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Tuesday, Jul 07th

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Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the Spanish football league standings despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home by city rivals Atletico Madrid. Real dominated the Madrid derby on Saturday night but were denied victory by a late goal from Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann finished off a pass from Angel Correa to give Atletico a point they scarcely deserved in the 85th minute after a game in which Real Madrid had the majority of chances, but thanks to a series of fine saves from Atletico keeper, Jan Oblak, all they had to show was a headed goal from Pepe to reward their efforts.

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Atletico Madrid midfielder Jorge Resurreccion Koke had the worst possible preparation for Saturday's football derby away against Real Madrid when he was robbed at gunpoint, according to reports in the Spanish press on Friday.

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Real Madrid ended the 29th round of La Liga football matches on top of the table with a two-point lead over FC Barcelona after both sides won their respective league games.

Real Madrid made hard work of defeating Alaves, who had chances to equalise Karim Benzema's opening goal for Madrid, which should have been ruled out for offside, before late strikes from Isco and Nacho Fernandez gave the home side a very flattering 3-0 final score on Sunday.

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According to auditing giants KPMG, Real Madrid and Manchester United are the most valuable football clubs in the world. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid are valued at $3.09 billion. FC Barcelona are third, valued at $2.9 billion, ahead of Bayern Munich, rated at $2.35 billion according to KPMG's annual report.

The top five is completed by Arsenal ($1.86 billion) with the next three places going to Manchester City ($1.71 billion), Chelsea ($1.6 billon) and Liverpool ($1.39 billion). Juventus, worth $1.05 billion, and Paris Saint-Germain ($900.37 million) complete the top 10.

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Bayern Munich chief coach Carlo Ancelotti on Friday said that ace goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will return to play no later than the first leg of the Champions League's quarter-finals against Real Madrid on April 12.

Ancelotti told a news conference that Neuer had a small problem in his toe during training on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane commented on Friday that he thinks Real Madrid's Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, currently under the guidance of former Spanish capital club coach Carlo Ancelotti, is evenly balanced.

The tie, which not only pits Madrid against a historic rival, sees them take on former coach Ancelotti, who led the Spanish side to their tenth European crown. The draw has given Madrid a slight advantage in that they play the first game in Munich with the return leg in front of their fans in the Santiago Bernabeu.

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The Champions League draw pits Europe's four heavyweight football clubs in the quarter-finals that also see underdogs vying for a place in the final four showdown. The draw, held here on Friday, left Bayern Munich facing Real Madrid and Juventus grappling with FC Barcelona - in two pairings that are set to absorb soccer fans and viewers across the globe.

The ceremony, presided over by UEFA's director of competitions, Giorgio Marchetti, also portended a hard-fought battle between Atletico Madrid and Leicester City, while Borussia Dortmund will clash with AS Monaco.

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