El Clasico, revisited: Ancelotti feels Madrid deserved better, Martino hails Barca’s “last chance”

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It was an El Clasico that anyone outside of Real Madrid’s fan base could appreciate, and even some Madrid supporters probably admit to being quite entertained by the 4-3 Barca win.

There was a thrilling first half. And a wild second half.

So it’s no surprise that the victory has Barcelona manager Tata Martino very excited for his team. In fact, he sounds downright defiant.

“La Liga is not over,” Martino said. “We were given up for dead but with this result today we are right back in it. This was our last chance. We did not want to be left out.”

How often does Barca get to play the role of forgotten, overlooked sons? Not often, but sitting one point back of both Madrid clubs and knowing they’ll need to catch a break from Real Madrid the rest of the way, Martino is happy to embrace the underdog role (even if it’s an “underdog” still alive for a Champions League title).

On the flip side is Carlo Ancelotti, who watched as his team fell victim to two questionable penalty kicks and a suspect red card to Sergio Ramos. He said it was best he not comment on the officiating, but he admitted feeling a bit robbed by the evening.

“In the first matches with Barca and Atletico we deserved to lose, but not tonight. We didn’t deserve this defeat… The team has showed its quality and proved it in this match.”

Plus, he isn’t all that worried about the result. Madrid still has its fate in its hands, and Ancelotti didn’t expect to the title to be handed over in March or even April.

“I’ve said it many times, the league will be decided in the last match. We have to continue fighting. We need to react.”

“The league race is still open. We need an immediate reaction. We have nine matches left. It will be all intense. Every game will be decisive.

Mascherano out 6 weeks, will miss Argentina vs. Brazil

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says defender Javier Mascherano will be out of action for six weeks to recover from a right knee injury.

[ MORE: Luis Enrique leaves Barca with feeling of accomplishment ]

Barcelona’s season is over, but the injury will rule out Mascherano from Argentina’s friendly against Brazil on June 9.

Mascherano injured his leg early in Saturday’s final of the Copa del Rey, when Barcelona beat Alaves 3-1 to defend its title for a third straight season.

He also cut his head during the collision with an Alaves player that produced the leg injury. He returned on crutches to join the team celebration.

Argentina doesn’t play its next World Cup qualifier until it plays Uruguay on Aug. 28.

Courtois aiming at new Chelsea contract after strong season

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There’s a wide range of players that were integral in Chelsea’s Premier League-winning season in 2016/17, but one of the most underrated was arguably goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

[ MORE: PL clubs may miss on Celtic’s Dembele and more transfer news ]

The Blues shot-stopper started all but two PL matches this past campaign, and now the Belgian international is seeking an extension with the London club.

“Contract talks haven’t opened but I am happy at Chelsea,” Courtois told Sky Sports after Chelsea’s loss to Arsenal at Wembley.

“I hope they reward me with a good contract, then there will be no doubt I will sign it.”

The 25-year-old keeper has been in at Stamford Bridge since arriving from Genk in 2011, but Courtois spent three seasons in Spain on a loan spell.

Courtois likened this PL campaign to his time on loan at Atletico Madrid, stating that while his side’s achievements in the league were everything Chelsea could have hoped for that there was still more the Blues could have done.

“It’s not a good feeling now,” Courtois told Chelsea’s official website. “I had the same thing in Spain when I won the league and then lost the Champions League.

“We wanted to end on a high, now we feel sad. Winning is everything so this is hard to face but we have to try to forget it.”

Francesco Totti on bench for final Roma match

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Sunday marks Francesco Totti’s final match with Roma after a stellar 24-year career, but the striker won’t be starting at the Stadio Olimpico.

[ MORE: Reus could miss at least six months after suffering knee damage ]

The 40-year-old was named to the bench for his club’s 2016/17 Serie A finale against Cagliari, with Roma needing a victory to capture second position in Italy’s top flight.

Napoli currently sits just one point behind the Giallorossi and hold a slight two-goal edge in goal differential, which could be a decisive factor in which side finishes second.

It would be quite odd for Roma to not give Totti playing time in his final outing, after a career that featured over 300 goals across all competitions for his hometown club.

Transfer rumor roundup: PL clubs losing ground for Dembele and more

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With all the major leagues across Europe either closing or already have finished it’s the season of transfer rumors once again.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s FA Cup win vs. Chelsea ]

Here are several of the juiciest pieces from Sunday:

Three London sides could potentially miss out on Celtic star Moussa Dembele as AC Milan has emerged as a favorite to sign the top-rated Frenchman. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all expressed great interest in the promising attacker, who scored 17 goals this season for the Scottish champions.

After struggling at times this season to keep goals out, Liverpool could turn to France as a potential outlet to fix the cracks in their back line. AS Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy already has significant PL interest from Manchester United and Manchester City, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side could also put up a fight.

West Ham is looking to bolster its attack this summer, and with Pep Guardiola likely making significant changes at the Etihad Stadium, Kelechi Iheanacho could be on his way to the Hammers ahead of the 2017/18 PL season.

Manchester City higher ups are keen on having Guardiola bring back goalkeeper Joe Hart from Torino this summer. Hart spent last season on loan with the Italian club after Guardiola sent him away from England early in his managing tenure at the club.