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Sunday Ticker: Barcelona wins Club World Cup, Real Madrid nets 10, and more


With the statuses of superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar up in the air prior to Sunday’s FIFA Club World Cup finale, Barcelona was surely thrilled to have both men back in the starting lineup when their match against River Plate kicked off.

In typical Barca fashion, the Spanish treble winners methodically picked apart their Argentine counterparts in a 3-0 thrashing at Yokohama International Stadium.

Luis Enrique’s side was paced by Messi’s first-half finish, which came in the 36th minute. The diminutive playmaker captured the ball at the top of the box, before feeding it out to Dani Alves on the right wing. Alves lofted a high cross into Neymar, who nodded the ball into the path of Messi, who cleverly took a touch and used the outside of his left foot to beat River goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero.

The Blaugrana held their fair share of possession, with chances aplenty coming throughout the title match. Suarez, who has stepped up critically for Barcelona this season in the various absences of Messi and Neymar, put the dagger in the hearts of River Plate after half time.

The 28-year old Uruguayan recorded a double after the interval, with goals coming in the 49th and 68th minute marks. Suarez opened his account with a breakaway finish after a perfectly-weighted long ball from Sergio Busquets. Neymar then recorded his second assist of the match, lofted a cross into the path of Suarez, which was guided into the corner.

Barcelona’s victory now gives the Spanish champions three Club World Cup titles, the most of any team. The club’s last triumph at the competition came in 2011, which was also held in Japan.

Here are some more news and notes from Sunday:


It’s not very often that you see double-digit goals in a game. That was the case on Sunday though when Real Madrid scored 10 goals against nine-man Rayo Vallecano.

The Madridistas opened the scoring in the third minute by way of Danilo, before Rayo pulled two back in the 10th and 12th minutes, respectively. The two goals, scored by Antonio Amaya and Jozabed, were the only bright spots on the afternoon for the visitors though.

The match took an ugly turn for the road side after they were reduced to nine men before a half an hour had passed. Rayo defender Tito was sent off in the 14th minute, before Raúl Baena received his second yellow card 11 minutes later.

On the afternoon, Gareth Bale paced Madrid with four goals, while recorded a second half hat-trick. Cristiano Ronaldo also added two goals of his own. Overall, Real recorded 30 shots, 15 of which landed on target.


A spot in the top four of the English Premier League is considered a treasure, and newly-promoted Watford is closing in on a taste of the good life.

The Hornets completed its thrashing of Liverpool on Sunday, a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road, extending the club’s winning streak to four matches. With the victory, Watford now sits one point out of a place in the EPL’s top four with 28 points. League leaders Leicester City are 10 points clear of the seventh place side.

Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake opened the scoring for the home side less than three minutes into the start of the contest after Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan dropped a routine catch off of a Watford corner kick. Ake’s tap-in finish was his first Premier League goal.

The early deficit for Liverpool was indicative of things to come. Watford forward Odion Ighalo has himself an afternoon, scoring goals 11 and 12 of the campaign, which is good enough for fourth-best in England’s top-flight.

The Nigerian’s first goal, which came at the quarter half mark, was a thing of beauty, after Ighalo muscled his way past Martin Skrtel and beat Bogdan at the far post. Ighalo later sealed his club’s fate in the dying minutes, when second half substitute Valon Behrami found the striker’s head in the center of the box and the 26-year old buried his effort.


While he was only just named Chelsea’s interim manager on Saturday, Guus Hiddink already has plans for the club’s future.

During this weekend’s home clash with Sunderland, which the Blues were victorious 3-1, the Ukrainian boss was seen in the Blues’ executive box with owner Roman Abramovich and former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. The latter is on Hiddink’s radar.

The 69-year old told FOX Sports that he and the club as a whole have the intentions of bringing back the Ivorian international as an assistant.

“We would like to get him involved,” Hiddink said of Drogba. “But he still has a contract with Montreal in the MLS, even though it is the [off] season for them now. But we definitely intend to get him involved.”

Drogba spent nine years with the Blues, originally coming to the club in 2004 after impressive stints in France with Guingamp and Marseille. In his time with Chelsea, the striker 164 goals across all competitions, ranking Drogba fourth in club history behind only Frank Lampard, Bobby Tambling, and Kerry Dixon.

While Hiddink’s plans appear to be very likely in the future given Drogba’s close ties with the club, the 37-year old forward remains under contract with MLS side Montreal Impact until December 2016.

Here are today’s completed fixtures from Europe’s top divisions:


Watford 3-0 Liverpool

Swansea City 0-0 West Ham United


Real Madrid 10-2 Rayo Vallecano

Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Levante

Granada 0-2 Celta Vigo

Real Sociedad 0-2 Villareal


Hertha Berlin 2-0 Mainz

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 Darmstadt 98


Carpi 2-3 Juventus

Roma 2-0 Genoa

Atalanta 1-3 Napoli

Fiorentina 2-0 Chievo Verona

Hellas Verona 1-1 Sassuolo

Frosinone 2-4 AC Milan

Sampdoria 1-0 Palermo

Torino 0-1 Udinese


St. Etienne 1-0 Angers

Ajaccio 2-1 Lyon


  1. Real needed 2 red cards and 2 penalties, typical…Barcelona continue to dazzle. Best club team of our lifetime, by a mile. Liverpool looked awful today…so much for the Klopp revolution with thus bunch of players…


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