Barcelona suffer first defeat in Primera Liga


Madrid, Dec 2 (IANS) Barcelona suffered their first defeat of the season in Spanish Primera Liga football against Athletic Club Bilbao as the Catalan giants lead at the top of the table was cut down to three points over Real Madrid and just goal difference over Atletico Madrid.

Sunday’s 1-0 win lifts Bilbao, who are unbeaten in their new San Mames Stadium, up to fourth in the league and were rewarded for their efforts, reports Xinhua.

Coming into the game on the back of their midweek defeat, in the Champions League to Dutch club Ajax, Barca played well in the first half but were unable to break down an excellent Athletic defense.

Things changed drastically after the break and Barca were quite simply unable to live with Bilbao’s physical superiority and the Basque side got their reward after 70 minutes when Iker Muniain scored from a Markel Susaeta cross to provoke what will almost be a minor crisis in Barcelona.

Barca went into the game in Bilbao knowing their two rivals for the title: Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid had both won, Saturday night.

Sunday kicked off with a tense game in Seville as Betis drew 2-2 at home to Rayo Vallecano as the side bottom of the table took on the team second from bottom.

Betis twice took the lead through Antonio Amaya and Joan Verdu, but were pegged back by two goals from Alvaro Bueno, with the equalizer coming in the 92nd minute to leave Betis rooted to the bottom of the table.

Sevilla needed 22 matches between their last away win and their victory away to Espanyol two weeks ago and such s football that Unai Emery’s side won in Granada Sunday,

triumphing 2-1 thanks to goals from Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro. Gameiro’s goal came three minutes from time after Brahimi had given Granada a goal which would have given them a well-deserved draw.

Valencia beat Osasuna 3-0 to take the pressure of coach, Miroslav Djukic, although the task was made easier by referee Velasco Carballo, who harshly sent off Osasuna captain Patxi Punal after just 16 minutes.

Jonas Goncalves then competed a hat-trick with goals on either side of halftime and on 54 minutes to make the points safe for Djukic’s men.

Celta Vigo defeated Almeria 3-1 in an exciting to finally win in front of their home fans at the eighth time of asking.

Almeria took the lead after nine minutes following a fine shot from Suso, but Fabian Orellana also produced a moment of magic after 26 minutes to level the score and in the second half goals from Borja Oubina and former Almeria striker Charles secured Celta’s home win of the campaign.

Finally Real Sociedad came back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to Espanyol in a hard fought game decided by a horrible error by Espanyol striker, Cristiano Stuani, who sliced a tame cross into his own net.

Espanyol had taken the lead through Jhon Corboba and looked comfortable until Antoine Griezmann headed his side level with 22 minutes remaining.

The game looked to be heading for a draw until Stauni’s error three minutes from time, which sent the 3 points back to San Sebastian.

Edited by Staff Editor


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