Barcelona held 1-1 by Real Sociedad to swell Real Madrid's La Liga lead
San Sebastian, Nov 28 (IANS) Defending champions FC Barcelona slipped to six points behind leaders Real Madrid, after managing only a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad, a week ahead of the first "El Classico" derby match between the two La Liga football giants on December 3.
Barcelona salvaged the draw in the away match here on Sunday in what was perhaps their worst performance of the season, reports Xinhua.
Real Sociedad totally dominated the first half against a below par Barcelona, but despite six chances, failed to score until the second half when Willian Jose headed home after good work from Carlos Vela.
The lead barely lasted five minutes before Barcelona's superstar Lionel Messi equalised in a rare chance.
Real Sociedad should have gone ahead for the second time in the match, as Juanmi had a perfectly legal goal wrongly ruled out for offside and Vela saw a shot hit the post.
Real Madrid won their game on Saturday, but can also can consider themselves lucky, as they beat a struggling Sporting Gijon side 2-1. Sporting Gijon has now taken just only two points from their last 10 matches.
Had it not been for a missed penalty from Sporting striker Duje Cop, Madrid would have dropped two vital points ahead of next week's EL Classico.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways after defeats to Real Sociedad and Real Madrid with a comfortable 3-0 win away to Osasuna.
Things might have been different for Diego Simeone's side had Atletico goalkepeer Jan Oblak not saved Roberto Torres' 13th minute penalty. But the game was as good as over when two goals within two minutes from Diego Godin and Kevin Gameiro put Atletico 2-0 ahead in the 37th minute.
Yannick Carrasco sealed the win in the last minute of the game in which the penalty was Osasuna's only worthwhile shot on target.
Villarreal drop out of the top four after a 0-2 home defeat to Alaves. Ibai Gomez's seventh minute volley put the Basque side ahead. Victor Camarasa doubled the lead in the 18th minute.
Villarreal improved in the second half but failed to beat Alaves' in-form goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.
Spanish international Iago Aspes opened the door for Celta Vigo's 3-1 win at home to bottom of the table Granada, who remain rooted at the base without a win all season.
Sevilla beat struggling Valencia 2-1 thanks to an own-goal from Ezequiel Garay and a shot from Nico Pareja following a corner 15 minutes from time.
Munir had scored for Valencia 10 minutes earlier to give them hopes of a draw. Sevilla are level on points with Barcelona, but placed third having inferior goal difference.
Malaga claimed a thrilling 4-3 win against Deportivo La Coruna in a game settled by an injury time goal from teenage midfielder Javier Ontiveros.
Pablo Piatti scored twice as Espanyol upped the pace to claim their first home win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Leganes, with Gerard Moreno also scoring in a game that came to life in the second half.