Barca and Madrid endure surprise La Liga defeats

first_imgFor both, it was their first defeat of the season and for both, defensive fragility was the key factor, which will be a major concern with the second round of Champions League games to come next week.By the end, Atletico Madrid, who had cruised to victory over Huesca on Tuesday and play Real on Saturday, were the biggest winners. After a stuttering start, Diego Simeone’s side will jump above Real with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.Sevilla can be a formidable opponent on their own patch but few expected Leganes to inflict what was only Barcelona’s second league defeat in 17 months.“We are in a very difficult moment that was unexpected,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said.Gerard Pique committed the decisive error, his fluffed clearance allowing Oscar Rodriguez to score Leganes’ second goal in two incredible minutes at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.Nabil El Zhar had nodded in an equaliser moments before and by the end Philippe Coutinho’s sumptuous early volley was reduced to little more than a footnote.After drawing at home to Girona on Sunday, albeit with 10 men, Valverde’s selection also came under scrutiny, after he opted to rotate for the second time in three days.Against Girona, it was Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti on the bench and just as they all had to be called upon in the second half at the Camp Nou, so were Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba this time.“Of course the coach is responsible, a losing coach always feels responsible,” Valverde said.“But obviously it is easy now to talk about the rotations – in the end, matches are analysed on results – but you can’t win the league with only eleven players.”Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday and then Tottenham at Wembley in the Champions League four days later but one point from two of La Liga’s lesser opponents is a concern.So is the form of Pique, who was also at fault against Girona and will almost certainly start against Spurs, with Umtiti suspended.“You have to judge the whole team, not individuals,” Sergio Busquets said.“There are no excuses. We have to concede fewer goals and be more solid. Today the league isn’t lost but we might miss these three points at the end of the season.”Real Madrid, who were just kicking off as Leganes closed out, could have pulled three points clear at the top but instead were three down at half-time for the first time in a league game since 2003, also against Sevilla.Twice Jesus Navas sped away on the counter-attack, and twice he found Andre Silva, the first time with a deliberate cut-back, the second when his shot was palmed out for a rebound.Wissam Ben Yedder added a third six minutes before the interval, volleying in from close range after the Madrid defence had pushed out.“We had a bad first half,” Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said. “Especially a bad start, when they scored two goals and set the tone for the game.“We have to pick ourselves up, we have another important game in three days so we congratulate Sevilla and recognise we have not played how we wanted.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Watch this! Barcelona’s Lionel Messi looks on as Leganes defender Raul Garcia clears the ball © AFP / OSCAR DEL POZOMADRID, Spain, Sep 27 – Barcelona conceded twice in 68 seconds and Real Madrid were three down at half-time as La Liga’s two title favourites were each stunned by surprise defeats on Wednesday night.Barca’s 2-1 loss to relegation fighters Leganes was the greater shock but Madrid’s beating was more emphatic, blown away 3-0 by Sevilla after a torrid 39 minutes at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.last_img read more

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Sniper jury acquits one, hangs on another

first_img A father of two children, Garrison was an Antelope Valley Boys & Girls Club board member as well as a youth soccer coach and referee. The shots were fired from about 80 yards away, with one bullet hitting Garrison in the temple. Other bullets hit an employee in both arms, grazed another employee on the head and hit a patron in the back. Munassar and Zomalt were arrested in December 2004, more than 2 years after the April 21, 2002, shooting. A third man, 25-year-old Brian Lewis of Lancaster, also was charged but on Friday was placed on probation after pleading no contest to being an accessory to the shooting. As part of the case settlement, Lewis agreed to testify against Zomalt and Munassar. Lewis testified that he drove Zomalt to the Schooner’s parking lot, where prosecutors say Zomalt handed the rifle to Munassar to shoot at the nightclub’s front entrance. Lewis testified tha Zomalt put the rifle up to his neck and ordered him to drive out of the parking lot after the shooting. Salzman said earlier that no evidence was presented positively identifying his client as the sniper. While the prosecution said an eyewitness identified Munassar as the shooter, Salzman said the witness did not positively identify Munassar but only said he looked similar to the gunman. Gagliardini said the eyewitness testified that Zomalt was not the shooter and that she did not see him at the shooting scene. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The trial of two Lancaster men accused in the 2002 sniper-style shooting that killed a nightclub manager and wounded three others ended Monday in an acquittal of one defendant and a mistrial for the other. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury acquitted Faiz “Tony” Munassar of all charges and hung 9-3 – with the nine favoring acquittal – on the charges against co-defendant Zamaad “Gary” Zomalt, Zomalt’s attorney said. “The (prosecutors) are going to have to take a jury that’s already leaned toward acquittal, and they are going to have to do something with the evidence that’s out there, and try to turn it around and try to create a conviction out of it,” said Zomalt’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Fred Gagliardini. “That’s a very difficult thing to do.” Deputy District Attorney Robert Foltz indicated he intends to retry Zomalt on the deadlocked counts, Gagliardini said. A court hearing in the case is scheduled for April 7 in Antelope Valley Superior Court, Gagliardini said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Munassar’s attorney, Ira Salzman, and Foltz could not be reached for comment. The jury had deliberated three days last week and all of Monday, Gagliardini said. Prosecutors contended that Zomalt handed a rifle to friend Munassar to shoot at Schooner’s because Zomalt believed his estranged wife was having an affair with someone connected with the nightclub. Ironically, Zomalt’s wife was having an affair with Munassar, according to testimony, prosecutors said. Zomalt, 32, and Munassar, 27, pleaded not guilty to charges of fatally shooting Marshall Garrison, 41, who was night manager and booked entertainment for Schooner’s, and wounding the others. last_img read more

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