Barcelona and Real Madrid both lost in La Liga on Wednesday, with leaders Barca stumbling to a surprise 2-1 defeat at Leganes. Meanwhile, Los Blancos were beaten handily 3-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Elsewhere, Villarreal earned a much-needed win away to Athletic Bilbao, while Valencia dropped more precious points at home to Celta Vigo:
Athletic Bilbao 0-3 Villarreal
Leganes 2-1 Barcelona
Valencia 1-1 Celta Vigo
Sevilla 3-0 Real Madrid
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 26, 2018
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Barca wasted a wonder strike from Philippe Coutinho, as Leganes roared back courtesy of goals from Nabil El Zhar and Oscar Rodriguez in just over a minute. The quick-fire double shortly after the restart left Barcelona suddenly chasing the game.
It was a task Coutinho and Co. couldn’t manage, even with Ivan Rakitic going close late on. There were issues up front, but holding midfielder Sergio Busquets was left more concerned by frailties at the back:
Shipping seven goals through six league matches is a worrying sign for a team close to water-tight during the run to last season’s title.
Barca dropping points is also good news for Atletico Madrid, who have now cut the gap at the top to just two points thanks to Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Huesca.
Madrid had the motivation to take advantage, too, but lacked the initiative to make good against a Sevilla side lethal in forwards areas. AC Milan loanee Andre Silva struck twice, while Wissam Ben Yedder added another.
Being on the wrong end of a three-goal deficit is a rarity for Los Merengues. Scoring three goals is also out of character for the Yellow Submarine, evidenced by the visitors taking 65 minutes to find the net in Bilbao. Pablo Fornals opened the scoring before Ramiro Funes Mori and Karl Toko Ekambi completed a miserable night for Athletic.
The result has moved Villarreal up to eighth and added some impetus to what had been a sluggish start to the campaign.
Valencia remain in the mire, even after Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi put the hosts ahead in the 25th minute at the Mestalla. The Belgium international is making a habit of getting goals in prominent leagues:
Michy Batshuayi has now scored in four of Europe’s top five leagues:
Not even Zlatan Ibrahimović has managed this quartet. 😉 pic.twitter.com/5idB4uK4gx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 26, 2018
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsBatshuayi is being tasked with providing a regular cutting edge for Los Che. How the club would love a frontman as prolific as Iago Aspas, after the Spaniard netted his fifth goal in six matches to equalise eight minutes from time.
Another missed opportunity leaves Valencia just a point above the drop zone. Squandering chances has proved just as costly at the other end of the table, with Real sure to rue not making the most of Barca’s unexpected slip.