By Tim Stannard
Real Madrid scouting locations in Crisis City ahead of Sunday's El Clasico after Manchester City loss
Well, that didn't quite go to plan for Real Madrid who managed to heap extra pressure on themselves in Sunday's El Clasico, if there wasn't enough on them already.
1-0 up against Manchester City in the Santiago Bernabeu in their Champions League clash on Wednesday and all was looking sparkly in an admittedly chaotic encounter against Manchester City. That was before a bit of trickery from the imperious Kevin de Bruyne and hackery from Dani Carvajal lead to a 2-1 defeat in the Bernabeu.
Madrid are rapidly back in business on Sunday against Barcelona in El Clasico - coverage begins at 1:30PM ET, live on beIN SPORTS - to complete a condensed time period that could see the season going pear-shaped for Madrid in the space of a week.
A Barca win would put the Catalans five points clear in the title race in LaLiga and heap some pressure on Coach Zizou to add to the current Champions League 'one-foot-out' scenario for Madrid.
One of the big talking points out of Spain on the morning after the night before was what the deal was with Toni Kroos. The German is normally the midfield anchor for Madrid but was given the James Rodriguez treatment by being left on the bench for the entire match.
Footage later emerged of Pep Guardiola and the German midfielder - together at Bayern Munich - having quite the intense chat that could either be about a) the match, b) life, family, the garden, c) the Democrat Primaries d) negotiating a move to Manchester City in the summer.
What are Toni Kroos and Pep Guardiola talking about? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/JOyjjMvYfT— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) February 27, 2020
The latter will almost certainly be the favorite of soccer's chattering classes. And it will certainly be that of the Sports Burst live show, live from Madrid, which will also look at the Kings of Lyon beating Juventus in one of the shock results of the round.
Just to head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page or Youtube channel at 12PM ET.
Getafe looking for Dutch double against Ajax
While Real Madrid are not quite living in Crisis City yet - the team is certainly looking at apartments - a couple of big hitters could be taking up residency by the end of Thursday if matters go awry in the Europa League.
Ajax were largely humiliated by Getafe in Madrid in the last 32 first-leg game last week with a 2-0 defeat that the Dutch side will need to turn around in Amsterdam against their tremendously stubborn visitors.
Meanwhile, Porto also have some work to reverse a 2-1 deficit to Bayer Leverkusen in Portugal. No such problems for Inter against Ludogorets with the Italians holding a 2-0 lead, however, the game will be without fans and media as authorities try to manage the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the region.
Although Sunday's Serie A clash between Juventus and Inter is also set to be held behind closed doors, the president of local Lombardy region, Attillo Fontana, seems to be optimistic that the decision could be reversed - "we will check on Saturday and then we will decide."
Flamengo seal Recopa Sudamericana win
No such crisis problems for Brazilian giants, Flamengo, who added the Recopa Sudamericana crown to the Copa Libertadores trophy on Wednesday night. Flamengo defeated Independiente 3-0 in the Maracana to win the tie 5-2 on aggregate.
There was further good news for Brazilian football as Internacional booked a spot in the Libertadores group stages which start next week. The final place is up for grabs today with Club Guarani hosting Palestino with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg. It's a game that is live, live, live on beIN SPORTS with everything underway at 5:05PM ET.
beIN SPORTS is also offering up some world-class women's tennis today with coverage of the quarterfinals of the WTA Qatar Open featuring world number one, Ashleigh Barty in action. Just tune into beIN SPORTS XTRA - no strings, no subscriptions just top-class sport - to enjoy.