x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Santiago Solari on Real Madrid's shock defeat to Real Sociedad: Everything went against us today

Lucas Vazquez sent off as Sociedad win 2-0 at the Bernabeu; Messi and Suarez on target as Barcelona win 2-1 away at Getafe

Real Sociedad midfielder Ruben Pardo celebrates after scoring to make it 2-0 against Real Madrid. EPA
Real Sociedad midfielder Ruben Pardo celebrates after scoring to make it 2-0 against Real Madrid. EPA

Real Madrid's nightmarish start to the new year continued on Sunday with a shock 2-0 home defeat by struggling Real Sociedad which left the European champions sitting outside the top four in La Liga, 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

Willian Jose put the Basques ahead in the third minute and after Madrid missed a series of clear chances, had two penalty appeals waved away and saw Lucas Vazquez sent off, midfielder Ruben Pardo sealed their fate with a headed goal in the 84th minute.

Many home fans flocked away early in dismay while others greeted the final whistle with deafening boos after Real Sociedad, in their first game under new manager Imanol Alguacil following Asier Garitano's sacking, won at the Bernabeu for the first time since 2004.

The defeat left Madrid, who drew 2-2 with struggling Villarreal on Thursday, fifth on 30 points after 18 games in the La Liga standings, 10 adrift of Barcelona who won 2-1 at Getafe on Sunday.

Real Sociedad climbed from 16th up to 11th.

Before kick off, Madrid paraded the Fifa Club World Cup trophy they won last month for a third consecutive time but the celebratory mood was soon punctured when Real midfielder Casemiro was penalised for hauling down Mikel Merino in the box.

Jose Willian smashed his spot kick down the middle of the goal beyond Thibaut Courtois and although Real rallied with a glut of chances throughout the match they somehow failed to find the net.

____________

Read more:

Brahim Diaz set for Real Madrid switch as Man City insert bizarre Man United sell-on clause

Ian Hawkey: Real Madrid's Santiago Solari makes strong start, but challenges lie ahead for new manager

____________

Karim Benzema missed a gilt-edged opportunity by firing wide of the far post with the goal gaping, while Vazquez struck the other post with what looked like an intended cross.

Real spurned a triple chance immediately after the interval as Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli thwarted Vinicius Jr and Raphael Varane from close range, and their task was made all the harder when Vazquez was dismissed in the 61st minute for a second booking.

Argentine keeper Rulli later appeared to trip Brazilian teenager Vinicius in the area but no penalty was awarded, a decision which left the Bernabeu faithful incensed after Madrid captain Sergio Ramos had an earlier penalty shout turned down.

"Everything went against us today, we had a terrible start, a very unfortunate play in the opening minutes and every error at this level is punished dearly," said Real manager Santiago Solari, after his second league loss since succeeding Julen Lopetegui at the end of October.

"We did everything to turn it around, we had a lot of chances none of them went in and in football it's the goals that count. We also had a penalty appeal which no-one can understand why it wasn't given.

"I give the benefit of the doubt to the referee for the first incident, but the second one is a penalty every day of the week."

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores their first goal against Getafe. Reuters
Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores their first goal against Getafe. Reuters

Lionel Messi scored for the seventh time in four Liga games as champions Barcelona scrapped their way to a hard-fought 2-1 win that propelled them five points clear at the top of the table.

Messi, La Liga's top scorer this season, opened his account for 2019 with his 16th goal, giving Barca a 20th minute lead as he tucked the ball into the net from a tight angle, after his initial shot was saved by the legs of Getafe keeper David Soria.

It took the Argentine's career tally to a staggering 399 goals in La Liga before Uruguay striker Luis Suarez doubled Barca's advantage in the 39th minute with a spectacular volley from outside the area.

Getafe hit back two minutes before the interval with a close-range finish from striker Jaime Mata after a splendid team move and continued to push hard after the break.

Barca, who have won seven out of the last 10 Liga titles, stretched the gap to five points over their nearest pursuers Atletico Madrid, who drew 1-1 with third-placed Sevilla.

"We were aware of those results before going out on the pitch and were under pressure to make the most of the opportunity, and we went out to do that at a very difficult ground," Barca manager Ernesto Valverde said.

"We expected it was going to be a tough game and it was. They got right back into the game with their goal but we are very happy. We've increased the gap with our rivals, but there's still a long way to go."

"These are the types of games that win you half the title, especially considering the other results before we played," said Barca goalscorer Suarez.

"The other team plays as well, and Getafe are very strong at home, so it was very difficult. There were a lot of battles out there but it all stays on the pitch. We're feeling very positive, the title is in our own hands."

Updated: January 7, 2019 09:52 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editors Picks
Most Read