Deportivo La Coruna sack coach Cristobal Parralo

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Deportivo La Coruna sacked their coach Cristobal Parralo on Sunday with the club rooted in the relegation zone on the back of a poor run of results.

After a 5-0 thrashing at Real Sociedad on Friday the Liga club’s directors decided to swing the axe on Parralo’s short reign even though he only took over from Pepe Mel in November.

The defeat at San Sebastian, just along Spain’s northern coast from the Galician port of La Coruna, was a seventh game without a win for Deportivo.

The club have been in decline for the past decade after a mini golden era when they won the Spanish league in 2000 and the cup in 2001 with Dutch striker Roy Makaay as spearhead and iconic Brazilian centre-back Mauro Silva as captain.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Ronaldo fails in front of goal and other stats as Real Madrid draw at Levante

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Cristiano Ronaldo has scored just eight La Liga goals this season.

La Liga strugglers Levante struck a late equaliser to condemn Real Madrid to another frustrating draw on Saturday night.

The Whites had twice held the lead at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia through goals from Sergio Ramos and Isco but Giampaolo Pazzini’s last-gasp leveller earned the hosts a share of the spoils.

Here’s a look at some damning Real Madrid stats:

— Real Madrid have dropped more points (24) in 21 La Liga matches this season than they did during their entire league-winning 2016-17 campaign (21).

— Los Blancos are 18 points behind table-toppers and eternal rivals Barcelona.

— Levante remain unbeaten in both La Liga clashes against the Whites this term, with the 2-2 draw following on from a 1-1 result between the two teams at the Bernabeu in September 2017.

— Star man Cristiano Ronaldo was hooked by Zinedine Zidane with eight minutes remaining in the match as Levante scored their second goal just seven minutes later.

— However, you couldn’t really question the Frenchman’s decision to sub Ronaldo given the club legend had seven shots on goal (two on target) and was a fading influence with just 47 touches during his 82 minutes.

— Real have failed to record a clean sheet in their past six La Liga matches.

— Saturday night’s result was the Spanish giants’ sixth draw of the season, combined with four defeats.

— Madrid are only two points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal in the hunt for Champions League qualification – something few people would have predicted at the start of the season.

Stats compiled using Opta and WhoScored.

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane frustrated after late Levante equaliser

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The pressure is building on Real boss Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane accepts it is difficult to understand how his side threw away a winning position as relegation-battlers Levante snatched a 2-2 draw at Ciutat de Valencia.

Veteran Italian forward Giampaolo Pazzini came off the bench to net a dramatic late equaliser, not long after Isco had seemingly set Los Blancos on course for a third straight LaLiga win.

Fit-again captain Sergio Ramos headed the visitors into an early lead, but Emmanuel Boateng levelled just before half-time.

Levante goalkeeper Olazabal Oier pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ramos a second before substitute Isco eventually made it 2-1 in the 81st minute.

Pazzini, though, had the final say when he slotted past Keylor Navas with just a minute left.

The draw moves Real back up to fourth place ahead of Villarreal but well adrift of leaders Barcelona, while Levante are three points clear of the drop zone.

Zidane’s men must now regroup for the visit of Real Sociedad next weekend, which will be swiftly followed at the Bernabeu by a Champions League encounter against Paris St Germain on February 13.

“We controlled the game, especially the first half, but then after we scored the second goal, which was the most difficult, we were not able to avoid an equaliser,” Zidane said at a post-match press conference.

“It is hard because they are two points that we were not able to get, but this is football and the opponent is there to get you in trouble.

“It bothers me because we work it – we know that the opponent can hurt you on the counter-attack.”

Despite the massive 18-point gap to Barcelona, which could be extended again if the leaders win at Espanyol on Sunday, Zidane will not yet throw in the towel.

“I will always tell you that the league is not over until the end, there are many points (left),” he said, quoted on the club’s official website.

“We had tried to achieve a third straight victory, but we did not get it.

“We are frustrated because the result was in our hands and we did not get the victory, now we have a game next week and after we will think about the Champions League.”

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