eliminate the Champions League holders in the quarter-finals. United appeared in three of the four finals between 2008 and 2011, triumphing in the first year, but their fall from grace under Moyes means that they approach Tuesday's first leg at Old Trafford as underdogs.

Football: Real Madrid, Barca keep on Atletico's tail

Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid recovered from two consecutive league defeats to beat Rayo Vallecano 5-0 on Saturday. Atletico Madrid remain top of La Liga as they came from behind away to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1, while Barcelona rounded off a fine week by overcoming stiff resistance from local rivals Espanyol to win 1-0 thanks to a late Lionel Messi penalty. Victory for all three title contenders means that Atletico maintain their one point lead over Barcelona with Real a further two points adrift in third.

Football: Good week for Pellegrini despite top spot miss

Manuel Pellegrini is convinced Manchester City have enjoyed a "good week" despite failing to take an opportunity to go top of the Premier League. Chelsea's surprise 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday gave City the chance to move above them, and Liverpool, with a win at Arsenal. David Silva's first-half goal put them on course to do just that but they had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw when Mathieu Flamini equalised for the hosts. That left City still third and instead it is Liverpool who can overtake Chelsea if they win at home to Tottenham on Sunday.

Football: Real Madrid, Barca remain on Atletico's tail

Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid recovered from two consecutive league defeats to beat Rayo Vallecano 5-0 on Saturday. Atletico Madrid remain top of La Liga as they came from behind away to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1, while Barcelona rounded off a fine week by overcoming stiff resistance from local rivals Espanyol to win 1-0 thanks to a late Lionel Messi penalty. Victory for all three title contenders means that Atletico maintain their one point lead over Barcelona with Real a further two points adrift in third.
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