Magical Messi nears Mueller goals record

Updated 24 November 2012
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Magical Messi nears Mueller goals record

MADRID: Superstar Lionel Messi, having taken his 2012 goals tally to 80 in midweek, can close in on German great Gerd Mueller’s all-time record of 85 in a calendar year tomorrow.
The Argentinian had already surpassed Pele’s total of 75 goals in 1958 and a double at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, when Barcelona secured their spot in the Champions League last 16, further boosted his hopes.
With his La Liga-leading side traveling to Levante tomorrow, Messi now has eight matches left before the Christmas break in which to break Mueller’s record of 85 goals in 1972.
Levante will be a difficult place to go for Barca as Real Madrid can vouch after scraping a late 2-1 win there two weekends ago.
A 2-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend saw Levante move into a Champions League position in fourth, and in Obafemi Martins they have pace that Barca will be wary of.
The Nigerian ex-Newcastle and Inter Milan striker has hit five goals in eight league games this season since his summer move from Rubin Kazan.
Second-placed Atletico Madrid entertain Sevilla just before Barca play, knowing that a win will pile pressure on Messi and his team mates.
There are three points between the two sides who have both made record-breaking starts to the season.
Barca have dropped only two points to date in the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid, while Atletico have let just five slip.
Meanwhile, chasing hard in third position, eight points behind Barca, are Real Madrid who go to Real Betis today on the back of five straight league wins and Champions League qualification achieved with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
Betis will be keen to give a good performance after their derby disaster, while Madrid slowly recovers from an early season injury crisis.
Betis defender Chechu Dorado feels positive despite the Sevilla loss.
Madrid are almost back to full strength with only Marcelo remaining a long term casualty.
With a derby of their own against Atletico next weekend it is crucial that no more ground is lost on their city rival or Barca.
Saturday:
Rayo Vallecano v Mallorca (1500 GMT), Valladolid v Granada (1700 GMT), Malaga v Valencia (1900 GMT), Betis v Real Madrid (2100 GMT)
Sunday: Espanyol v Getafe (1100 GMT), Athletic Bilbao v Deportivo (1800 GMT), Atletico Madrid v Sevilla (1800 GMT), Levante v Barcelona (2000 GMT).

Monday: Zaragoza v Celta (2000 GMT).


Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 2-1 away to take control of semifinal

Updated 25 April 2018
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Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 2-1 away to take control of semifinal

MUNICH: Real Madrid substitute Marco Asensio scored a second-half winner on Wednesday to end Bayern Munich’s unbeaten record at home this season and give his side a 2-1 win in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Joshua Kimmich had put the home side in front, but Marcelo equalized before the interval. Asensio came after the break and Lukas Vazquez set up the 22-year-old to claim Madrid’s second away goal 12 minutes into the second half.
The result puts the two-time defending champions in a favorable position before the second leg in Madrid next Tuesday, though Zinedine Zidane’s side will be wary after conceding three goals at home to Juventus in the previous round.
Bayern had to substitute the injured Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng in the first half, but the side had plenty of chances to score more goals with Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski all missing good opportunities.
Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless for the first time in the competition this season. The Portuguese star had an effort ruled out in the second half for using his arm to control the ball.
Bayern, which is chasing a treble in Jupp Heynckes’ last season in charge, was hoping to make up for last year’s exit to Madrid, and for the Spanish side’s 5-0 aggregate win at the same stage in 2014.