La Liga leaders Real Madrid suffered their heaviest defeat in over four years as reigning champions Atletico Madrid overpowered them in a scintillating derby, BBC reports. Injury-hit Real were forced to name a makeshift defence for the short trip to the Vicente Calderon – and it was easily exposed by Atletico’s ruthless attack. Quick-fire goals from Tiago and Saul Niguez put Atletico in command at the break, before second-half strikes from Antoine Griezmann and Mario Mandzukic sealed Real’s worst loss since a 5-0 mauling by arch-rivals Barcelona in November 2010. Atletico’s players jubilantly celebrated with their supporters at the final whistle after extending their unbeaten run against Real to a sixth game. And, perhaps more importantly, the win also reignited their hopes of retaining La Liga. Los Rojiblancos would have fallen 10 points behind their neighbours with a defeat, but instead moved level with second-placed Barcelona. Real still hold a four-point advantage over the pair, although Barca can cut that gap when they travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Los Merengues coach Carlo Ancelotti looked furious at the final whistle after a limp performance from the European champions, who only registered one shot on target. The Italian welcomed back Cristiano Ronaldo following a two-match suspension, but the Ballon d’Or winner barely figured as Atletico took advantage of an away defence missing injured centre-backs Sergio Ramos and Pepe, along with suspended left-back Marcelo. Atletico dominated from the first whistle and deservedly led when Portugal midfielder Tiago drilled in a low shot which Real keeper Iker Casillas failed to hold. Substitute Saul, an early replacement for the injured Koke, doubled the lead four minutes later with a spectacular overhead kick. Slack defending allowed France attacker Griezmann to poke in from close range after the break, before Croatia striker Mandzukic’s late diving header sealed a memorable win.
Congo DR beat Equatorial Guinea 4-2 on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations third-place play-off as the match passed without any crowd trouble. The hosts’ semi-final against Ghana on Thursday was halted after missiles were thrown at players and supporters. Only a small crowd turned out at Malabo stadium, the scene of Thursday’s violence, to see the sides draw 0-0 in normal time. Defender Cedric Mongongu struck the winning penalty for DR Congo. Equatorial Guinea were fined £65,000 for the violence following the semi-final, which saw 36 fans injured. DR Congo defender Gabriel Zakuani had called for his country to pull out of the play-off match following the trouble. Between 3,000 to 4,000 fans attended the 15,200-seater stadium. “The game passed off without any sign of a repeat of the problems that marred Thursday’s semi-final at the same venue,” said Cavell. “Those fans who did come were vociferous in their support of an Equatorial Guinea side who seemed calmer and more composed on the pitch and created more chances. “And even in losing the crowd didn’t show the same anger as on Thursday and instead showed massive appreciation for their heroes who have defied the odds to finish fourth.” DR Congo’s Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie had the best chance of the first-half but he sliced his shot wide. Dieumerci Mbokani, the tournament’s joint top goal scorer on three goals, had a golden opportunity to put DR Congo ahead eights minutes into the second-half. But the striker’s tame shot was straight at Felipe Ovono after a jinking run by Cedric had set him up. Equatorial Guinea’s best chance fell to Emilio Nsue Lopez on 58 minutes, but veteran goalkeeper Kidiaba was quickly out of his area to close down the Middlesbrough striker. Kidiaba, 38, whose ‘bouncing bottom’ celebration became one of the talking points of the tournament, performed a backwards standing somersault in his goalmouth before Javier Balboa took and missed the first penalty. Raul Fabiani missed Equatorial Guinea’s second penalty while DR Congo’s players held their nerve in the shootout as they achieved their country’s best finish in the tournament since 1998.
After meeting with political parties, candidates and stakeholders, INEC Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega has announced the postponement of Nigeria’s general elections citing security reasons. The elections earlier scheduled to hold from February 14, 2015, will now hold on March 28 (presidential) and April 11 (gubernatorial).