Ramos Saves Real in El Clasico Draw

first_imgCaptain Sergio Ramos scored a stoppage-time equaliser to extend Real Madrid’s unbeaten start to the season and deny Barcelona victory in a bad-tempered El Clasico.Luis Suarez’s glancing header from Neymar’s left-wing free-kick put Barcelona ahead at the Nou Camp. But in a frantic ending, Cristiano Ronaldo went close before Ramos headed home Luka Modric’s free-kick to earn a point for Zinedine Zidane’s La Liga leaders. Leaders Real remain six points clear of defending champions Barca after 14 matches.Barca were moments away from reducing the gap to three points when Real captain Ramos pounced to make it 33 games without defeat for his side. Real are approaching the winter break in the driving seat, Barca having gone three matches without a league win.The hosts started slowly and managed only one attempt on goal – a Lionel Messi free-kick was comfortably gathered by Keylor Navas – in a scrappy first half.In contrast, Ronaldo had three attempts in the opening 45 minutes as Luka Modric dominated for Real in midfield.While far from their fluid best, Barca were better after the break and went in front when Raphael Varane conceded a free-kick just outside his area and Suarez nodded home from close range.Messi, who has now gone six games without scoring against Real in all competitions, missed a great chance to double the lead after a lovely pass from substitute Andres Iniesta, on his return from injury, before Ramos had the final say.The 30-year-old defender is establishing a reputation for scoring crucial late goals in big games.Ramos scored a 93rd-minute equaliser against Atletico Madrid to send the 2014 Champions League final into extra time before Real won.He also forced extra time with a stoppage-time equaliser in the 2016 Super Cup final, which Real also went on to win.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Gophers win Border Battle in overtime thriller

first_imgUW forward Marcus Landry led the Badgers with 18 points in their loss to Minnesota.[/media-credit]For nearly 36 minutes last Thursday, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team looked like it would get its second win against a ranked opponent.Not so fast.On the coldest night so far this year in Madison, the No. 17 Minnesota Golden Gophers got hot and came back from a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Wisconsin 78-74 in an overtime thriller at the Kohl Center.Minnesota guard Lawrence Westbrook owned the night, scoring 29 points on 10-for-16 shooting. More importantly, though, he hit the game-tying three-pointer with two seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.After Westbrook’s three-pointer, the Badgers still had a chance to win the game, but Landry, who received the inbound pass with two seconds left, was unable to get a potential game-winning shot off in time.“We told them to make Minnesota put it on the floor,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “That we did not do. The big theory is to force the guy with the ball to have to attack into two-point range, and we did not do that. Some of Minnesota’s guys have such quick releases.”The Badgers struggled from the field, shooting only 38.3 percent from the game and 20.8 percent from three-point range. Making matters worse, Wisconsin had an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers, six of which were committed by junior point guard Trevon Hughes.“What really hurt us were the points they gained on the turnovers, because then you are spread out, your offense goes to defense quickly,” Ryan said. “They were much more athletic than us with, from one through five with who they had on the floor, and we were not quick enough to transition back defensively we turned it over.”Wisconsin controlled the game in the first half, shooting 50 percent from the field and building a lead as big as 14 points. While the team did struggle late in the second half, senior forward Marcus Landry and junior guard Jason Bohannon combined for 23 points in the first half, complementing the strong Badger defense.The Badgers’ fall came when Minnesota began running a full court pressure system, forcing several UW turnovers and giving the Gophers easy layups to get back in the game.After only allowing 22 points in the first half, Minnesota came back to score 56 points in the second half and overtime, capitalizing on Wisconsin turnovers and poor decision-making.“We just made some poor decisions as a team collectively,” Bohannon said. “I had some, Trevon had some, everyone had some. We have to correct that. It was tough to handle. They did a good job pressuring, but we should have been able to break it and make smarter decisions.”For Minnesota — a bottom-feeder team in the Big Ten two years ago — the win was particularly important to second-year coach Tubby Smith, who has brought the program to a No. 17 ranking.With their first win on Wisconsin’s home court since 1995, Smith and the Gophers were especially proud about the way their team played.“It was certainly a hard-fought game,” Smith said. “To get a win against the Badgers is a tremendous accomplishment for our team and our program.“This is pretty big,” he continued. “We want to play with that kind of toughness and passion every time we go on the court. … This was a big time win for us.”A big win for Minnesota, but a night some Badgers, particularly Landry, hope to forget as soon as possible.“A loss like this always hurts,” Landry said. “You come in and you’re up 10 with about four minutes to go and you end up losing the game. These are the games that hurt. These are the games that stick with you. These are the games that you never want to happen again in the future.”last_img read more