La Liga 2012: Real slump to 2-1 defeat against Getafe
Madrid: Real Madrid have handed a five-point lead to Barcelona at the top of the Spanish Primera Division after slumping to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sunday evening.
Los Blancos took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Gonzalo Higuain, but a two-goal salvo in the second period and a plucky performance from the hosts left Jose Mourinho`s men without a win in their first three competitive games of the season.
Madrid came within inches of opening the scoring early in the contest. Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo exchanged a neat one-two inside the Getafe box, but when the ball came back to the German six yards out, and with the goal gaping, he smashed against the crossbar.
Ronaldo, who was subdued in the draw with Valencia last weekend, had the opportunity to take centre stage five minutes later with a pair of free kick attempts on Miguel Angel Moya`s goal. The Getafe shot-stopper had to be at his best for the second, as it bounced wickedly a few yards from goal, but the 28-year-old kept concentration to palm to safety.
Jose Mourinho`s men eventually took a deserved lead through a well-worked goal just before the half-hour mark. Angel di Maria dropped into a pocket of space just in front of the Getafe defence and slid a pass through to Higuain, who showed intelligence to ride the challenge of Alexis and take the ball past Moya before sliding home from a tight angle.
The battle between Moya and Ronaldo continued, and once again the Getafe goalkeeper came out on top just before the break. The Portuguese cut in from the left-hand side and lashed an effort at goal, only to be denied by a solid save from the confident goalkeeper.
The hosts, outplayed for much of the opening period, came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, and with an added impetus in their play, levelled the game in the 53nd minute. Abdel Barrada was the provider as he whipped in a cross from the right flank for Juan Valera, who powered a header past the rooted Iker Casillas.
Ronaldo tested Moya yet again in the 70th minute when he drifted into a central area and flicked up the ball on the edge of the box, but his snatched volley bobbled into the hands of the Getafe goalkeeper, with the Real Madrid man cutting a frustrated figure.
Mourinho looked to be going for broke, with the introduction of Karim Benzema in place of Diarra, but the added space in dangerous areas for Getafe led to the hosts taking the lead 15 minutes from time.
Substitute Adrian Colunga left Albiol for dead down the left and drove forward before sliding a pass inside to Barrada, who took a touch before slamming the ball past Casillas, sending the modest crowd into raptures.
The final insult on a horrible evening for the capital giants came when Fabio Coentrao received a red card while sitting in the dugout, following an exchange of words with the officials.
The result leaves Real Madrid with just one point taken from the opening two matches, and already the champions are playing catch-up on their arch rivals Barca.
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