Atletico Madrid had their brittle confidence shattered ahead of today’s testing Champions League trip to Chelsea, losing 3-0 at Osasuna on Sunday.
Osasuna scored three times inside the opening half hour as Atletico’s suspect defense collapsed, with Walter Pandiani (4 minutes, 25 minutes) scoring twice to take his season’s tally to five before Carlos Aranda notched a third on 29 minutes.
Atletico languish 15th in the Spanish league with the worst defensive record after leaking 17 goals in seven games, which does not bode well for the Stamford Bridge trip.
Madrid coach Abel Resino has been under pressure all season and the manner of the Osasuna loss will see the knives sharpened further.
“We paid the price for a lack of concentration,” Resino said. “Osasuna played like a veteran side and won a match which was important for us to try and get in the right half of the table.”
In the league, Atletico are just a point above the drop zone and in Europe the club have yet to register a win with a point from the first two group games.
Promoted Xerez ended a 62-year wait as they finally won their first game in the Spanish top-flight defeating Villarreal 2-1 to move off the bottom of the table at their opponents’ expense.
Antonito scored a controversial 79th-minute winner for Xerez’s historic win as Villarreal and their under-pressure coach Ernesto Valverde experienced a new low.
“It’s a first small step but very important mentally,” Xerez coach Jose Ziganda said. “It was a tough game and we were made to suffer as they had some clear chances. However, we had some luck today that we didn’t have in previous matches.”
Veteran French midfielder Robert Pires had put Villarreal ahead in the 17th minute but Mario Bermejo equalized in the 42nd minute and Antonito struck the decisive blow 11 minutes from time despite protests of a handball.
The top four teams were all in action on Saturday as champions Barcelona saw their lead at the top shaved to a point following a 0-0 draw at Valencia.
Real Madrid defeated Valladolid 4-2 to close to within a point of Barcelona and move three points ahead of Sevilla who saw a sequence of five wins come to an end with a 1-0 loss at Deportivo La Coruna.
Real Mallorca thrashed Getafe 3-1 on Sunday with a brace from Aritz Aduriz helping them move above Valencia into fifth, two points off the top four.
In other matches, Espanyol overcame Tenerife 2-1 on Sunday thanks to a brace from Ivan Alonso. Tenerife have yet to collect a point on their travels and are a single point above the relegation zone.
After starting with three wins Athletic Bilbao are on the slide and fell to a 2-1 home loss against Sporting Gijon to make it a solitary point from the last 12.