Getafe shocked mighty Real Madrid 3-1 on Saturday to pile renewed pressure on Real coach Bernd Schuster, whose side have lost two of their last three Spanish league games. Schuster was forced into fielding a make-shift team with seven players unavailable and they got off to the worst possible start conceding a goal after just three minutes with Juan Angel Albin converting a Jaime Gavilan cross.
Getafe, brimming with confidence following their draw against Barcelona a week ago, continued to take the game to their Madrid city rivals whose hopes further deteriorated with Wesley Sneijder and Miguel Torres limping off before half-time. Fernando Gago grazed the crossbar but Real were unable to take a hold of the game.
Only a few minutes after the interval Albin knocked in his second, slipping the ball past Iker Casillas. Real were given hope when Javier Saviola finished well inside the area, after Juan Guti had won back possession. But rather than building on the goal, Madrid soon lost impetus, and it was Getafe who looked more likely to score again. With nine minutes remaining Ikechukwu Uche secured the win for Getafe with a clinical finish after the hard work had been done by his strike partner Albin.
Leaders Barcelona travel face Sevilla later Saturday under orders from coach Pep Guardiola to show plenty of tenacity in what should be an entertaining encounter between two attacking sides. "We must always be prepared and above all show ambition, play at a lively pace, maintain possession and press forward while conscious that the counter-attack is the big weapon of the rivals," Guardiola said. "This is the message I want to give out: get the ball and attack."
Along with Lionel Messi, who returns to league action after being rested for the draw last weekend against Getafe, Carles Puyol and Yaya Toure are also back in the squad. Sevilla, who will look to improve their attacking record, will count on Luis Fabiano, Sebastien Squillaci and Julien Escude.
On Sunday, Villarreal and Valencia will be looking for wins to boost their championship chances after dropping points in recent weeks. Villarreal travel to bottom-placed Recreativo Huelva looking to end a four-match run in all competitions without a win. Bheir cause is not helped with seven players missing, including influential midfielder Marcos Senna, who limped off against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League last Tuesday.
Valencia have lost their last two home matches against Racing Santander and Sporting Gijon, and they face a Real Betis team that has won their last three games away from home. At the other end of the table, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao occupy the other two relegation places above Recreativo and they face Malaga and Numancia, respectively.