• FT





  • FT





  • FT





  • FT



    Real Madrid



Estadi Cornella-El Prat

Attendance: 30023

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  • Christian Stuani 23'

1 - 1


Real Madrid

  • Gonzalo Higuaín 58'

Ramos calls for Mardid unity

Sergio Ramos wants everyone at Real Madrid to stick together as the champions face the possibility of relinquishing their Primera Liga title this weekend.

Jose Mourinho's men take on Espanyol knowing that even if they win, Barcelona will secure the title with victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

A successful title defence has long been out of the picture at the Bernabeu, but the Copa del Rey final against city rivals Atletico next Friday provides Real with the opportunity to end the season on a high.

It has been a chaotic week for the Whites, with coach Jose Mourinho publicly criticising club captain Iker Casillas and defender Pepe and then being booed by fans before Wednesday's 6-2 win over Malaga.

The club then cancelled today's pre-match press conference for the match against Espanyol, only the third time this has happened in Mourinho's reign, which looks to be coming to an end with the Portuguese strongly linked with a return to Chelsea.

But Ramos wants the club to remain united between now and the end of the season, and told Spanish TV station La Sexta: ``It's time to put a stop to all the controversy, whether about the manager, Iker or Pepe.

``Now we need to find our team spirit, get focused and concentrate on the final. That's all that matters.

``We need to leave our egos aside and think about winning the final. Then we'll see.''

Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia is hopeful he and his team-mates can take advantage of the current turmoil in the capital.

The Barcelona-based club are sat comfortably in mid-table and Garcia would have no qualms with handing the Primera Liga title to their city neighbours.

``The atmosphere at Madrid at the moment is not the best,'' he said.

``That could improve before they face us but they should not come here expecting a walk.''

Madrid beat Valladolid 4-3 last weekend and Garcia believes that game was a reflection of the problems going on at the Bernabeu.

``Perhaps the environment is not good,'' he said.

``If not, as before, that could be good for us, given Real Madrid did not make a great game against Valladolid and only won by one goal.''

The Parakeets were bottom of the league when manager Javier Aguirre took over earlier in the season but he remarkably guided them into contention for a European place.

Defeats in their last two games have put paid to those ambitions and the Mexican, who is being linked with a contract extension at the Estadio Cornella-El Prat, is disappointed the season looks to be ending with a whimper.

``Our season was going well but the last two results have complicated our chances to fight for Europe,'' he said.

``We did very easily something that was very complicated, and now that we have to take a step forward we are not capable.''

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