Defending champion Real Madrid has made its worst start to a season in 39 years after losing 2-1 at Getafe on Sunday to stay winless following two rounds of the Spanish league and sit five points adrift of Barcelona.
Madrid had led after 27 minutes through Gonzalo Higuain, before Juan Valera equalized for Getafe in the 55th. Another defensive lapse led to Abdelaziz Barrada scoring the winner from a counterattack in the 75th.
Madrid hasn’t begun a season without a victory in the first three games since 1973. The team drew in the opening round of the league and lost the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup to Barcelona, which needed late goals from Lionel Messi to beat Osasuna 2-1 earlier Sunday.
The defending champions already face an uphill struggle to keep pace with Barcelona, with coach Jose Mourinho calling the gap ”too many points.”
”We deserved to lose,” Mourinho said. ”We played very badly. An unacceptable game. It’s one of those games which I leave without feeling frustrated because the result wasn’t a surprise in the end.”
Madrid’s attack had out-of-favor Kaka absent and the defense was missing injured center back Pepe, whose replacement Raul Arbiol allowed substitute Adrian Colunga to squirm free and set up Barranda for the winner.
Madrid looked ready to run away with the match early on, with Mesut Oezil hitting the crossbar before Higuain controlled Angel Di Maria’s pass to elude goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya and score from an angled shot.
But Madrid seemed to lose focus after the break, allowing Valera to get in front of Xabi Alonso and head into the net. Barrada gave his team all three points with a rising shot that beat goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Making matters worse for Madrid, unused substitute Fabio Coentrao was red carded for words he said from the bench.
”We have to admit that this is an unexpected setback,” Alonso said. ”We need to change things quickly, we have to improve our play.”
While Madrid looked listless in its capitulation, Barcelona hit back from Joseba Llorente’s acrobatic opening goal and coach Tito Vilanova’s sending off to secure a second straight win.
Barcelona’s loss at Osasuna’s Reyno de Navarra Stadium last season had played a part in the Catalan club losing the title to Madrid, and the hosts looked destined for another win after making a confident start that resulted in Llorente getting his right foot at chest level to tap Roland Lamah’s cross past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
But Osasuna striker Juan Francisco Martinez failed to extend the lead after dispossessing Sergio Busquets in the 70th but striking the ball against the post. The tackle on Busquets led to Vilanova being sent off for protesting.
But with Xavi Hernandez on for Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez for Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona soon found its way. Messi guided Alexis Sanchez’s short pass beyond goalkeeper Andres Fernandez to equalize in the 76th minute.
Osasuna went down to 10 men when Francisco Punal was red carded for arguing the goal was offside.
Messi then latched on to Jordi Alba’s cross in the 80th for the winner and his league-leading fourth goal, giving Barcelona its first come-from-behind victory from a halftime deficit in Pamplona since 1960.
”The season has just started and we’ve got a lot of players we can trust. We make the teams thinking about what we have and what we still have to come,” Vilanova said of his lineup changes. ”We didn’t play very well, we conceded a lot of chances to our rival. But you have to be mentally strong to win these types of games.”
Barcelona visits Madrid on Thursday for the second leg of the Super Cup.
Barcelona joined Rayo Vallecano on six points, while Sevilla has four after rallying for a 1-1 draw at Granada. Alvaro Negredo canceled out Mikel Rico’s 36th-minute opener in the 44th.
Later Sunday, Deportivo La Coruna plays at Valencia.