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Getafe upset Barca, Valencia beat Murcia 3-0

MADRID, Nov 11 (Reuters) Getafe returned to haunt Barcelona as they condemned Frank Rijkaard's side to a 2-0 defeat in the Primera Liga.

The last time Barca visited the Coliseum six months ago Getafe knocked them out of the King's Cup in the semi-finals by overturning a 5-2 first-leg deficit with a stunning 4-0 win.

This time the modest Madrid-based club put in a similarly gritty performance with Manuel del Moral giving them the lead yesterday after 28 minutes. Uruguayan Juan Albin made sure of a deserved three points with a second goal at the end.

''Our problem is the difference between our home and our away form. We have created little in attack today and you are always going to pay for that at some point,'' Rijkaard said.

Off-colour Barcelona missed the chance to knock Real Madrid off the top of the standings, and stay a point back in second.

The leaders host Real Mallorca at the Bernabeu today.

Michael Laudrup's Getafe climbed to 11th with their third consecutive win.

New Valencia coach Ronald Koeman saw his side humbled 2-0 at home by Rosenborg Trondheim in the Champions League during the week, but his first league game at the helm was a cakewalk against promoted Real Murcia at the Mestalla.

An early header from Ivan Helguera and two strikes from David Villa earned fourth-placed Valencia a comfortable 3-0 win that put them level on 24 points with Barca and Villarreal, who visit Sevilla today.

SUFFOCATING PRESSURE Getafe closed Barca down deep in their own half and did not let them settle into a rhythm, keeping close tabs on Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho.

Thierry Henry and Gabriel Milito had gone close for Barca on the two occasions they shook off the suffocating pressure, when Getafe struck.

A freekick to the far side of the box was headed back into the area and Del Moral broke through a gaping hole in the middle of the defence to score.

Just before the break, a backheel from Ikechukwu Uche set Francisco Sousa up with a one-on-one but Victor Valdes saved at his near post.

Barca's over-elaborate build up and lack of movement made it easier for the home side to contain them, and their Italy full back Gianluca Zambrotta was shown a straight red card for a scything tackle near the end.

Albin compounded Barca's problems when he fired in Uche's pass in the 90th minute.

The Catalans have only managed one away win in six attempts in the league this season.


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Story first published: Sunday, November 11, 2007, 10:33 [IST]
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