Barcelona, Real Madrid suffer losses

Barcelona had its first defeat under Ronald Koeman when it lost 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday, right after Madrid was beaten 1-0 at home by recently promoted Cádiz

By   |  Published: 18th Oct 2020  5:23 pm
Madrid player Vinicius left, and Cadiz's Alex Fernandez fight for possession during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Cadiz at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Madrid. -Photo: AP

Barcelona: Barcelona and Real Madrid lost for the first time this season against modest Spanish league opposition, increasing the doubts over their stalled attacks ahead of Champions League openers and their own “clásico” clash.

Barcelona had its first defeat under Ronald Koeman when it lost 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday, right after Madrid was beaten 1-0 at home by recently promoted Cádiz. The star-powered attacks of the European powerhouses appeared shackled by their opponents. While Getafe lived up to its reputation as one of Spain’s top defensive sides by shutting down Barcelona, Madrid was sloppy and sluggish against an inspired Cádiz that is back in the top flight after 15 seasons.

Sevilla also lost before it visits Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday, leaving Atlético Madrid as the only one of Spain’s top teams to celebrate a victory. It faces Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Barcelona didn’t have many chances, but they were good ones. Lionel Messi hit the upright in the 20th and Antoine Griezmann wasted a great opportunity on the half-hour mark.

After that, Getafe tightened its marking and Barcelona didn’t threaten again until Djene Dakonam almost scored an own-goal late when he cleared a cross onto the crossbar. Jaime Mata converted a penalty kick for Getafe in the 56th minute after Frenkie de Jong fouled Dakonam on the edge of the area while trying to clear a loose ball.

Griezmann’s struggles continued for another game. France coach Didier Deschamps said last week that he didn’t understand why Koeman played Griezmann on the right side instead of the middle of attack. Koeman tried moving Griezmann into a striker role at Getafe but Griezmann did little to help his cause with a glaring miss. He remained scoreless this season.

Zinedine Zidane was at a loss for his team’s performance against Cádiz. Led by 35-year-old striker Álvaro Negredo, Cádiz proved more dangerous than Madrid, particularly in the first half when the visitors could have gone into the interval with a two-goal advantage.

Negredo set up Anthony Lozano to chip the game’s only goal over Thibaut Courtois in the 16th. Sergio Ramos had already stopped a shot from Negredo, and Courtois made several more saves before halftime. Karim Benzema had Madrid’s only good chance to equalize when he hit the crossbar with eight minutes remaining.

Luis Suárez scored an early goal to help Atlético win 2-0 at Celta Vigo and end the team’s scoring drought. Suárez had debuted for Diego Simeone’s team by netting twice in a 6-1 rout of Granada after joining Atlético from Barcelona. But since then the Uruguay striker and his teammates had been restrained in 0-0 stalemates against Huesca and Villarreal.

Granada beat 10-man Sevilla 1-0 after Yangel Herrera broke the deadlock with a header with eight minutes to go. Joan Jordan left Sevilla a man down after two bookings for back-to-back fouls in first-half stoppage time.