Osasuna upsets Real Madrid in La Liga
Real Madrid fell seven points behind leader Barcelona in the Spanish league on Sunday after a 1-0 loss at Osasuna.
Javier Camunas scored in the 62nd minute at Reyno de Navarra stadium. Osasuna striker Carlos Aranda slipped the ball through two Madrid defenders, and the forward's shot hit the post and bounced into Iker Casillas' goal.
Barcelona had put extra pressure on its fierce rivals through its record-equaling 15th straight league win on Saturday, and Madrid failed to respond, losing its second league match this season.
It is difficult, but we have to remain positive," said Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. "We fought against a team that knows its role: physical play and long balls up the pitch."
Madrid's new striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, made his debut in coming off the bench in the 65th, along with Xabi Alonso and Kaka. But none of the trio could help stop Madrid having now dropped five of its past nine possible points.
Barcelona has 58 points after equaling Madrid's consecutive win record that had stood since 1960-61 on Saturday. Madrid is in second place with 51.
"With the loss, the distance to Barcelona is larger," Alonso said. "But there is a long way to go and we have to keep fighting."
Elsewhere, Giuseppe Rossi gave Villarreal a 1-0 win at Espanyol, and Gaizka Toquero scored twice to lead Athletic Bilbao to a 2-0 victory over 10-man Atletico Madrid.
Early on, Osasuna showed why it had lost only once at home this season. Jose Camacho's team kept the better share of the action on Madrid's side of the pitch, and winter reinforcement Ferran "Coro" Corominas shot just past the left post four minutes in.
Madrid had trouble withstanding Osasuna's pressure without Alonso to direct the flow of possession and tempo. Osasuna's Walter Pandiani saw his header float over Iker Casillas' crossbar in the 33rd in the hosts' most clear-cut chance of the first half.
Madrid almost went ahead two minutes later when striker Karim Benzema, who had scored winners in the last two games, grazed the right post with a low strike.
The visitors pressed for the breakthrough as Osasuna's legs tired, and goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez denied Cristiano Ronaldo from close range two minutes from halftime.
Madrid continued to control possession in the second half, but the hosts' defence held firm before Camunas put them in front.
"We had chances but we did not score due to the merit of a team that closes well in defence," said Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. "I prefer to lose that way, when the opponent has done a lot (to win) as opposed to my team giving the game away."
The Portuguese manager sent on reinforcements to look for the equalizer. Benzema's header hit the top of the netting in the 73rd, but Osasuna came closer to scoring its second goal when Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa barely cleared Krisztian Vadocz's shot off the line in the 85th.
"We have it much more difficult than the leaders," Mourinho said. "But we are here to work and fight until the end."
With its first win in nine weeks, Osasuna moved into 16th place on 21 points.
In Barcelona, Rossi capped an electric first half with a spectacular blast from a very tight angle for Villarreal's winner. The Italian forward received a pass on the left flank and surprised goalkeeper Carlos Kameni with a hard rising shot that went in just under the crossbar at the near post.
Earlier, Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez made a great dive to deny Sergio Garcia, while Kameni made an excellent save of a close-range shot by Marco Ruben.
Third-place Villarreal has 45 points after a fifth win in its past six games, five points more than Valencia, which plays Racing on Monday.
Espanyol remained fifth on 37 points after failing to win at home for only the second time this season.
At Vicente Calderon stadium, Toquero raced unmarked into the area to volley home Andoni Iraola's cross right on halftime. He stabbed in another cross by Iraola to double Bilbao's lead in the 64th.
Toquero's goals were his first of the season.
Bilbao could have gone in front in the 40th from the penalty spot after Atletico defender Luis Perea had been shown a red card for bringing Fernando Llorente down with only the 'keeper to beat. But Llorente sent his spot kick wide.
"This type of result gives you confidence in your possibilities," Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros said. "It helps both your individual and collective self-esteem."
Sixth-place Bilbao's third straight victory marked its longest winning streak of the season, lifting the team to within five points of the Champions League positions and five points clear of struggling seventh-place Atletico.
Atletico continued its poor start to 2011. Quique Sanchez Flores' team has won only one of seven games in all competitions.