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Real Madrid 1-1 Eibar: Blancos held for another draw as visitors stand firm

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Gareth Bale cancelled out Fran Rico’s early opener with a header, but there was no way through for the home team who had to settle for a share of the points

Real Madrid failed to ease the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane as Eibar held them to their fourth successive stalemate across all competitions with a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Zidane’s men were frustrated by Villarreal, Las Palmas and Borussia Dortmund in their previous three matches, but were expected to coast to victory against the Basque outfit.

However, the dogged visitors had other ideas and emerged with a thoroughly deserved share of the spoils.

The hosts endured a troubling start as Fran Rico gave Eibar the lead after just six minutes, but the ever-reliable combination of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale ensured Madrid were not behind for long – the Welshman equalising in the 18th minute.

Madrid unsurprisingly dominated possession and Alvaro Morata’s half-time introduction made a real difference to their energy in attack, with Bale striking the post on the hour mark.

Eibar proved resilient opponents and dug deep in the latter stages, though, ultimately holding off the inevitable late onslaught to claim a point.

Madrid enjoyed a lot of the ball during the early exchanges and Bale went particularly close to breaking the deadlock with a 20-yard drive which found the side netting.

Eibar took their chance when it came as Ander Capa delivered a brilliant cross from the right flank and Rico was there to nod beyond Keylor Navas after Pepe – in for the rested Sergio Ramos – missed his header.

But Eibar were always likely to struggle keeping the home side’s talented attack at bay and the hosts drew level in the 17th minute – Ronaldo clipping a fine cross towards the back post from the left for Bale to head past the helpless Asier Riesgo.

Madrid became increasingly dominant as the first half progressed and Karim Benzema should have steered home from six yards after half an hour, but he turned Danilo’s cutback wide of the left-hand post.

That proved to be Benzema’s only real contribution as he was replaced by Morata at the break and the Spaniard looked hungry, helping craft a great chance in the 53rd minute.

Morata headed Bale’s cross into the danger zone and found Isco, who saw his shot blocked and then Ronaldo sliced the rebound over from 12 yards.

The dangerous Bale was at the centre of things again shortly after, as he darted in front of Antonio Luna on the edge of the box to meet Mateo Kovacic’s lofted pass with a powerful header which came back off the right-hand post.

Madrid poured men forward in desperation as the full-time whistle approached, but Mauro dos Santos’ accidental header straight at his own goalkeeper from a corner in the 86th minute was as close as they came, with Eibar holding on for a famous point.

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Football

Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches

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Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw

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With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

fifa.com

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »

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Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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