MADRID (AFP) – Real Madrid and Barcelona will each head into the Clasico next weekend on the back of a defeat after La Liga’s two title favourites were punished for slack performances early yesterday.
Zinedine Zidane made four substitutions at half-time but could not spark a lethargic Madrid into life as his team fell 1-0 at home to newly promoted Cadiz.
Then two hours later on the opposite side of the city, Ronald Koeman tasted his first competitive loss as coach of Barcelona as they followed Madrid’s example by being beaten 1-0 by Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Madrid’s was perhaps the more concerning display, the reigning champions managing just two shots on target against Cadiz, who could have scored more after Anthony Lozano’s early strike.
But Barca were not much better, with Lionel Messi strangely quiet and the team failing to rebound after Jaime Mata’s penalty gave Getafe the lead in the second half.
For Madrid, there was an injury concern too as Sergio Ramos spent the second half in the stands with ice strapped around his left knee.
Madrid said the injury was not serious but it puts in doubt Ramos’ involvement in their first Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, as well the Clasico three days later.
“Hopefully it’s minor, said Zidane. “Tomorrow we’ll see what he has done.”
A prolonged absence for Ramos would cap a deflating night for the champions, whose dreary display certainly hands an early boost to their title rivals.
Even if Barcelona were unable to capitalise, Atletico Madrid had earlier beaten Celta Vigo 2-0, with Luis Suarez opening the scoring at Balaidos.
“There is no explanation,” said Zidane. “If they scored two or three goals in the first half, we couldn’t have complained. There are no excuses.”
This is Cadiz’s first season in the top flight in 14 years and their first victory over Real Madrid in 29. Their reward is second place in the table, denied top spot by their opponents only due to goal difference.
Isco, Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez were the other three players to be hauled off by Zidane, who was reacting to a particularly poor display from his side in the first half.
Eder Militao, Casemiro, Fede Valverde and Marco Asensio came on while a surprised-looking Toni Kroos also departed in the second period, replaced by Luka Jovic.