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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Real Madrid Stays Atop LaLiga Despite Loss as Challengers Falter



MADRID – Real Madrid saw its home unbeaten run end after 20 matches on Saturday, falling 1-0 to surprising Cadiz, but the Blancos retained the top spot in LaLiga as Barcelona and Sevilla also lost.

Though now just one of four clubs with 10 points, the defending champion stays in first by virtue of better goal difference, while cross-town rival Atletico Madrid is in sixth place with eight points after its victory on Saturday against Celta Vigo.

Cadiz, off to a great start in its return to the top-flight after 14 years, half of them in the third tier of Spanish football, probably exceeded its own expectations with the impressive win over Real Madrid to go third.

With only 25 percent possession, the visitor had the same number of shots as the host (14), and a goal by Honduran international Anthony “Choco” Lozano in the 16th minute turned out to be all Cadiz would need.

“It’s something historic and we thank God for having the luck to win here,” Choco said after the match.

“There is no explanation,” Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane said in the wake of his squad’s first defeat in LaLiga since play was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, in the capital suburb of Getafe, the home side bested Barcelona 1-0 to claim second place. Jaime Mata converted from the spot in the 56th minute after Frenkie de Jong fouled Djene.

The Blaugrana’s first defeat since Ronald Koeman took over as coach in August saw Lionel Messi hit the post, Antoine Griezmann squander a great chance and the crossbar deny the visitors an equalizer. With seven points from four matches, Barça sits in ninth place.

Saturday’s losses for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla reduced the ranks of undefeated teams in LaLiga to one: Atletico Madrid, which followed successive scoreless draws with a 2-0 away triumph over a Celta side that probably deserved more for its efforts.

Celta had the edge on possession of the ball and created more opportunities, but the Colchoneros had Luis Suarez, who put the visitors up 1-0 in the sixth minute.

It was the former Barcelona man’s third goal in four games for his new club.

The host failed to capitalize on its chances and the closest it came to an equalizer was a Santi Mina shot saved by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Yannick Carrasco added a second goal for Atleti in the 92nd minute, heading in the rebound after Celta keeper Ivan Villar turned aside a blast from Joao Felix.

The result leaves Celta 13th in LaLiga with just five points from six matches.

In Granada, the host prevailed 1-0 against previously unbeaten Sevilla, which played the entire second half with 10 men after midfielder Joan Jordan was sent off after picking up a second yellow card in first-half stoppage time.

Despite being outnumbered, Sevilla kept a clean sheet until the 82nd minute, when Yangel Herrera scored on a header to lift Granada to 10 points, good enough for fourth place.

“There is never anything positive in a defeat. They always hurt,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said.

 

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