FC Barcelona stumble again: La Liga roundup

17th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2007, MADRID - DPA - Stumbling Barcelona suffered another setback Sunday when they were held to a 0-0 draw at hard-working Osasuna.

17 September 2007

MADRID - DPA - Stumbling Barcelona suffered another setback Sunday when they were held to a 0-0 draw at hard-working Osasuna.

Barca's second goalless away draw - the first was in their debut in Santander - leaves them with just five points from their first three games in joint fifth place.

Barca are one point behind Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal and four behind runaway leaders Real Madrid.

The same as in Santander, Barca were indolent, ponderous and predictable, and without spark in attack. Many of their stars looked weary after a week of international duty.

Barca's 59-per-cent possession led to only two chances in Pamplona. They fell to Deco and Thierry Henry, who were both slow to react.

Barca coach Frank Rijkaard gave debuts to teenage forwards Giovani dos Santos and Bojan Krkic.

"We didn't have much change of speed tonight," said midfielder Xavi Hernandez. "We still need to improve in several things."

Earlier Sunday, Sevilla had thrashed Recreativo Huelva 4-1 with two goals each from Aleksandr Kerzhakov and Frederic Kanoute.

Villarreal, for their part, won 1-0 at Mallorca thanks to a late goal from Nihat Kahveci.

In joint fifth place, level on five points with Barca, are Murcia and Racing Santander.

Murcia battled out a well-deserved 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid, who had taken an early lead through Sergio Aguero. Veteran Francisco Gallardo scored Murcia's late equalizer.

Another veteran who scored Sunday was Pedro Munitis, who put away the only goal for Santander at home to bottom team Levante.

Also Sunday, an early goal from Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado was enough for Deportivo Coruna against Betis, while Espanyol beat Getafe 1-0 on a late goal from youngster Jonathan Soriano.

The third round of matches had kicked off on Saturday with Real Madrid's 3-1 defeat of Almeria, in which league top scorer Wesley Sneijder scored his fourth goal.

Also Saturday, Valencia beat Valladolid 2-1 but were jeered off by their own fans, and Zaragoza battled out a 1-1 draw in Bilbao. dpa ds ff

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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