Skip to main content

Barcelona's title hopes dented by shock defeat at Valladolid

March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1838 GMT (0238 HKT)
Dejected Barcelona players contemplate defeat at lowly Valladolid in La Liga.
Dejected Barcelona players contemplate defeat at lowly Valladolid in La Liga.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona beaten 1-0 at Valladolid
  • Third defeat in seven La Liga games
  • Fausto Rossi scores only goal after 17 minutes
  • Bayern Munich crush Wolfsburg 6-1 in Bundesliga

(CNN) -- Barcelona's faltering defense of the La Liga title plumbed a fresh low Saturday with a 1-0 defeat at relegation strugglers Valladolid -- the third in the last seven league games.

No matter that Barca enjoyed 80 per cent of the possession, the only statistic that mattered was a 17th minute strike from Italian Fausto Rossi.

Arch-rivals Real Madrid can move four points clear of Barca with a home victory over Levante Sunday.

But it was Real's city neighbors Atletico who topped the standings Saturday night as a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo saw them leapfrog both the 'big two' in Spain.

David Villa scored twice to help them draw level with Real on 64 points, with a better head to head record, but having played a game more.

Barcelona will be ruing the missed opportunity to keep the pressure on leaders Real, despite boss Gerardo Martino fielding a strong team after the international break.

Read: Barca stalwart Puyol to leave Nou Camp

Lionel Messi was kept off the score sheet by excellent saves from home keeper Diego Marino and he was forced into action by the Argentina ace before the only goal of the match.

Rossi fired home from close range past Victor Valdes after indecision in the Barcelona defense.

Messi had to more efforts saved by halftime but after the break it was Neymar who missed Barca's best chance, blazing over from close range after being set up by Cesc Fabregas.

The home side held out comfortably enough and might have added to their tally when Oscar spurned a fine chance.

But they were left to celebrate a famous victory to move out of the relegation zone.

"We lacked ideas, movement and penetration, but I didn't in any way see a lack of attitude," Martino told AFP after the defeat.

His side will have to regroup ahead of the visit of Manchester City Wednesday in the Champions League, but lead 2-0 from the first leg in the last 16 tie.

The Catalan giants suffered a stinging 6-0 aggregate defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich in the semifinals of last year's competition but had been in impeccable form under Martino until recent domestic setbacks.

We lacked ideas, movement and penetration
Gerardo Martino

Meanwhile free-scoring Bayern have continued their all-conquering form, thrashing fifth-placed Wolfsburg 6-1 in the Bundesliga Saturday, despite the match being tied 1-1 at halftime.

Read: Unstoppable Bayern hammer Schalke

Bayern even trailed to a goal from Wolfsburg defender Naldo before Xherdan Shaqiri equalized by the break.

Five goals in just 17 minutes continued the incredible scoring feats of the Bavarian giants with Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic each getting a double.

Franck Ribery added the other for the defending German champions, who stretched their unbeaten league run to a record 49 matches.

In 24 league matches, Pep Guardiola's team have registered an impressive 72 goals to leave them 23 points clear of nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund, who play Sunday.

In France's Ligue 1, Paris Saint Germain took another big step towards retaining the title with a 3-0 win at Bastia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the opener and set up Ezequiel Lavezzi for the other two goals, the first assist from a impudent back-flick.

The win left PSG eight points clear of title rivals Monaco, who beat Sochaux 2-1 in a later game.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT