Football: Messi’s Barcelona crash to fourth La Liga defeat of season

Football: Messi’s Barcelona crash to fourth La Liga defeat of season

MADRID (AFP, REUTERS) – Lionel Messi’s Barcelona suffered a fourth defeat in La Liga this term with Saturday’s (Dec 5) 2-1 loss at promoted Cadiz.

Alvaro Gimenez and Alvaro Negredo scored for the hosts either side of Pedro Alcala’s own goal, leaving Ronald Koeman’s side in seventh place, 12 points off league leaders Atletico Madrid.

The Catalans fell behind in the eighth minute when centre back Oscar Mingueza headed the ball towards his own goal and although keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen got a hand to the ball, Cadiz forward Gimenez helped it over the line.

Barca drew level with a fortuitous goal of their own in the 57th when Cadiz defender Pedro Alcala diverted a Jordi Alba cross into the net, flummoxing his impressive goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma who had been keeping Barca at bay.

Cadiz restored their lead six minutes later, however, thanks to a calamitous error from Barca keeper Ter Stegen, who kicked the ball against Negredo and the veteran forward followed the bounce to dribble it into the unguarded net.

Barca’s fourth defeat of the season left them seventh in the standings on 14 points after 10 games.

Cadiz, who recorded their first home win since returning to the top flight, moved above them into fifth place on 18 points. The Andalusians also beat champions Real Madrid 1-0 away from home earlier in the campaign.

Barca captain Lionel Messi had a frustrating night despite being rested for the Champions League win at Ferencvaros in midweek and was repeatedly thwarted by fellow Argentine and Rosario native Ledesma in the Cadiz goal.

Ledesma also kept out a stinging shot from Miralem Pjanic late on and a close-range effort from Antoine Griezmann.

Cadiz should have put the game out of Barca’s reach when Bobby Adekanye raced towards goal unchallenged but failed to beat Ter Stegen.