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Bowl win gives Spurrier a boost entering offseason

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first_imgCOLUMBIA – An energized Steve Spurrier bounded into the press room at Independence Stadium following the University of South Carolina’s 24-21 win over Miami.The game proved a departure from so many the Gamecocks played in what was Spurrier’s most disappointing in his 10-year tenure at USC – they managed to hold on and win a game in which they had a fourth quarter lead.The Hurricanes, who finished the season with a 6-7 record including a four-game losing streak, were far from a great team. It was a club filled with several talented performers, however, led by junior running back Duke Johnson.That doesn’t matter at this point of the season, however, as Spurrier and his squad were just looking for something positive to hang their visors on entering the stretch run of recruiting season.“This gives us a boost, some energy,” said Spurrier. “It’s a shot in the arm. I told the guys the offseason workouts now are going to have to have a little more pep, a little more fire, a little more get after it.”The season appears to have caught Spurrier by surprise. While always saying you never know what is going to happen until you play the games, the Head Ball Coach appeared to believe the Gamecocks had the ability to be just as good, if not better, than his previous three squads that posted a combined 33-6 record and finished in the top 10 in the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.A closer look, however, prove the team had serious inadequacies.The defensive line, which lost Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton, was not a group possessing enough Southeastern Conference caliber talent.The secondary was forced to rely too much on unproven freshmen. There was talent at linebacker but it took the coaching staff too long to figure out sophomores Skai Moore and Jonathan Walton gave it the best chance to succeed on the field.There were offensive deficiencies as well. A line featuring at least three athletes believed to have the talent to compete in the National Football League, underachieved for much of the season.Running backs Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds fought a plethora of injuries that meant both played at less than their best throughout the campaign.The wide receiver corps, other than sophomore sensation Pharoh Cooper and dependable senior Nick Jones, was inconsistent.So what happens now?Spurrier said it best, Saturday night.“I told our guys that we have to be a more physical and faster team next year,” said Spurrier. “We’re not a real fast team overall and not as physical as we need to be. If we can do that next year, hopefully, we’ll have a little bit better chance.”The first order of business for the staff is to hold on to and potentially add to a talented recruiting class.Junior college ends Marquavius Lewis and Dante Sawyer, along with prep school tackle Dexter Wideman, will be a marked upgrade over the 2014 group.If the Gamecocks can keep outstanding high school defensive end Arden Key in the fold, the line will be on its way to becoming what fans expect.The staff will have to work hard to attempt to get back in the game with talented high school cornerback Mark Fields, who de-committed two weeks ago.Rival Clemson appears to have the inside track for his services, but he still has an official visit to Columbia planned for the weekend on Jan. 23rd.On offense the line will be a priority, along with replacing Dylan Thompson at quarterback.Cooper is the only returning starter at receiver. Talented athletes Deebo Samuel and Shaq Davidson, who redshirted this season, will be counted on to make an impact.There still will probably be some changes to the USC coaching staff, although Spurrier may be the only one who knows the plan.The potential for USC to be improved in 2015 is there. To make that happen, however, the amount of productivity accomplished off the field in many areas in the next few months will tell the tale. USC quarterback Dylan Thompson (17) celebrates after running the ball in for the touchdown late in the third quarter against Georgia at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday, September 13, 2014.last_img

Chelsea v Everton line-ups: Chelsea duo return and Everton pair are passed fit

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first_imgCesc Fabregas and Pedro return to the Chelsea starting line-up for the game at Stamford Bridge.Fabregas is back from suspension, while Pedro has recovered from a recent injury. Tiémoué Bakayoko and Andreas Christensen therefore drop to the bench.AdChoices广告Chelsea are still without Gary Cahill, who is serving a ban.Everton, meanwhile, are without the suspended Morgan Schneiderlin but Idrissa Gueye and Sandro Ramirez have been passed fit. Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro.Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Tomori, Kenedy, Musonda, Batshuayi, Bakayoko.Everton: Pickford, Keane, Williams, Jagielka, Holgate, Sigurdsson, Davies, Gueye, Baines, Rooney, Sandro.Subs: Stekelenburg, Martina, Kenny, Besic, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

First in BLIC: Slavia with another transfer

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first_imgSlavia made another transfer and took the defender of Botev (Plovdiv) Radoslav Terzev, BLIC has learned.A day after the deal with CSKA for Georgi Yomov, the “whites” strengthened with the defender, who did not fall into the plans of Ferrario Spasov for the new season and arrived as a free agent.Levski was also interested in him, but in the end he chose to play for “Ovcha Kupel”.The 25-year-old Terziev has 165 games for Botev, scoring 4 goals. Last season, the defender played in 24 games and scored once.1000 BGN New starting Online Casino Bonus from efbetlast_img

“We got you” – Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims sound off after sex charges filed against mogul

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first_imgPawel Kaminski/ABC(NEW YORK) –Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, two of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims, are sounding off about the disgraced former movie mogul being charged with three sex crimes Friday.Weinstein surrendered to New York City authorities Friday morning. Prosecutors charged him with one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and third-degree rape.“We got you, Harvey Weinstein. We got you,” tweeted McGowan, who claimed the producer raped her more than a decade ago, then paid her off to buy her silence.“What took you so long Harvey?” tweeted Argento, with a pic of the mogul walking in the NYPD’s 1st Precinct. She also posted her comment to USA Today that read in part: “Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell. We, the women, finally have real hope for justice.”  Argento has also accused Weinstein of rape.Argento’s boyfriend, celebrity chef and Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain, tweeted the menu that the producer will be eating should be wind up behind bars. Safe to say it’s not the five-star fare Weinstein is used to.Gretchen Carlson, whose own harassment lawsuit against former Fox News head, the late Roger Ailes, led to his downfall, added: “Today is a day I never thought I’d see when I came forward 22 months ago alone. Thank you for listening to women.”The Time’s Up movement posted, “Harvey Weinstein shattered the lives of an untold number of women. We stand with them, and remain in solidarity with women everywhere who have faced unsafe and abusive workplaces. We look forward to seeing justice prevail.”Weinstein’s bail was set at $1 million cash or $10 million bond.  He was also ordered to be fitted with a monitoring device and surrendered his passport, with orders not to travel beyond New York state or Connecticut without the court’s permission.Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, issued a statement, reiterating that his client didn’t engage in any non-consensual sex acts, and that Mr. Weinstein, who pleaded not guilty, “fully expects to be exonerated.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

Helmet and feet issues aside, Antonio Brown’s Raiders tenure is bound for failure

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first_imgThis was inevitable. Antonio Brown was sure to become a major distraction at some point for the Raiders. The only mild surprise is that it occurred before he even hit the field at training camp.Perhaps it’s the presence of HBO's "Hard Knocks" at Oakland’s camp. Maybe Brown is setting the table for more chaos when regular season hits. Or it could be that he is just warming up for the franchise's move to the circus that is Las Vegas next season. Mayock and Gruden knew what they were getting when they acquired Brown. Now they’re living with the consequences, and as long as Brown shows up for work, they’re likely stuck with him for at least two years.Crazy things happen in the world of sports, but I’ll be surprised if this already-rocky marriage lasts beyond the 2020 season.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ac/9f/antonio-brown-081919-getty-ftrjpg_1svopeoioe71f10szegppw2cu0.jpg?t=-1428334804&w=500&quality=80 During my years as a GM, I dealt with plenty of ego-driven players, but never someone like Brown. I would not have taken a chance on a player so disruptive, no matter how talented he was. It doesn’t play well with the coaching staff or with teammates who have been working hard through training camp while one of the stars is engaged in off-field charades.I’m sure there has been plenty of behind-the-scenes conversation between Mayock, Gruden and Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, including the team threatening to fine Brown if he failed to report this week. And depending on the language of the guarantees, that $30 million could be in jeopardy if Brown doesn’t stay on course.Brown’s return to practice suggests he and Rosenhaus got the message loud and clear. But does anyone believe Brown will be now be in the public eye solely for his football prowess? The drama is not going to end.The fundamental problem for the Raiders is Brown’s lack of focus on football. Like Odell Beckham Jr., at this stage of his career, Brown clearly wants to be a celebrity more than a great player.2019 NFL PREDICTIONS:Standings, playoff projections, Super Bowl pickI find the whole situation sad. Brown went from being a sixth-round pick who was a typical hard-working Steeler to a seven-time Pro Bowler who was a major cog in the Steelers’ four straight playoff seasons from 2014-2017. He reportedly was a good teammate in his formative NFL years.Yet in the midst of his sixth consecutive 100-catch, 1,000-plus receiving yards season, he blew a gasket and went AWOL on the Steelers when they were still in the playoff hunt last year. My guess: none of the above. This is just AB being AB. And judging by first-year Raiders general manager Mike Mayock's pointed remark that he wants Brown "all-in or all-out," the Vegas casinos might soon be taking bets on whether Brown will be wearing silver and black when the Raiders’ first game in Sin City is played next year.MORE: Explaining Antonio Brown's helmet issueBeyond Brown’s age at 31, there’s a reason the Steelers were willing to jettison a superstar talent for the pittance of third- and fifth-round NFL Draft picks and eat $21 million in dead money against their salary cap.What remains difficult to understand is Oakland adding $11.2 million in new money to Brown’s contract and putting themselves on the hook for $30 million in guarantees.I’m on record as saying the Raiders will wind up with buyer’s remorse on the Brown deal; I wrote that long before the cryotherapy issues with his blistered feet or his ridiculous quest to wear a helmet considered unsafe by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Not to mention the reports out of Oakland that Brown pays more attention to his social media platforms in meetings than he does learning a new system and studying the playbook.The best-case scenario for Mayock and coach Jon Gruden is two reasonably productive years from Brown, including the team's first season in Vegas. But I don't see him playing at an All-Pro level anymore.In Oakland, he will face regular double coverage, and he doesn’t have a top receiver like JuJu Smith-Schuster opposite him. Derek Carr is not the top five-caliber quarterback Brown worked with in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger. The Raiders' offensive line allowed 52 sacks last season (fifth most in the league) compared to 24 given up by the Steelers’ O-line (fourth fewest).MORE: The NFL's 25 highest-paid playersSo it's doubtful the Raiders will get their $32.6 million worth that they’re paying Brown over the two seasons. After 2020, they can exit the deal with only a $333,333 dead money hit. If they cut him next year, the cap hit will be $15 million, which is tough to absorb.Of course, the Steelers accepted an even bigger cap hit to get rid of Brown.Despite Brown's statement on "Hard Knocks" that it's now time for “more work, less noise," the fact is it took Mayock publicly venting his frustration for the receiver to show up on the practice field. He finally did so with the regular-season opener against Denver less than three weeks away (on “Monday Night Football”; perfect for the AB side show).Kudos to Mayock for putting the heat on Brown as opposed to Gruden’s public coddling. I can only imagine how frustrated Mayock was before he gave his apropos quote to media. GMs don’t like to air their dirty laundry the way Mayock did this week, and the team doubled down by posting the quote on the Raiders’ Twitter account."We've got 89 guys busting their tails," Mayock said. "We are really excited about where the franchise is going, and we're hoping AB is going to be a big part of it."His final comment — "End of story, no questions" — further demonstrated his anger.last_img

WATCH: Rassie weighs in on England haka drama

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first_imgSpringbok coach Rassie Erasmus doesn’t think England’s reaction to the All Blacks haka this past weekend was disrespectful.Ahead of last Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final – which England won 19-7 – Eddie Jones’ men lined up to the haka in a ‘V’-shape and had to be told repeatedly by officials to retreat when they crossed the halfway line.It caused a stir on social media, with reports on Monday suggesting that England could be fined for the actions. Erasmus, who is preparing for Saturday’s final against the English, was asked about the gesture on Tuesday.“I’m not 100% sure what to make of that,” he said.“We face the haka regularly, twice a year, and we are used to it. We definitely don’t feel it gives them an advantage and it doesn’t intimidate us.“It’s more of an honour for us to face it. It maybe lifts them a little bit more, and there may be some signs behind that which gives them a little bit more of an advantage – I’m not knowledgeable enough to tell you if it does.“But it was certainly interesting, it was certainly exciting. It was certainly something new, and it brought some spice to the Test match.“I don’t think it was disrespectful, and it was something new for everyone in world rugby. I wouldn’t make a big issue about it, but it’s not for me to decide.”Meanwhile, a World Rugby video trumpeting England’s response has earned millions of views online, putting the governing body in an awkward spot should it decide to censure the English team.In 2011 France formed an arrow head shape and advanced on New Zealand while they performed the haka before the World Cup final in Auckland and were subsequently fined £2,500 for breaching a “cultural ritual protocol”.However, despite speculation about a possible fine, as of Tuesday no disciplinary action had been taken against England, with a clip on World Rugby’s official YouTube channel captioned “England’s incredible response to intense New Zealand haka” having received nearly 3.7 million views.It is understood the protocol states opponents must not cross the halfway line but at the two tips of England’s V formation, six players –- Joe Marler, Billy Vunipola, Mark Wilson, Elliot Daly, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ben Youngs –- appeared to be standing in New Zealand’s half.Match officials could be seen urging England players to return to their own half before appearing to be sufficiently content with their positions to let them stay where they were.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img

City title hopes in tatters as United take derby spoils

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first_imgManchester City’s Premier League title hopes were in tatters after suffering a 2-1 derby defeat at home to Manchester United on Saturday, leaving Pep Guardiola’s champions 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.Goals from Marcus Rashford (penalty) and Anthony Martial put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 2-0 up at the break and City only pulled one back in the 85th minute through Nicolas Otamendi.While over half the season remains to be played it is hard to see a scenario where Liverpool throw away this huge advantage, particularly given the way Guardiola’s side are struggling to get anywhere close to the performance levels of their back-to-back title campaigns.This was City’s fourth defeat of the season and 32 points marks Guardiola’s worst return after the first 16 matches of a top-flight season in his managerial career.For United, now up to fifth and within eight points of City, it was the finest Premier League win for their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and capped a perfect week after they beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Wednesday.United were a constant threat on the counter-attack with the pace of the front three but crucially showed organisation and resilience to cope with City’s inevitable response after the break.Remarkably though, United could have had the game wrapped up inside half hour, given the amount of chances they created as they swept aside City in midfield and exposed their shaky defence.Daniel James and Martial tested City keeper Ederson in the early stages before Rashford, in a rich vein of form, engineered the opener.A VAR review ruled that Bernardo Silva had brought down Rashford inside the box and the United striker kept his cool to convert from the spot.PROMISING POSITIONRashford missed a good chance to double the lead, curling wide from a promising position and with United ripping open the City defence the England forward struck the bar with a lofted shot from the edge of the box.The second goal wasn’t long in coming, however, Martial squeezing home a low, left-foot shot after a swift exchange with Dan James.City felt they should have had a penalty before the break when Fred slid in to block a low pull-back from Kyle Walker with the home players feeling the ball struck his arm but the VAR review backed referee Anthony Taylor’s judgement.Guardiola’s side were on top for most of the second half but when they did manage to break down United’s back line, Spanish keeper David De Gea kept them at bay.On the hour, Victor Lindelof was caught dawdling on the ball in the area and robbed by Raheem Sterling inside box but the forward overdid his dribble across the area and the chance evaporated.Four minutes later Rodri let fly from the edge of the box and his effort took a deflection but somehow De Gea managed to reach back to tip over the bar.Five minutes from the end, Otamendi headed in a Riyad Mahrez cross after a corner, powering the ball in with real determination and the Etihad came alive.The prompted a late scramble for an equaliser but once again the inspired De Gea was able to get down to keep out their most dangerous effort, a low shot from substitute Mahrez.United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd while taking a corner in the second half, with reports that he and Jesse Lingard were subjected to racial abuse.last_img

Vidal aims VAR swipe at Real Madrid

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first_imgChilean star Arturo Vidal is already charging up the rivalry between his new club Barcelona and their fierce rivals Real Madrid. The former Juventus and Bayern Munich midfielder claimed Real Madrid would have not won the last two Champions Leagues title had VAR been in use. Vidal was part of the Bayern team that was beaten by Real Madrid in the latter stages of the previous two editions of the competition in controversial fashion. "With VAR, Bayern would have two more Champions League titles and Madrid two less," said Vidal. "I want to win everything," he added. "My favourite title is the Champions League." Bayern felt hard done by on both occasions when they went out to Madrid after a number of decisions went against them, including Vidal's red card in their quarter-final second leg in April 2017. That clash went to extra time with the scores level at 3-3 on aggregate, but Cristiano Ronaldo turned the tie Madrid's way with a double to complete his hat-trick with his second goal coming from an offside position. Bayern also had issues with some of the decisions in last season's semi-final, when the Bundesliga champions were denied a penalty for a poor challenge from Sergio Ramos on Robert Lewandowski.last_img

Montpellier win maiden Ligue 1 title

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first_img0Shares0000PARIS, France, May 21 – Montpellier claimed the first French league title in their history after winning 2-1 at Auxerre on an extraordinary final day of the season on Sunday, after a game twice delayed due to protests by the home fans.Second-placed Paris Saint-Germain did all they could by winning 2-1 at Lorient, and the delays at Auxerre meant that Rene Girard’s side had to endure a nervous wait before their title success was confirmed. Montpellier finished the season three points clear of PSG in the final standings, which gave the southern club — 14th in Ligue 1 last season — their first major honour since the 1990 French Cup.“I think it’s deserved,” said Montpellier coach Girard amid scenes of jubilation on the pitch at Auxerre following the final whistle.“It was a huge fight right until the end. Looking at the number of points, you have to say that the three teams at the top (Montpellier, PSG and Lille) have had extraordinary seasons.”There was no hint of the drama to come when Auxerre broke the deadlock in the 20th minute at Stade Abbe Deschamps, with Olivier Kapo heading home from a corner.A defeat was the only means by which Montpellier could have been denied the title but they equalised in the 32nd minute when John Utaka converted a low right-wing cross from Souleymane Camara.The Auxerre fans’ protest at their relegation — which saw them throw tennis balls and toilet rolls onto the pitch — began at the start of the second period and forced the players to return to the changing rooms.When play resumed, Montpellier were 19 minutes behind the Lorient-PSG game, and with PSG winning, the leaders were left living on their nerves.Goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren repelled a powerful drive from Delvin N’Dinga before flares thrown by Auxerre’s fans obliged the players to leave the pitch again and led to a second delay lasting around 20 minutes.With PSG’s players watching on television from Lorient, riot police began to clear the protesting fans from the stand behind the Montpellier goal and play was able to resume.There were still 16 minutes to play, but Utaka calmed the visiting fans’ nerves in the 76th minute when he swivelled to slam home his second goal and take the title to Stade de la Mosson for the very first time.Montpellier’s Olivier Giroud finished as the top scorer in Ligue 1, ending the season level with PSG’s Nene on 21 goals but prevailing by virtue of having scored fewer penalties.PSG needed to win to stand any chance of winning the title, but they fell behind in the 28th minute at Lorient when Kevin Monnet-Paquet ghosted in behind Zoumana Camara to score with a back-post header.Carlo Ancelotti’s men equalised in the 61st minute through record signing Javier Pastore and claimed victory through Thiago Motta with 15 minutes left, but although PSG had done their job, it was not enough to deny Montpellier their day in the sun.“I’m disappointed that we haven’t won the title but the team has done some good work this season, even though we’ve had difficulties in certain matches,” said Ancelotti.“Montpellier had a great season, as did PSG, and it’s good to be in the Champions League because it’s a strong league.”Elsewhere, Bordeaux won 3-2 at Saint-Etienne to pip their opponents to fifth place and a berth in the Europa League, with Rennes consigned to sixth despite a 5-0 thrashing of Dijon that sent the promoted side into Ligue 2.Caen were also relegated after going down 3-1 at Valenciennes.Eden Hazard bade farewell to outgoing champions Lille by netting a first-half hat-trick in a 4-1 win at home to Nancy in his final game for the club.Fourth-placed Lyon signed off by losing 4-3 at home to Nice, while Marseille fell 1-0 at Sochaux and finished the season in 10th place.Lorient ended the season a point above the drop zone, with Ajaccio winning 2-0 at Toulouse to preserve their place in the elite and Brest escaping the drop courtesy of a 1-0 success at ninth-placed Evian.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

Ronaldo celebrates as record-equalling Madrid cruise

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first_img0Shares0000Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Ballon d’Or before the Spanish league football match against Granada FC on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienMadrid, Spain, Jan 7 – Cristiano Ronaldo paraded his fourth Ballon d’Or and powered home his first goal of 2017 as Real Madrid equalled Barcelona’s Spanish record 39-game unbeaten run with a 5-0 demolition of lowly Granada on Saturday.Sevilla leapfrogged Barca into second, four points behind Real, thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder’s hat-trick in a hugely impressive 4-0 win at sixth-placed Real Sociedad, whilst Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at Eibar to move up to fourth. At the Bernabeu, Ronaldo was honoured by previous Ballon d’Or winners to have played for Madrid including Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Michael Owen and his coach Zinedine Zidane before kick-off.And Real’s relentless run stretching back to April last year continued once the action got underway as they scored four times in the opening half-hour.Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) in action during the Spanish league match against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienIsco and Karim Benzema slotted home from close range before Ronaldo, who had been rested for Real’s 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Sevilla in midweek, bulleted home a header from Marcelo’s cross.Another simple finish from Isco made it four before the break and Casemiro turned home James Rodriguez’s free-kick for the fifth after half-time.Barca can close back to within three points of the leaders with victory at Villarreal on Sunday.Real Madrid’s Isco (left) scores during the Spanish league match against Granada FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard Julien“There is no limit, but on the other hand we have to do everything possible to make sure it lasts,” Zidane said of his side’s stunning form.The Frenchman made four changes from the side that saw off Sevilla with ease in midweek with Keylor Navas returning in goal and all of Ronaldo, Benzema and Isco coming in up front.Once again Zidane was vindicated as all three of the frontline scored in a rapid start.– Fast start –The hosts got a break for the opener as Isco could have been penalised for a trip on Sergi Samper before he exchanged passes with Benzema and slotted low past Guillermo Ochoa.Former French footballer Raymond Kopa (right) stands next to Cristiano Ronaldo as Real Madrid honour their previous Ballon d’Or winners during a ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienMadrid were also fortunate for the second as Benzema appeared offside when he prodded into an empty net after Ochoa tamely parried Luka Modric’s shot into his path.Real captain for the day Marcelo marked the 10-year anniversary since his debut with a pinpoint cross from which Ronaldo powered home his 17th goal of the season.And with the Granada defence once again pulled apart by Madrid’s movement, Modric’s low cross found an unmarked Isco for a simple finish at the back post for his second of the afternoon.“The matches are prepared in a certain way depending on whether we have two, three or four days, but the idea is always to do our best, be physically ready and concentrated,” added Zidane.“If we are ready and concentrated we can do great things.”Madrid understandably eased off in the second half, but the European champions did net a fifth just before the hour mark when Casemiro was left unmarked to bundle home substitute Rodriguez’s free-kick at the back post.Real Madrid demolished Granada 5-0 during their Spanish league match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on January 7, 2017 © AFP / Gerard JulienRonaldo is expected to pick up another individual trophy in FIFA’s inaugural The Best award for 2016 on Monday, but one of his rivals for the prize ended a three-month goal drought in La Liga as Antoine Griezmann sealed Atletico’s 2-0 win at Eibar.After a first-half short on goal mouth action, Saul Niguez nodded Atletico in front eight minutes after the break.Griezmann hadn’t netted in 821 La Liga minutes since October 2, but bundled home from close range after a one-two with Kevin Gameiro 16 minutes from time.However, it is Sevilla who are Real’s closest challengers as they bounced back in style from their midweek mauling to inflict Sociedad’s first home defeat since the opening day of the season.Atletico Madrid’s players celebrate after midfielder Saul Niguez scored his team’s first goal during the Spanish league football match SD Eibar vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on January 7, 2017 © AFP / ANDER GILLENEABen Yedder did most of the damage as he struck twice in four first-half minutes to put the visitors in command.And despite en early rally by Sociedad at the start of the second period, Ben Yedder then teed up Pablo Sarabia to kill the game 17 minutes from time.Ben Yedder produced another cool finish to complete his first La Liga hat-trick in the closing stages and take his tally for the season to an impressive 15.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img