Real Madrid miss chance to top table after Barcelona suffer 3-1 defeat

first_imgReal Madrid passed up the chance to go clear at the top of La Liga after slip-ups from title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, when they could only draw 0-0 at home to struggling Real Betis on a difficult Saturday for Spain’s top three sides.Real were full of confidence after hammering Leganes 5-0 in mid-week for their biggest win of a stop-start season and appeared to get off to a great start when Eden Hazard struck early. But the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.Madrid’s clearest opening came in the second half when French left back Ferland Mendy surged forward towards goal, but despite having plenty of time to shoot he missed the target, prompting howls of frustration from the fans behind the goal.Real are second in the standings on 22 points after 11 games, level with leaders Barcelona, who slid to a shock 3-1 loss at Levante earlier in the day.Atletico Madrid, who have played one game more, are third on 21 points after drawing 1-1 at Sevilla, who are fourth with the same number of points. Betis are 14th with 13.”Today was a great opportunity after the other results in the day and we didn’t take it,” said Real captain Sergio Ramos.”We fought really hard to try and win the game but we were not clinical in front of goal and it has cost us, but our attitude and work in defence was very good.”We should also praise Betis for their performance. We’re left with a bittersweet taste; it’s good to pick up a point but we’ve missed a great chance to make a difference at the top of the table.”advertisementShock defeat despite Messi goal for BarcelonaDefending champions Barcelona’s long winning streak came to an abrupt halt when they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat away to Levante on Saturday after taking the lead but then conceding three times in the space of seven minutes in the second half.Barca had returned to the top of the table by thrashing Real Valladolid 5-1 in mid-week for a seventh straight victory in all competitions and put themselves in a comfortable position when Lionel Messi converted a penalty in the 38th minute.Their problems began when Luis Suarez was taken off injured a few moments later and they collapsed in the second half, with Levante scoring with all of their first three shots on target.Jose Campana levelled in the 61st minute following a quick-fire counter-attack after winning the ball in Barca’s half, then former Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral put them ahead in the 63rd with a superb curling strike from outside the area.Nemanja Radoja gave the home side extra breathing space with a third goal in the 67th on the volley following a free kick, while Messi put the ball in the net later to briefly give Barca hope but the goal was ruled out for offside by Antoine Griezmann after a VAR review.Also Read | Premier League round-up: Liverpool, Manchester City clinch hard-fought wins, United loselast_img

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