Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid aren’t known for seeing eye-to-eye, but they can agree on one thing following the former’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Tuesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie.
Neymar’s really ticking them off.
This has little to do with the Barcelona player’s goal, rather his theatrics. Less than a fortnight after drawing a penalty in a thrilling El Clasico, Neymar has drawn the ire of intense Atletico boss Diego Simeone.
Simeone combined shots at two Barca players during his post-match press conference. From Goal.com on Neymar:
“Diving is his characteristic, like Alexis Sanchez did when I coached him at River Plate,” he told Sky Sport. “This part of his game lets him down.”
Here are the comments from Real’s Ramos after his red card against Barca:
“In my sending off Neymar was offside beforehand and I didn’t touch him. He was looking for contact. If they wanted to balance the league table, they’ve done it.”
The diving criticism is nothing new for Neymar, even Pele has reached out to the youngster in the past. But at least we can agree that the Brazilian Barca striker is bringing the rival sides of Madrid together in a common goal: detestation of his tactics.
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
[ RELATED: David de Gea fighting for starting goalkeeper position with Spain ]
Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan