Out-of-sorts Real and Barca seek fillip ahead of Clasico

Out-of-sorts Real and Barca seek fillip ahead of Clasico

MADRID • Barcelona and Real Madrid will go into Saturday’s Clasico at the Nou Camp knowing improvements are mandatory.

Barcelona fell to their first La Liga defeat under Ronald Koeman as they lost 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday, hours after league champions Real Madrid slipped to a shock 1-0 home defeat by promoted Cadiz.

It was the first time the two giants of Spanish football had both lost league matches on the same day without scoring since May 6, 2000.

Getafe forward Jaime Mata sent goalkeeper Neto the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after midfielder Frenkie de Jong had been penalised for treading on Djene Dakonam’s foot.

The result left Barca ninth with seven points after four games while Madrid remain top on 10 points having played five matches.

“We have not entered the game in the second half,” Koeman, whose side play Ferencvaros in the Champions League tomorrow, told Marca. “We lost the ball too much and conceded dangerous attacking situations. I don’t know if it was a deserved penalty but I felt the penalty was sought out and we suffered.

“We created very few chances, the best of them in the first half. It has been a very disputed game and we had little end product.”

Koeman made a number of changes to the Barca side who had drawn 0-0 at home to Sevilla in their last game, handing first starts of the term to new arrival Sergino Dest, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele.

Koeman also played Antoine Griezmann in his preferred central role after his complaints about playing out of position. Yet the striker missed a glorious chance early in the game, blasting over the bar to remain without a goal after four league starts this season. He has just two goals from his last 28 shots.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will also seek to get more out of his players after admitting his team could have been two or three goals down before half-time.

Anthony Lozano gave Cadiz the lead early in the game after the visitors had missed four chances in a chaotic start from the hosts, while he also wasted a clear opportunity to double his side’s lead.

    2000 The last time both Real Madrid and Barcelona lost in La Liga on the same day without scoring.

“They played with more pace than us, more enthusiasm. We can’t make any excuses, we played a bad game. We have to congratulate Cadiz. We’re not happy at all,” Zidane said.

Madrid had not lost in the league since a 2-1 defeat by Real Betis back in March, just before last season’s competition was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and their last home defeat came in May 2019, a 2-0 loss to Betis.

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, however, insisted “a defeat is always a good thing because it gives you a wake-up call”.

“We’ll have to put in a good performance against Shakhtar (Donetsk in the Champions League), win the match and head to the Nou Camp in confident mood,” he added.

REUTERS