Shock defeats for weary Barcelona and Real Madrid

Shock defeats for weary Barcelona and Real Madrid

Saturday turned out to be a day of surprises in the Spanish Liga, with twin giants Barcelona and Real Madrid both suffering shock defeats, dpa reported.

Barca crashed 2-1 at Real Sociedad, despite enjoying 80 per cent possession, Real went down 3-2 at home to lowly Zaragoza - with Angel Lafita sinking the whites with two goals.

Both giants looked tired after Wednesday's stormy Champions League clash between the two teams, which Barca won 2-0 in Madrid - and after all the controversy and acrimony surrounding that game.

Sociedad and Zaragoza are practically safe after their surprise wins.

Barca's second league defeat leaves them with 88 points from 34 games, eight more than Real, and four points away from their straight league title.

Youngster Thiago gave Barca the lead on the half hour with a precise lob, after a good move between Xavi and Lionel Messi.

The visitors seemed to be cruising towards another pleasant win, but supersub Diego Ifran made it 1-1 18 minutes from time with a cool finish.

Barca defender Diego Milito had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside, then Javier Mascherano committed a clumsy penalty which was converted by Sociedad's Xabi Prieto.

Earlier on Saturday, Real had flopped for the fourth consecutive home match. The defeat against Zaragoza was more bad news for coach Jose Mourinho, who is due to receive a long suspension for his vitriolic outburst against UEFA following Wednesday's defeat against Barca.

There were some banners in the Estadio Bernabeu in support of Mourinho, who alleged that UEFA's referees systematically favour Barca, but possibly more revealing was the fact that around a third of the seats in the historic stadium were empty.

The Portuguese coach said afterwards: "This is my fault, obviously. Today I have not been capable of motivating my players sufficiently.

"In football, the difference in mental preparation is important, when one team is strong in terms of concentration and motivation but the other one isn't."

Mourinho raised eyebrows by leaving out Cristiano Ronaldo, which has been interpreted as punishment for the striker's criticizing Mourinho's ultra-defensive tactics on Wednesday.

Man-of-the-match Lafita gave Zaragoza the lead, against the run of play, just before half-time, after Real keeper Iker Casillas had made a real mess of a simple clearance.

Ten minutes into the second half Lafita was clumsily barged over in the box by the ageing Ricardo Carvalho, and Zaragoza captain Gabi calmly made it 2-0 from the resultant penalty.

Sergio Ramos gave Real hope by heading in a corner, but the impressive Lafita restored Zaragoza's two-goal lead 12 minutes from time.

Karim Benzema pulled another goal back for the hosts, but they were then crippled by the sending-off of Carvalho, a decision which predictably infuriated Mourinho.

Zaragoza then had to endure a furious but imprecise white assault in a frenetic finale.

Sunday's late game was scheduled to bring together lowly Deportivo Coruna and sixth-placed Atletico Madrid.

Azerbaijan reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases, 1,760 recoveries
Azerbaijan reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases, 1,760 recoveries
Four citizens dead as result of mine exploding in Fuzuli - Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office
Four citizens dead as result of mine exploding in Fuzuli - Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office
Number of shells fired at Tartar district by Armenian Armed Forces revealed
Number of shells fired at Tartar district by Armenian Armed Forces revealed
Loading Bars
Microsoft Azerbaijan to support all initiatives in liberated territories of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage of Kalbajar's Vang village (VIDEO)
Police fire tear gas at Paris protest against police violence
Electricity imports growing in Georgia
Cargo, passenger traffic via Turkish Sabiha Gokcen Airport slumps amid pandemic
Uzbek-Korean JSC Uz-Dong Won Co. announces tender for steel pipes supply
Cargo transportation at Turkish Antalya airport reduces
Austria records nearly 1,000 COVID-19 deaths over past 10 days
State Employment Agency of Azerbaijan opens tender on supporting start-up projects
Details of Iran’s exports to Iraq declared
Azerbaijan reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases, 1,760 recoveries
Four citizens dead as result of mine exploding in Fuzuli - Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office
Kazakhstan's export volumes to China surge despite COVID-19
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president, diplomats, Garabagh FC representatives visit Aghdam Mosque (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan committed to promoting socio-economic development of Afghanistan
Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Tender for maintenance of elevators, escalators launched in Turkey
Azerbaijan's ten-month output of oil products declines
Turkey's export of grain and legumes to Turkmenistan up
Turkmenistan, Belarus discuss program of cooperation
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic corps reps arrive at liberated Aghdam city
Rural digitalization project successfully underway in Kazakhstan
Missile fired to Tartar by Armenia delivered to local museum - president's assistant (VIDEO)
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Ardabil Province up
Water problems center to be created in Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of lubricating oil
Azerbaijan’s Baku Telephone Communications opens tender
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
Number of shells fired at Tartar district by Armenian Armed Forces revealed
German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021
Kazakhstan doubles export to Afghanistan
Price of apartments in Iran’s Tehran rising
Autumn grain sowing carried out on large area of land in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Baku Metro to buy inert materials through tender
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic missions visiting Tartar (PHOTO)
Turkish soldiers to soon begin their missions in Azerbaijan - Turkey’s VP
Georgian Basisbank launches service for purchase of government securities
Azerbaijan shows footage of Kalbajar's Istisu village (VIDEO)
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Turkey issues 10M2020 data on cargo, passenger traffic in Adnan Menderes Airport
Assistant to Azerbaijani president, Karabakh football club to visit Tartar, Aghdam cities
Azerbaijani oil prices reaching $49 per barrel
Tesla could widen release of 'self-driving' software in two weeks
Iranian currency rates for November 28
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment modernization
Turkish municipality to rent vehicles via tender
Turkmenistan, EU discuss prospects for developing bilateral contacts
Iran seeks to cooperate in auto sector with foreign countries
Azerbaijani flag raised in liberated Kalbajar city after 27 years (VIDEO)
OPEC+ likely to roll over its current production cut at least until end-March 2021
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 172,000
826 new coronavirus cases in 24 hrs, total at 130,039
Georgian Poti FIZ plans to implement production of high-tech electrical devices in 2021
Chinese mainland reports 6 new imported COVID-19 cases
British, Irish prime ministers discuss EU trade negotiations
Kazakhstan increases exports to Georgia multifold despite COVID-19
France reports 957 new COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations down
76 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
OPEC+ monitoring committee postpones meeting on oil production cuts deal in 2021 to Sunday
Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain
Iran expected to reduce potato production
Azerbaijan national team won silver and bronze medals at 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Diesel fuel production down in Azerbaijan
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy batteries
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
All news