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Two of the world’s most revered teams were shocked by relative minnows on Wednesday, with Barcelona and its Spanish rival Real Madrid both falling in La Liga play.
Barca, which had to settle for a draw at home last weekend, squandered an early Philippe Coutinho goal and lost 2-1 at last place Leganes. That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared to the indignity suffered by three-time defending UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid, who were on the wrong end of a 3-0 mauling on the road against Sevilla.
It marked the first time both clubs — which between them have won the last five Champions League titles and six of the last eight — lost on the same day in almost four years:
The previous time Barcelona and Real Madrid lost La Liga games on the same day was Jan. 4, 2015. https://t.co/0cLwpC1WWp
— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) September 26, 2018
The titans have been even more dominant in domestic action, combining for 13 of the last 14 Spanish crowns. Barcelona almost went undefeated in 2017-18, suffering their only loss on the final day of the season.
Perhaps the outcome of Wednesday’s Barcelona-Leganes tilt could’ve been different had Lionel Messi doubled the visitors’ first-half advantage rather than send a curling shot off the post. Instead, the match turned during a frantic two-minute stretch shortly after halftime.
First the hosts equalized on a Nabil El Zhar header. Moments after the restart, an errant clearance by veteran Barca defender Gerard Pique was ruthlessly punished by youngster Oscar Rodriguez Arnaiz, whose goal ended up being the winner when Ivan Rakitic and substitute Luis Suarez failed to convert late chances.
Real’s loss, on the other hand, had little to do with luck. Seville took the lead in the 17th minute on a beautifully worked play finished by Andre Silva and it never looked back. Silva added a second just four minutes after his opener, and Wissam Ben Yedder effectively killed the game off by making it 3-0 before the first half was over.
Barcelona and Real Madrid remain tied atop La Liga with 13 points each. They sport identical 4-1-1 records, although Barca has the edge on goal difference. The pair will meet for the first time this season on Oct. 28.
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