Eurozone: Galacticos fall at the feet of Jesus

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Real Madrid's 100 per cent record came crashing down against Seville in the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium leaving Barcelona, who beat Almeria 24 hours earlier, three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Madrid were missing the injured Cristiano Ronaldo and without the man who has scored nine goals in his first five starts they caused Seville few problems in a frantic one-sided first half.

Lassana Diarra was also absent for Real and they were under siege during the first 45 minutes as Manolo Jimenez's side looked to build on an unbeaten home record that stretched back to the last time Madrid were the visitors in April. Seville got their noses in front on the half hour when a back-heel from Diego Perotti sent Fernando Navarro down the left and his cross was headed in by Jesus Navas.

It should have been two before the break but Iker Casillas saved miraculous from Renato and the Madrid keeper repeated the heroics at the start of the second half throwing himself in front of Perotti's shot.

Sevilla paid for wasteful finishing when Real Madrid equalised with defender Pepe heading in a corner but the home side were back in front 17 minutes later as Renato scored the decisive second goal. Freddie Kanoute had replaced Alvaro Negredo and as Real's defenders prepared to defend a corner they were all drawn to the Mali striker leaving Brazilian midfielder Renato unmarked to score.

Seville had promised to stop Barcelona and Real Madrid turning the title race into a two team procession and the result leaves them level with Madrid and just three points behind Barça who scraped to a 1-0 win over an stibborn Almeria.

The visitors did their best to man mark the dangermen but having shadowed Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimovic, Messi and even Alves they found themselves beind to a Pedro goal.

Hugo Sanchez's side were determined not to suffer the fate of the last two visitors to the Nou Camp who were hit for three and five goals and their coach had his team man-marking Barça's five most dangerous players. But dangerous player number six, 22-year-old winger Pedro, appeared unmarked on the half hour to rifle a shot into Almeria keeper Diego Alves' top left-hand corner after being played in by full-back Maxwell.

The latest player off the Barcelona production line was replacing the injured Thierry Henry and his goal was enough to take Pep Guardiola's team to within a match of yet another record. If they beat Valencia in a fortnight at Mestalla that will be seven wins out of seven – the best start ever to a season for the current La Liga Champions. For once it wasn't pretty, largely thanks to Almeria's tactics.

Midfielder Xavi moaned afterwards: "I have been man-marked before but never so obsessively. It was crazy and the player asked for my shirt after the game. I just had to try to keep playing the ball first time and not be affected by it but it's a shame when teams come here just to defend."

Elsewhere in Spain Athletic Bilbao's 16-year-old forward Iker Muniain became the youngest scorer in La Liga when he earned them a point in a 2-2 draw at Real Valladolid. Muniain, who turns 17 in December and was a second-half substitute, picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area in the 77th minute and his snap shot was good enough to beat Jacobo Sanz in the Valladolid goal for the second equaliser . Everybody's talking about Inter back on top

Everybody’s talking about: Inter back on top

Wesley Sneijder took Jose Mourinho's Internazionale back to the top of Serie A with a 93rd-minute goal that earned a 2-1 win over Udinese. Sneijder ran on to a pass from former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o (pictured) to score the winner and move Inter back above Sampdoria who could only draw with Parma.

The Milan coach Leonardo left Ronaldinho out of his starting line-up but it was the Brazilian who scored as a second-half substitute to grab a point against Atalanta.

Comments