Real's title hopes fade with defeat at Getafe
Real Madrid effectively waved goodbye
to their already faint hopes of mounting a challenge for the Spanish
league title when they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at modest city neighbours
Getafe on Sunday.
Real's third league loss in five games, which comes just four days after
Real were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus, leaves them
11 points adrift of leaders Barcelona with 10 games left until the end
of the season.
Unlike Real, Barca shook off the disappointment of their Champions
League loss to Chelsea with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
Apart from a brief spell of early domination, Real were always on the
back foot against Getafe, who have mounted an impressive bid for
survival this season despite their limited resources.
A neatly-taken volley by midfielder Raul Albiol and a superb finish from
former Real striker Riki handed Getafe a thoroughly deserved win against
their illustrious neighbours.
Earlier Villarreal moved up to third spot in the standings, seven points
behind Real after striker Diego Forlan inspired them to a 4-1 home win
The Uruguayan scored one goal, made another and then won a penalty in a
brilliant display against fellow high-flyers Espanyol.
Forlan put Villarreal in front and took his tally for the season to 17
goals when he whipped the ball into the net from the edge of the area 26
minutes into the game at El Madrigal.
Espanyol hit back five minutes later when Albert Lopo scored with a fine
diving header after bursting between two defenders to meet Oscar
Serrano's cross from the right.
Forlan helped restore his side's lead five minutes into the second half
when he picked out Juan Pablo Sorin with a pinpoint cross from the right,
leaving the Argentine midfielder to finish with a close-range header.
Minutes later the former Manchester United player earned a penalty when
he was brought down by Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni after darting
into the area.
Juan Roman Riquelme sent Kameni the wrong way with his spot kick and
fellow Argentine Luciano Figueroa completed the rout when he snapped
home on the turn after a corner eight minutes from time.
Getafe played fluent passing football in midfield before subjecting Real
to intense pressure as they pinned them back in their area around the
The Primera Liga newcomers were finally rewarded when midfielder Raul
Albiol cracked in with a neatly timed volley after Real defender Ivan
Helguera had sliced a clearance over his own head in the 37th minute.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo's side appeared powerless to respond and Getafe
doubled their lead three minutes after the break when former Real Madrid
youth player Riki beat the offside trap and curled a shot round Casillas
and inside the near post.
With Real strike partners Ronaldo and Raul failing to create any
appreciable danger, Luxemburgo threw on Michael Owen 20 minutes into the
But it was fellow substitute Santiago Solari who earned his side a late
consolation with a superb strike when he slammed home on the half-volley
after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area in the final minute.