Winless champions Real slip as Barcelona pull clear | sports | Hindustan Times
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Winless champions Real slip as Barcelona pull clear

sports Updated: Aug 28, 2012 01:06 IST
Real Madrid


Real Madrid’s troubled start to the season continued when the champions squandered the lead and slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat at city rivals Getafe on Sunday to slip five points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona. The rare domestic reverse for Jose Mourinho’s side, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia last week, ended a 24-match unbeaten run in the league, their longest in 15 years.

They looked comfortably in control when Gonzalo Higuain fired them ahead from close range in the 27th minute at the Coliseum in Madrid.

But their failure to capitalise on long periods of possession ultimately cost them and lowly Getafe levelled eight minutes after the break when Juan Valera nodded past Iker Casillas from a free-kick. It went from bad to worse for the visitors 15 minutes from time when substitute Adrian Colunga set up Abdelaziz Barrada to smash the ball high into the net and secure a famous victory.

Messi on the double
Lionel Messi saved an off-colour Barca from a first defeat of the campaign when he struck twice in the second half in a 2-1 comeback victory at 10-man Osasuna.

Joseba Llorente gave the Navarrans a surprise 17th-minute lead when he hooked in at the far post from a tight angle. The game turned in the 76th minute when Messi stretched to poke in an Alexis Sanchez centre, after which Osasuna midfielder Patxi Punal was shown a straight red card for his furious protests. Messi, who set a La Liga scoring record of 50 goals last term, grabbed the winner 10 minutes from time, stroking a Jordi Alba centre low into the net.

Real sign Modric
Real Madrid have completed the signing of Croatia playmaker Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur. Modric flew into Madr-id on Monday morning and after passing a medical signed a five-year contract in the presence of Real president Florentino Perez.

While neither club gave financial details, Spanish media reported Real would pay 35 million euros for Modric, plus another 7 million depending on the number of his appearances and the team's performance.