BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Karim Benzema hit a hat trick to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Sunday, extending his scoring run since the return of coach...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Valencia and Athletic Bilbao kept up their strong run of form on Sunday in the chase for the final Champions League spot in Spain.
MADRID (AP) — Surprising Getafe is standing its ground in the fight for the final Champions League spot in the Spanish league.
The southern Madrid club defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday...
MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao rallied with two goals early in the second half to defeat Girona 2-1 and move closer to the European spots in the Spanish league on Friday.
Record crowd expected for women’s game in Spain
MADRID (AP) — A record crowd is expected to attend a women's soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday.
Atletico says no more tickets are available for the Spanish league...
MADRID (AP) — Francisco "Isco" Alarcon has been left out of the Spain squad, paying the price for not playing often enough for Real Madrid under coach Santiago Solari.
Athletic keeps momentum, beats Huesca 1-0 in Spanish league
HUESCA, Spain (AP) — Athletic Bilbao defeated last-place Huesca 1-0 on Monday to keep momentum from a draw against leader Barcelona and open a comfortable gap to the relegation zone in the Spanish league.
The away victory, coming a week after a 0-0 draw against Barcelona at home, moved Athletic into 11th place, seven points from safety.
Raul Garcia scored the winner by converting a 19th-minute penalty kick at El Alcoraz Stadium.
Valverde agrees to coach Barcelona for another season
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ernesto Valverde has agreed to stay on as Barcelona coach for at least one more season.
Valverde will exercise the option in his contract to continue, the defending Spanish champions said on Friday. They added Valverde also agreed to add the possibility of coaching for the 2020-21 season.
The 55-year-old Valverde joined Barcelona from Athletic Bilbao in mid-2017 to replace Luis Enrique.
Barca fails to score at Bilbao, Real Madrid 6 points back
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona needed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to put in a superb performance as the Spanish league leader failed to score and dropped points at Athletic Bilbao in a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
The result ended Barcelona's run of 37 league games where it scored at least one goal. Its last league game without a goal was a 0-0 draw with Getafe on Feb. 11, 2018.
Record attendance for women’s soccer match in Spain
MADRID (AP) — A record crowd of 48,121 attended a women's soccer match between Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid in Spain on Wednesday.
Athletic says it was the largest ever attendance for a club-level women's match in Europe. The English Football Association says a crowd of 53,000 watched a game in December 1920 between Dick, Kerr's Ladies and St. Helen's Ladies at Everton's Goodison Park stadium.
Athletic leaves Liga relegation zone after beating Celta
MADRID (AP) — Inaki Williams set up a goal in the first half and scored in the second to help Athletic Bilbao escape the Spanish league's relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Monday.
The away victory moved Athletic to 17th place, two points above the relegation zone after 18 matches. The Basque Country club had been among the bottom three since the 13th round.
Bilbao draws 0-0 at Alaves, remains in Liga drop zone
MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao remained in the relegation zone of the Spanish league after being held at Alaves to 0-0 on Monday.
Bilbao is in 18th place of the 20-team league and level on points with Villarreal, which is the last team in safety.
Bilbao generated the few scoring chances of the regional Basque Country derby, but goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco saved shots by Raul Garcia and Inigo Cordoba in each half.
Athletic Bilbao winless streak in Liga ends on late penalty
MADRID (AP) — Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz converted a penalty kick in stoppage time to end Athletic Bilbao's 13-game winless streak in the Spanish league on Monday.
Aduriz calmly converted his shot from the spot to give the hosts their first league win — 1-0 over Girona — since the first round in August.
Athletic seemed headed to another draw until Jonas Ramalho fouled Iker Muniain inside the area.
Villarreal, Valencia and Athletic struggling in Spain
MADRID (AP) — Traditional Spanish clubs Villarreal, Valencia, and Athletic Bilbao entered the season with high hopes, looking to make a run against the powerful trio of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Almost halfway through the league, they are just fighting to stay away from the relegation zone.
Athletic fired its coach last week. Villarreal did it on Monday, and Valencia is already under pressure to follow suit.
Relegation-threatened Athletic fires coach Eduardo Berizzo
MADRID (AP) — Spanish club Athletic Bilbao has fired coach Eduardo Berizzo after the team won only two of its first 15 matches this season.
The Basque Country club made the announcement on Tuesday, a day after a 3-0 loss at Levante in the Spanish league.
The result kept the Athletic winless in 13 league matches, inside the relegation zone. Its only league win was against Leganes in the first round.
Levante routs Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in Spanish league
MADRID (AP) — Levante added to Athletic Bilbao's struggles with a resounding 3-0 home win in the Spanish league on Monday.
The result extended Athletic's winless streak in the league to 13 matches and kept the Basque Country club in the relegation zone. Athletic hasn't won since the first round.
Chema Rodriguez, Jose Campana and Roger Marti scored for Levante, which moved to sixth place after its first victory in five matches in all competitions.
Godin’s late heroics help Atletico rally to beat Athletic
MADRID (AP) — With Diego Godin injured and no substitutions left, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone told the defender to go play in the attack.
It was a desperation move, and it worked.
Despite not being able to run, Godin scored the winning goal in stoppage time — with the help of a video review — as Atletico twice came from behind to defeat Athletic Bilbao 3-2 in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Espanyol beats Athletic, jumps to second in Spanish league
MADRID (AP) — Espanyol continued to show its strength at home, defeating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Monday to move from fifth to second in the Spanish league, just behind city rival Barcelona.
Striker Borja Iglesias scored a first-half winner to give Espanyol its fifth win in as many matches at its RCDE Stadium.
Sociedad beats Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in Basque Country derby
MADRID (AP) — Mikel Oyarzabal converted penalty kicks in both halves as Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Basque Country derby in the Spanish league on Friday.
It was the second straight win for Sociedad against its rival, and the first at Athletic's San Mames Stadium since the 2015-16 season.
Sociedad, playing without several regular starters, hadn't won its last two league matches and was coming off a 1-0 home loss to Valencia, which had yet to win this season.
Messi speaks up amid slump in new role as Barcelona captain
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With his actions, and now words, Lionel Messi is embracing a new role as Barcelona captain.
Messi came off the bench to set up a late equalizer by fellow substitute Munir El Haddadi and salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
Barcelona held by Athletic for 3rd straight setback in Liga
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi rested for most of the match, Barcelona was held to 1-1 by Athletic Bilbao at home on Saturday in its third straight setback in the Spanish league.
Messi came off the bench in the second half to set up a late equalizer by Munir El Haddadi, but he wasn't able to lead the defending champions to victory at Camp Nou Stadium.
The result was enough to keep Barcelona in the lead after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid went 0-0 in the derby.
Madrid and Atletico draw in derby, Barcelona stays ahead
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona is getting some help from its rivals to stay ahead in the Spanish league despite falling into its worst slump in two years.
The defending champion failed to win for the third straight game on Saturday, being held by Athletic Bilbao to 1-1 at home. But it was enough to retain its lead after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid couldn't manage more than 0-0 in the derby at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Struggling Real Madrid takes on surging Atletico in derby
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid has fallen into a slump at a bad time.
The Champions League winners are suddenly struggling following a strong start to the season despite Cristiano Ronaldo's departure. And up next is Atletico Madrid, which has hit its stride after a poor early run.
Spain discovers next midfield talent in Pablo Fornals
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish soccer has found its next great midfielder in the making.
Pablo Fornals scored one of the goals of the season in the Spanish league on Wednesday when he used one touch of his right boot to score from about 45 meters (50 yards) and put Villarreal on its way to a 3-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao.
With goalkeeper Unai Simon off his line, Fornals didn't hesitate to attempt an audacious lob when the ball was knocked into this path by a defender just past the midfield line.
Stunned: Barca loses to last-place Leganes, Real to Sevilla
MADRID (AP) — First it was Barcelona. Then Real Madrid.
Both Spanish league leaders were stunned Wednesday, with Barcelona losing 2-1 at last-place Leganes and Madrid falling 3-0 at Sevilla, marking the first time since 2015 that they lost on the same day.
Dembele stakes claim to big role at Barca with another goal
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ousmane Dembele came to Barcelona's rescue for a third time this season on Saturday, when the France forward struck a second-half winner to complete a comeback at Real Sociedad 2-1.
Dembele was quickest to a poor clearance of a corner kick by Sociedad's defense in the 66th minute, rifling a left-footed shot through a crowd while goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli was off his line.
Madrid drops first points in La Liga in 1-1 draw at Bilbao
BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid dropped its first points in the Spanish league after being held at Athletic Bilbao to 1-1 on Saturday.
Madrid needed Francisco "Isco" Alarcon to come off the bench and score three minutes later in the 64th to salvage a point from the visit to the Basque Country club. Isco slipped into the area unmarked and headed Gareth Bale's cross down off the turf and into the corner of the net.
Athletic concedes late in 2-2 draw against surprising Huesca
MADRID (AP) — A week after scoring in stoppage-time to secure its opening victory in the Spanish league, Athletic Bilbao conceded late Monday to squander a chance for its second straight win.
Athletic took a two-goal lead into the final half-hour at San Mames Stadium but conceded in the 71st and 87th minutes against promoted club Huesca to miss the opportunity to join Barcelona and Real Madrid as the only teams with a perfect start after two rounds in La Liga.
Rayo game postponed after fears over stadium safety
MADRID (AP) — The Spanish league says this weekend's game between Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao has been postponed over safety concerns at the stadium used by Rayo in Madrid.
The league says the Vallecas Stadium will not be allowed to host matches open to the public until renovation work is finished.
Monday's decision comes after a meeting involving the league, the newly promoted club and Madrid officials over the community-owned stadium in the Spanish capital.
Athletic player apologizes for altercation with partner
MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams has apologized for a heated altercation with his partner, and says they were victims of a blackmail attempt to keep images from being distributed online.
Williams posted the apology on Twitter Friday after Spanish media published videos that show a man and a woman in an intense confrontation. They yell at each other several times and at one point the man apparently spits toward the woman.
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea has signed Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for a record fee after selling Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid.
Chelsea announced the signing on Wednesday after paying Kepa's 80-million-euro ($92.6 million) buyout clause — the biggest fee ever for a goalkeeper.
The transfer was completed shortly after Courtois' move to Madrid was also confirmed in a deal that will see midfielder Mateo Kovacic move to the London club on a season-long loan.
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has punished three clubs and ordered fines totaling 145,000 euros ($169,000) for fan violence at Champions League and Europa League games.
Roma was fined 50,000 euros ($58,000) and cannot sell tickets to its first away game in next season's Champions League.
Roma fans attacked Liverpool fans outside Anfield before the semifinal, first-leg game in April. A Liverpool fan was seriously injured.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Valencia was assured of a top-four finish in the Spanish league and a berth in next season's Champions League after Real Betis lost at Athletic Bilbao 2-0 on Saturday.
The defeat left fifth-place Betis eight points behind Valencia in fourth with two games left for the Seville-based club.
Iker Munian headed in a cross from Inigo Lekeu for Bilbao's opener in the 76th minute, and Aritz Aduriz scored from a pass by Inaki Williams in stoppage time.
MADRID (AP) — With two free kick goals by the same player from nearly the same spot only two minutes apart, Levante came from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 and move a step closer to avoiding relegation in the Spanish league on Monday.
Macedonian midfielder Enis Bardhi scored from eerily similar free kicks in the 42nd and 44th minutes, and Jose Luis Morales capped Levante's victory in the final minutes after a superb run from his own half.
MADRID (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo came through for Real Madrid again, this time with a backheel flick that saved his team from a loss in the Spanish league.
Ronaldo netted an 87th-minute equalizer with a subtle touch of the ball with his back to the goal, redirecting a low shot by Luka Modric from outside the area to give Madrid a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
MADRID (AP) — Villarreal followed its surprise loss to last-place Malaga by falling at home to Athletic Bilbao 3-1 on Monday, dropping to sixth place in the Spanish league.
The new setback leaves Villarreal in danger of missing out on a Europa League spot next season, as only the teams in fifth, sixth, and seventh places qualify.
It was the first win in four matches in all competitions for Athletic, which stayed 12th in the league.
Messi leads Barcelona to 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi added to his scoring streak with a first-half goal in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Messi scored his eighth goal in six matches with a firm, low shot from outside the area in the 30th minute at Camp Nou Stadium, helping Barcelona to take an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid, which plays at Villarreal later.
Welbeck double lifts Arsenal, Torres boosts Atletico
PRAGUE (AP) — Danny Welbeck celebrated his England callup by scoring twice as Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-1 Thursday to cruise into the Europa League quarterfinals 5-1 on aggregate.
German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund suffered a surprise exit at the hands of Salzburg. Two goals by Fernando Torres helped Atletico Madrid oust Lokomotiv Moscow while CSKA Moscow knocked out Lyon after winning the second leg in France 3-2.
BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Two security guards received minor injuries after being attacked by Marseille fans during the second leg of the Europa League last-16 match at Athletic Bilbao Thursday, Spanish police said.
The police also said three supporters of the French team had been detained.
Marseille won the game 2-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2 on aggregate.
Surprise Europa League wins for Arsenal, Salzburg
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first Arsenal goal as the London club rebounded from four successive losses with a 2-0 win at AC Milan in the first leg of the Europa League last 16 on Thursday.
There was another surprise in Germany where two goals from Valon Berisha led Salzburg to a 2-1 victory at Borussia Dortmund.
Atletico Madrid recorded a comfortable 3-0 home win over Lokomotiv Moscow while CSKA Moscow was beaten 1-0 in Russia by Lyon.
Police say officer collapsed by himself during fan violence
MADRID (AP) — The riot police officer who died of cardiac arrest during crowd trouble before a Europa League match in Spain collapsed on his own and not in a direct confrontation with fans, authorities said Friday.
Officials in the Basque region of Spain said doctors dismissed the possibility the cardiac arrest was caused by any type of trauma sustained by the officer in fighting that took place before the match between Athletic Bilbao and Russian club Spartak Moscow on Thursday.
Napoli out of Europa League; police officer dies in Spain
Serie A leader Napoli wasn't good enough to advance in the Europa League on Thursday after it was knocked out in Germany by Leipzig. The last-of-32 round of matches was marred by a police officer's death in Spain after clashes with fans ahead of the game between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow.
Spanish police said the officer died in hospital after clashes outside San Mames Stadium in the Basque Country city of Bilbao in northern Spain. Spanish media said the officer died of cardiac arrest.
Officer dies of cardiac arrest after fan violence in Spain
BILBAO, Spain (AP) — A Spanish riot police officer died of cardiac arrest after clashes involving Russian soccer fans before a Europa League match on Thursday between hosts Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow, raising concerns less than four months before the World Cup in Russia.
Basque Country authorities in northern Spain said the officer died in a hospital after the confrontations outside San Mames Stadium in the city of Bilbao, which will host matches in the 2020 European Championship.
Atletico stays in touch with Barca, Madrid wins 5-3 at Betis
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Atletico Madrid stayed within sight of Barcelona while Real Madrid's attack bailed out its porous defense in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Diego Costa and Kevin Gameiro scored second-half goals to give Atletico a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao and keep it seven points behind Barcelona at the top of the table.
Atletico will visit Barcelona on March 4 in what could be its last chance to inject some drama into the title race.
Las Palmas maintains momentum with draw at Athletic Bilbao
BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Las Palmas continued to show improvement under new coach Paco Jemez when it drew 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Friday.
Jemez took over the Canary Islands club in late December and, after a poor start, his team has won two and drawn one of its last four matches to climb to 18th in the 20-team Spanish league.
Athletic acts quickly, signs Martinez to replace Laporte
MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao didn't take long to replace young French defender Aymeric Laporte after his move to Manchester City.
The Spanish club said Tuesday it had signed central defender Inigo Martinez from Basque Country rival Real Sociedad, spending 32 million euros ($39 million) on the player's buyout clause.
Laporte left to play for Manchester City after his clause of 65 million euros ($80 million) was paid on Monday.
Man City signs defender Laporte for club-record $80 million
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City signed France under-21 international Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club-record fee of 65 million euros ($80 million) on Tuesday, taking its spending on center backs since 2014 to about $250 million.
The 23-year-old Laporte came close to joining City in 2016 — when Pep Guardiola took charge of the current Premier League leaders — but backed out of the move after feeling the Frenchman wasn't quite ready.
Athletic Bilbao says Laporte is leaving the Spanish club
MADRID (AP) — Defender Aymeric Laporte has paid his buyout clause and is leaving Athletic Bilbao, opening the way for a transfer to Manchester City.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has been closely linked with a move to the English Premier League leader and was left out of Athletic's squad in its Spanish league match on Saturday.
Athletic said the payment of the buyout clause of 65 million euros ($80.8 million) was made on Monday, effectively ending Laporte's contract with the Spanish club.
Bilbao defender Laporte left out of Basque derby vs. Eibar
BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte watched from the stands as his side drew 1-1 at home with Eibar in the Basque country derby on Friday.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has been closely linked with a move to Premier League leader Manchester City, with media reports in Spain and England equally confident coach Pep Guardiola's City will pay his buyout clause of 65 million euros (US$ 81 million).
Athletic Bilbao extends contract of young goalkeeper Kepa
MADRID (AP) — Athletic Bilbao says it has extended the contract of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga until June 2025, ending speculation about his move to Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old Kepa admitted he had offers to leave Athletic, but decided to stay at the club he considers his "home."
Madrid reportedly wanted to sign Kepa but negotiations did not advance in recent weeks.