Real Sociedad end Barcelona run


Leaders Barcelona suffered their first defeat in La Liga this season when Real Sociedad stormed back from two-goals down and made the most of a red card for Gerard Pique to record a 3-2 home win on Saturday. Imanol Agirretxe slid in to grab a last-gasp winner after a double from Gonzalo Castro, who scored either side of half-time, helped cancel out early goals from Lionel Messi and Pedro.

A full-strength Barca had dominated the first half, but Pique’s second yellow card in the 56th minute came when Sociedad were in the ascendancy, and the hosts were eventually rewarded for their endeavour in time added on.

Barca stay on 55 points from 20 games, 11 ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Atletico Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona’s defeat to trim the gap on the leaders to eight points when Adrian and Koke struck in a 2-0 win at home to Levante last night.

Real Madrid brushed aside Valencia 5-0 win at Mestalla. All goals came in the first half as Gonzalo Higuain struck in the ninth minute before Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo widened the gap with two goals in quick succession. Another two strikes in four minutes before the break, Ronaldo adding his second before Di Maria matched him, secured all three points.

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