Real Madrid, Barcelona start Primera Liga campaign with defeats

September 1st, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Sep 1 (DPA) Real Madrid and Barcelona both kicked off their Spanish Primera Liga with shocking defeats.Real lost 1-2 away to Deportivo La Coruna - their sixth successive defeat in Riazor - while Barca crashed 0-1 away to newly-promoted Numancia Sunday.

Not for more than 30 years have the “Big Two” both lost on the opening day.

Real went up to La Coruna - where they have not won since 1991 - without winger Robinho, who insisted Sunday morning that he wants to leave for Chelsea.

Deportivo made an aggressive start and former Valencia striker Mista hit the Real post after just two minutes.

In the 27th minute Mista headed the hosts ahead, on a precise free-kick from Mexican playmaker Andres Guardado.

Real caught Deportivo napping right at the start of the second half, Ruud Van Nistelrooy making it 1-1 by putting away the rebound after a shot from Raul Gonzalez had been blocked.

But in the 53th minute Deportivo went back in the lead when defender Alberto Lopez headed in a Guardado corner.

From then on Real keeper Iker Casillas surprisingly had more saves to make that opposite number Daniel Aranzubia, who enjoyed a peaceful night.

“We will have to work really hard to improve,” said Raul at the end.

Earlier in the day, Barcelona had made an appallingly poor start by losing 1-0 in tiny Soria.

The shock defeat raised fears that Barca will continue to be feeble on the road, the same as last season.

The only goal came after just 14 minutes, when Numancia striker Mario Martinez turned in a Carlos Bellvis centre from the left.

Just three minutes later Samuel Eto’o hit the Numancia post - and it was going to be that kind of day for Barca.

Josep Guardiola’s side dominated from start to finish and created many clear chances, but lacked a cool finish.

Lionel Messi almost levelled for Barca in injury time, but his free-kick came back off the post.

Numancia defender Juanma Cabrero said: “We defended really well today, against a good team.”

Fellow giants Villarreal and Sevilla almost did as badly as Barca and Real on the road.

Villarreal had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Osasuna, in a hostile game in which Diego Godin was sent off for the visitors and Miguel Flano for the hosts.

Marcos Senna gave Villarreal the lead, Javad Nekounam levelled for Osasuna from the penalty spot.

It was a similar story in Santander, where Sevilla had to settle for a 1-1 draw in a tight encounter between two UEFA Cup teams.

Luis Fabiano gave Sevilla a late lead, only for super-sub Juanjo to quickly level for Santander.

The performance of the day was given by euphoric Atletico Madrid, who went top by thrashing dull Malaga 4-0 - the same result as on Wednesday against Schalke 04 in the Champions League qualifiers.

Star of the show was two-goal hero Diego Forlan. The other goals were put away by new boys John Heitinga and Florent Sinama-Pongolle.

Sunday saw three away wins, though not for the big teams.

Almeria won 3-1 in Bilbao, Recreativo Huelva won 1-0 away to Betis and Getafe triumphed 2-1 in Gijon.

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