After 18 straight victories at home stadium Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid lost to suburban neighbors Getafe. The opposing squad were coached by former Real striker, Dane Mikael Laudrup.
And what a loss! While Real reveled in an invalid goal by Robben—refused because of an offside position by Raul—Getafe's Francisco Casquero took the ball all the way to the box. Nigerian striker Ikechukwu Uche then scored and displayed his acrobatic talent with a superb celebration move.
It was an unfortunate goal, but actually the Madrid squad did deserve to lose. They produced a low quality game, very different from their loss against Roma in which Real still managed creative attacking.
Pedja Mijatovic, Real's manager said after the game, "It is very sad to lose like that."
Yes, Pedja, it was an upsetting loss and an upsetting sight. Your players delighted in a goal not realizing it was disallowed, and left only two defenders to protect against Getafe’s attacking side.
Barcelona, after a few deceiving results, is definitely back on track. After winning against the Celtics in Glasgow, the Blaugrana punished Levante 5-1 with Eto'o scoring a hat trick. Messi also scored and Ronaldinho confirmed his comeback with an excellent performance.
This means competition for the title is not dead. Madrid now leads Barcelona by just two points.
Mijatovic told his team "…to remain calm and don't panic." There are still 13 games to play, after all.
But just the fact that Real’s manager was compelled to say this indicates what is going on with the team. A few weeks ago Madrid was nine points ahead of Barcelona. Now that it looks like the Catalans have finally woken up, who knows what they can do?
After losing last year's championship on goal difference, Barça is really hungry. If Ronaldinho returns to his best level of performance (can he?), the Fantastic Four (Henry,Eto'o,Messi, Ronnie) will probably be able to exact a powerful revenge.
To see Uche's goal and Eto'o's hat trick, visit my media center.