REAL Sociedad stunned ten-man Barcelona by handing the leaders their first league defeat this season when they came from two goals down to win 3-2. It was Barca’s first loss in any competition since Celtic beat them 2-1 in the Champions League on 7 November.
Imanol Agirretxe slid in for the winner for Sociedad in added time after Lionel Messi, pictured, and Pedro had given Barca an early lead. Messi’s goal, his tenth in ten league games, matched a La Liga record set by fellow Barca players Mariano Martin in the 1942/43 and Brazil’s Ronaldo in 1996/97.
Gonzalo Castro pulled one back for the Basque side four minutes before half-time and he levelled the scores, soon after Gerard Pique was sent off in the 56th minute for a second booking.
“I have to congratulate Real Sociedad. Their victory is more to do with how well they played than my players not playing well,” Barca coach Tito Vilanova said.
Barca, who had only dropped points this season in a 2-2 draw at home to champions Real Madrid, stayed on 55 points from 20 games, 11 ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Atletico host Levante on today when Real Madrid, 18 points off the pace in third, visit Valencia.
• Mario Mandzukic struck twice to steer Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to a 2-0 victory over bottom club Greuther Fuerth yesterday.
PSG MOURN DEATH OF ENGLISH COACH
PARIS St Germain performance manager Nick Broad has been killed in a car accident at the age of 38.
Englishman Broad was the former head of sports science at Chelsea, where he met current PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti in 2009.
“All of us are stunned and devastated by the sudden death of a much-liked colleague, universally recognised for his professional expertise,” PSG said in the statement. “His passionate, dynamic and extremely professional approach placed Nick on the cutting edge of European football coaching.”
The French League (LFP) said they could not postpone today’s Ligue 1 game at Bordeaux, as requested by PSG. “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Nick Broad but only 48 hours before the game the request could not be satisfied,” LFP president Frederic Thiriez said.
WICK BURN BRIGHT AS RIVALS FROZEN OUT
WICK Academy maintained their title surge and opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Highland League as they blew away visiting Rothes. The Caithness team’s 5-0 win over the lowly Speysiders increased the gap on nearest challengers Cove Rangers and Formartine, whose games were postponed. A Lukasz Geruzel double and Richard Macadie hat-trick did the job for the leaders.
Nairn County won 4-3 at Brora. Rangers debutant Zander Sutherland hit a hat-trick but Craig McMillan equalised with ten minutes left then got the winner in injury time. Fort William celebrated their first victory of the season 1-0 at home to Strathspey Thistle, Darren Quigg scoring with a penalty.