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Rediff.com  » Sports » Feeble Real Madrid lose to Valladolid

Feeble Real Madrid lose to Valladolid

November 16, 2008 15:49 IST

Real Madrid's poor run of form continued on Saturday when the Spanish Primera Liga champions lost 1-0 at struggling Real Valladolid and missed the chance to take over from Barcelona at the top of the table.

Valladolid were thrashed 6-0 by Barca at the Nou Camp last weekend but shocked a sluggish-looking Real by taking the lead shortly after the break.

Midfielder Fabian Canobbio found space on the edge of the penalty area and the Uruguayan lashed a left-foot shot high into the net past Iker Casillas.

Real mounted a desperate charge for an equaliser and almost found one in the 75th minute but Valladolid keeper Sergio Asenjo saved two powerful drives from midfielder Wesley Sneijder in quick succession.

Asenjo made a string of superb stops during the match and kept Raul's weak effort out near the end after the striker intercepted a stray back pass and was through on goal.

Real's misery was compounded shortly before the end when their Argentina defender Gabriel Heinze was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.

Barcelona visit Recreativo Huelva in Sunday's late match having won their last eight league games, scoring 33 goals.

They have 25 points, one ahead of unbeaten Villarreal, who play at Malaga on Sunday.

Third-placed Valencia have 23 points. Real remain fourth, also with 23 points but behind Valencia on goal difference, while Valladolid provisionally jump to 10th with 13 points.

Real have leaked eight goals at the Bernabeu in their last three matches and suffered a humiliating midweek exit from the King's Cup to third-tier side Real Union.

The pressure is increasing on coach Bernd Schuster who said after Saturday's defeat that his players were working hard but were feeling the absence of a number of first-choice players.

The German's injury list includes Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is out for the season after having knee surgery, his compatriot Arjen Robben, central defender Pepe and midfielders Ruben de la Red and Mahamadou Diarra.

"This was a match we did not think we would lose," Schuster told a news conference. "I am calm," he added. "We are working and doing what we have to do."

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