Welcome back to The Corner, our weekly round-up from the world of football. Spanish giants Real Madrid failed to start the new year as they finished 2014 while Barcelona missed the opportunity to leapfrog Los Merengues after David Moyes’ Real Sociedad caused a huge upset in La Liga on Sunday.
Real Madrid’s Spanish record 22-match winning streak ended in a 2-1 La Liga defeat at Valencia on Sunday with Nicolas Otamendi heading in the second-half winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 14th minute but it wasn’t to be as the hosts equalised just after the break through Antonio Barragan’s deflected shot. Otamendi then nodded home a corner after 65 minutes to hand Real their first defeat since September 13.
Elsewhere, Real Sociedad coach David Moyes praised his side’s determined defending after their 1-0 victory over Barcelona.
The former Manchester United manager has had little to cheer about over the last year but was all smiles when his side held on to beat the Blaugranas after taking the lead in the second minute through an own-goal by Jordi Alba.
Up and Down
Let’s now check out who made our ‘Up and Down’ list from all of last week’s action. Alan Pardew is on the up side as the new Crystal Palace manager is ready to shake things up at Selhurst Park. The 53-year-old avoided an FA Cup upset in his first game in charge on Sunday with his side thumping non-league Dover 4-0 to reach the fourth round.
On the down, Chelsea missed the chance to strengthen their grip on the Premier League when they suffered a 5-3 defeat to Tottenham on New Year’s Day. Jose Mourinho’s men will be looking to bounce back when they next take on Newcastle on Saturday.
Also making the down list are Paris St-Germain’s Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani. The South American duo will miss their side’s next two matches as punishment for returning late from a mid-season break.
They will train on their own for a week and miss a French Cup tie against Montpellier on Monday as well as a Ligue 1 match against Bastia on 10 January.
We might be wrong
Here you have our predictions, for some selected matches next weekend. How will they end? As you know we might be wrong so please send us your predictions, on the social networks, using #TheCornerScores.
Manchester United will host Southampton on Sunday. We predict Louis Van Gaal’s men will triumph by the narrowest of margins in front of their home crowd while we think Barcelona will bounce back from their defeat to real Sociedad with a hard fought 2-1 win over Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
Manchester United 1-0 Southampton
Barcelona 2-1 Atlético de Madrid
Juventus 1-1 Inter Milan
This week in Bloopers, we see Argentina striker Lionel Messi displaying outrageously good skill on Japanese TV. The video is worth watching for the reaction of the commentator alone. Don’t forget to send us the funny videos you come across using #TheCornerBloopers.