Real Sociedad stun Real Madrid, Barça sink Villarreal
BARCELONA - Reuters
Real Sociedad's midfielder Esteban Granero (3R) and midfielder Xabi Prieto (2R) celebrate after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Spanish league football match Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian, Aug. 31. AFP PhotoDavid Zurutuza scored twice to help Real Sociedad seal a remarkable 4-2 comeback win over Real Madrid and Barcelona struck late to beat Villarreal 1-0 in La Liga on Aug. 31.
Real Madrid looked in complete control after 11 minutes as Sergio Ramos headed in a corner and Gareth Bale slipped the ball between Gorka Elustondo's legs.
But the home side fought back quickly. Inigo Martinez swept home a cross at the far post after 35 minutes and Zurutuza was left unmarked to head the second Before halftime.
After the break Zurutuza and substitute Carlos Vela took further advantage of defensive lapses to seal a convincing win for Sociedad over the European champions.
"I am very sorry because I don't like that my team played like that," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. "In the first half hour we did very well. We have to think about this and change quickly what went wrong afterwards," the Italian added.
"It is not easy to evaluate the game because there were two, the first half hour where we showed good concentration and then the other hour when we were very bad. We thought the game was finished."
Earlier, substitute Sandro Ramirez slotted home eight minutes from time to continue Luis Enrique's winning start as Barcelona coach with a 1-0 victory over Villarreal.
Barca were frustrated by opponents who defended well but the introduction of fit-again forward Neymar for the final half hour gave them an extra attacking edge.
It was Lionel Messi, though, who opened up the Villarreal rearguard with a cross along the goalline that was turned in by Ramirez to lift Barca to the top of the table on six points from their opening two games.
"I am happy on a personal level but above all for the work of the team," Ramirez told reporters. "Thanks to Leo I could score the winning goal. Messi and Neymar are fantastic players although this is the work of all of us and we are all happy."
Enrique played the promising Munir El Haddadi, who scored last weekend, ahead of Neymar in Barcelona's starting line-up. With Andres Iniesta sidelined by a knee injury, Rafinha played in midfield rather than veteran Xavi who is set to have a fringe role in the team this season.
Barca had the majority of the ball but struggled to find space going forward against a well-organised Villarreal side and it was only following Neymar's entry that the chances began to build up.
Messi, who suffered a hamstring strain, hit the post with a free kick from the right of the area in the first half but Barca were also lucky when Jeremy Mathieu turned a cross onto an upright.
Tomas Pina and Messi again hit the woodwork for either side midway through the second half before Neymar found Messi, who looked up and picked out Sandro to score and give the Catalan side the three points. Champions Atletico Madrid beat Eibar 2-1 on Aug. 30.