Real Madrid slumped to a 2-1 defeat at
lowly Getafe as the 29-times Spanish champions fell 11 points behind
league leaders and bitter rivals Barcelona in the race for the title.
After winning seven straight games following the arrival of Wanderley
Luxemburgo as coach, Madrid have now won only once in their last five
Luxemburgo decided to take the brunt of the blame himself after the game.
"The main person at fault is me," said the former Brazil boss.
"We have to carry on working because we have to maintain our place in
order to qualify for next season's Champions League.
"But winning the league now is going to be very difficult. I don't have
any explanations for what happened out there. Getafe fought, played and
my team just stood by and watched them do it. They were deserved winners."
Real's latest loss comes in the wake of their Champions League departure
at Juventus on Wednesday, and they now face the prospect of a second
successive season without a trophy.
"If we are not going to win the league then we are going to lose with
dignity. We are going to fight until the end of the season and then we
will face the critics when it is all over," added Luxemburgo.
However, Luxemburgo knows that his and his team's detractors are
unlikely to wait that long.
"I didn't see any real spirit from my players and that thay have to
change," said Luxemburgo.
Raul Albiol opened the scoring for Getafe six minutes before the break,
after being on hand to make the most of a dreadful sliced clearance by
Real's Spanish international Ivan Helguera.
Albiol was booked for ripping his shirt off in delight at his first goal
for Getafe after moving from Valencia last summer - but there was a
particular reason for his joy.
He missed the first half of the season after being involved in a bad car
crash while moving his possessions to the Spanish capital's southern
suburbs and was in a coma for several days.
There were initially fears for his life but Albiol made a remarkable
Adding to the fairytale of Getafe's first league visit from the Spanish
giants, their second goal came from Riki Sanchez four minutes after the
Riki is a former Real reserve who was discarded last summer.
Santiago Solari got a consolation goal for Real with a stunning left
foot shot a minute from time but by then it was too late to save their
Barcelona restored some pride after their own exit from the Champions
League by cruising to a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, thanks
to goals from Deco and Ludovic Giuly.
"They were superior in every department. I think we all know that the
championship now belongs to Barca," said Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde.
Diego Forlan, who was memorably nicknamed 'Diego Forlorn' during his
hapless time at Manchester United, continued his renaissance as he got
his 17th goal of the season in Villarreal's 4-1 win over Espanyol
earlier on Sunday.
He opened the scoring for Villarreal, who move up to third after the win,
blasting a loose ball past Espanyol keeper Carlos Kameni after 25
Albert Lopo equalised for Espanyol four minutes later but Juan Pablo
Sorin headed Villarreal back in front just after the break.
Juan Roman Riquelme then put Villarreal firmly in the driving seat after
56 minutes, the Spanish first division's most prolific penalty taker
getting his sixth this season from the spot after Kameni had brought
Lucho Figueroa completed Villarreal's scoring spree eight minutes from
Espanyol slipped to fifth but were spared sliding further when Sevilla
surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Real Zaragoza with Gabriel Milito
heading the only goal of the game after 33 minutes.
Atletico Madrid continue their recent revival with a 1-0 win over
reigning Spanish champions Valencia, Spanish international Fernando
Torres scoring with a powerful header after 13 minutes.
Spanish football league standings after Sunday's matches (played, won,
drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):
Barcelona 28 20 5 3 53 18 65
Real Madrid 28 17 3 8 48 25 54
Villarreal 28 13 8 7 48 26 47
Espanyol 28 13 6 9 35 33 45
Real Betis 28 12 9 7 45 36 45
Sevilla 28 12 7 9 32 33 43
Valencia 28 11 10 7 41 29 43
Atletico Madrid 28 12 6 10 32 25 42
Deportivo La Coruna 28 10 12 6 38 35 42
Athletic Bilbao 27 10 8 9 42 36 38
Real Zaragoza 28 11 5 12 33 40 38
Real Sociedad 28 10 5 13 36 40 35
Levante 28 9 7 12 33 40 34
Malaga 28 10 4 14 27 36 34
Getafe 27 8 8 11 27 31 32
Racing Santander 28 8 7 13 29 40 31
Osasuna 28 8 7 13 35 51 31
Mallorca 28 6 6 15 28 45 24
Albacete 28 5 9 15 25 41 24
Numancia 28 4 8 16 19 44 20
Note: if teams have played each other home-and-away, league positions
are decided on head-to-head results not goal difference