Schuster pragmatic as Real are routed

UNDER fire Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster had few complaints about his side’s 3-1 defeat by Getafe on Saturday, admitting he felt from early on it was not going to be their night.

Madrid’s defeat combined with a 3-0 victory for Barca at Sevilla means the champions are now six points adrift of top spot.

Getafe needed only two minutes to take the lead thanks to Juan Albin’s thumping header, and he doubled his side’s lead at the start of the second half. Ike Uche secured the win after Madrid pulled a goal back through Javier Saviola.

Schuster said: “At no point did I have the feeling that we were going to win. The scoreline should have been wider,” added Schuster.

Losing the match will be a concern for Schuster, who only recently got a vote of confidence from sporting director Predrag Mijatovic after Madrid lost four times in eight games, but his side’s injury list is arguably an even bigger worry.

Schuster is already without Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gonzalo Higuain, Arjen Robben, Mahamadou Diarra, Fabio Cannavaro, Ruben de la Red and Gabriel Heinze for the Getafe match, and Wesley Sneijder and Miguel Torres joined that injury list at the weekend, while centre-back Pepe also finished the clash with a knock.

“You cannot do anything when faced with injuries, we are in a situation which is not normal but these things happen in football and we have to deal with them and move on,” Schuster said.

Two late Lionel Messi goals helped Barca to a 3-0 win at Sevilla. Samuel Eto’o had grabbed the Catalans’ first.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola felt his side had taken an important step towards the title at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

“The changing room is happy. It’s a step more where we have picked up three very important points against a team and a set of fans who are extraordinary.” he said.

“We have taken an important step, although we are still in November and there are no champions now.”

Barca’s win took their record to 10 league victories in 11 games, with the only blemish being last weekend‘s 1-1 home draw with Getafe.

That hugely impressive run of form will be tested to the limit over the next few weeks, though, as Barca face Valencia, Real Madrid and Villarreal in successive games.

Captain Carles Puyol felt the win over Sevilla was valuable, but, like his coach, insists it is still early days in the season.

“They are only three points, there is an awful lot of the league left. Now we are about to face some good teams, similar to the one we played here, and we have to face those games with the same desire.

“This result is very important for us, above all for our confidence. This is the path to follow.”

Atletico Madrid routed Racing Santander 4-1 last night, Simao, Sergio Aguero and a Diego Forlan brace doing the damage.

Ruben Baraja’s 73rd minute strike gave Valencia victory over Real Betis.

Villarreal stayed just four points behind Barcelona as they saw off Recreativo Huelva 2-1, Deportivo La Coruna won at Almeria 1-0, Bilbao beat Numancia 2-0, Valladolid accounted for Mallorca 3-0, Malaga routed Osasuna 4-2 while Sporting Gijon won at Espanyol.

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