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PIX: Real Madrid lose again; Barcelona booed by home fans

May 13, 2019 10:02 IST

IMAGE: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema reacts. Photograph: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid's stuttering season continued as they were reduced to 10 men and then slumped to an 11th La Liga defeat of the campaign by going down 3-1 at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

 

The loss left Zinedine Zidane's side in third place on 68 points with one match remaining, seven adrift of Atletico Madrid and a massive 18 points behind already-crowned champions Barcelona.

Zidane summed up his side's abject recent form by declaring after the game: "I would rather the season ended as soon as possible.

"I thought we started really well but after their disallowed goal it was a different game. It's a pity because we played well and even with 10 men we had chances to score."

IMAGE: Real Sociedad players celebrate after Mikel Merino scored their opening goal. Photograph: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

With Zidane opting once again not to include Gareth Bale in his squad, there was a rare start for youngster Brahim Diaz and the 19-year-old got Madrid off to the perfect start, coolly finishing on six minutes after a solo run down the left wing.

Sociedad thought they had equalised soon after, only for Mikel Oyarzabal's goal to be disallowed for offside after a lengthy check on VAR.

They did not have to wait long before gaining parity though, as Mikel Merino fired in from the edge of the box, and things went from bad to worse for Zidane's side as Jesus Vallejo was sent off for handball on the line five minutes before the break.

Willian Jose was thwarted by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from the subsequent spot-kick but the Basques went ahead in the second half when Courtois slipped, allowing Joseba Zaldua's back post header to roll into the net.

Then 18-year-old Ander Barrenetxea netted a maiden strike from close range to secure the points for his side 20 minutes from time.

Barca booed for European failure

IMAGE: Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots at goal. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Spanish champions Barcelona beat top-four chasing Getafe 2-0 in front of a subdued and near half-empty Nou Camp on Sunday in their first Liga game since a humbling defeat by Liverpool sent them crashing out of the Champions League semi-finals.

Sunday's result meant little to Barca, who clinched an eighth Liga title in 11 seasons two weeks ago, but it could prove fatal to Getafe's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time as they dropped to fifth.

Valencia leapfrogged Getafe into fourth due to their superior head-to-head record after beating Alaves 3-1 and will snatch the final Champions League spot if they win at Real Valladolid in their final game of the season next week.

Barcelona's Chilean Arturo Vidal opened the scoring near the end of the first half, poking a loose ball home after Gerard Pique's flicked header was parried by Getafe keeper David Soria.

Barca's second came in the 90th minute thanks to an own goal after captain Lionel Messi combined with Sergi Roberto and beat two players before his shot got a final touch off Mauro Arambarri.

Only 57,000 people turned up at the 99,000 capacity ground, which turned into a forum for fans to vent their frustrations at Barca's 4-0 second-leg surrender at Anfield on Tuesday as they went out of Europe's elite club competition 4-3 on aggregate.

Forward Philippe Coutinho suffered the bulk of the whistles and boos after his poor display against his old club Liverpool, while veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets was also subjected to boos when he misplaced several passes in the first half.

Coutinho's day got worse when he was forced off injured in the second half.

IMAGE: Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, shoots at goal. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

A statement from Barca said the Brazilian had strained his hamstring and would be out for 10 days, meaning he will miss their final league fixture against Eibar. He is set to return two days before the Copa del Rey final against Valencia.

Busquets said the defeat by Liverpool was the lowest point of his career and made it more difficult to play against Getafe.

"The last few days have been very tough but we wanted to get out of this deep hole we have been in, we have to face the fans, they showed their anger but we have to move on now," he said.

"We are all feeling very low. I have lost trophies and matches but I never had to deal with something like this (the defeat by Liverpool). It's difficult for everyone although it's part of the sport. We will all move on together."

Barca have one final league game at Eibar next week before facing Valencia in the Copa del Rey final, when they can secure a second successive double although it still might not be enough to keep coach Ernesto Valverde in his job.

The defeat at Anfield may also lead to several players leaving the club but Busquets urged the Barca directors to carefully weigh up any decisions.

"I think you should evaluate things at the end of the season and consider everything that has been achieved," he added.

"We are all united, the players and the staff. There will be debates, but the players won't be involved. It's difficult to know what is the best thing for the club but we shouldn't lose our heads, we must trust each other.

"When the season is over decisions will be made but until then we must stick together, do our own thing and focus as much as possible on the Copa del Rey final."

Valencia in pole position for fourth with win over Alaves

Valencia took control of the battle for the final Champions League qualifying place in La Liga by beating visitors Alaves 3-1 to climb above Getafe into fourth place on Sunday.

Getafe's 2-0 defeat at Barcelona on Sunday means Valencia are level with them on 58 points and one game to go but have a better head-to-head record against the Madrid outfit.

Marcelino's side, who endured a painful Europa League semi-final defeat by Arsenal on Thursday, made a slow start in front of a nervous Mestalla crowd and fell behind early on when Ximo Navarro took advantage of some slack marking to head home.

Valencia struggled to create chances but were gifted an equaliser when Carlos Soler raced onto a loose ball and found the net on the half hour after visiting defender Ruben Duarte's attempted header back to goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco fell short.

Three minutes later the hosts were in front when Santi Mina headed in Dani Parejo’s corner before strike partner Kevin Gameiro scored with a back-post header 20 minutes from time.

Valencia travel to Real Valladolid in the final round of the season next Saturday, while Getafe host Villarreal.

Atletico seal second place with draw against Sevilla

Atletico Madrid ensured they finished runners-up in La Liga and above Real Madrid for a second year in a row after drawing 1-1 with Sevilla on Sunday in captain Diego Godin's final home game for the club.

The result further harmed Sevilla's chances of qualifying for the Champions League though, as they stayed sixth in the standings and trail fourth-placed Valencia by two points heading into the final game of the campaign.

Spain midfielder Koke put Atletico ahead on the half-hour mark with a heavily deflected shot from outside the area after starting his run towards goal from his side's own half of the pitch.

Sevilla levelled midway through the second half with an impressive strike from Pablo Sarabia, who calmly side-footed a looping cross on the volley into the bottom corner, just about keeping alive their chances of making it into the top four.

Sevilla are on 56 points with one game left, two behind fifth-placed Getafe and fourth-placed Valencia and they have an inferior head-to-head record with both sides.

Atletico have 75 points, seven ahead of their more illustrious neighbours Real, who sunk to an 11th defeat of the campaign by losing 3-1 at Real Sociedad.

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