15 Feb 2010

Barcelona's lead just 2 points after first loss

12:44 pm on 15 February 2010

Spanish football leaders Barcelona have been beaten for the first time this season after 2-1 away loss to Atletico Madrid.

Diego Forlan scored Atletico's first in the ninth minute and the home side doubled their lead almost 15 minutes later when Simao arrowed a free-kick past the Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled a goal back for the visitors four minutes later when he was left unmarked at the back post at a corner and volleyed high into the net from close range.

Both sides were unable to score in the second half.

Second-placed Real Madrid's 3-0 win at bottom club Xerez yesterday had trimmed Barcelona's lead at the top of the La Liga table to two points and Pep Guardiola's side failed to respond.

Barcelona were missing five first-team defenders through suspension or injury,

With 22 matches played, Barcelona have 55 points, Real Madrid 53 and Valencia, who were held 1-1 at mid-table Sporting Gijon, are third on 43.