EIGHT-MAN BARCA HUMBLED BY OSASUNA
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The victory, though, is a major fillip to the home side, who are desperately fighting to remain in La Liga.
Barca coach Llorenc Serra Ferrer was looking for a win to appease the unhappy Camp Nou faithful, but they were overwhelmed by Osasuna and it came as no surprise when Ivan Rosado opened the scoring from a corner in the 17th minute.
Marc Overmars pounced on some poor defending to level shortly afterwards, but Osasuna went back in front on 27 minutes; Alex`s corner going directly into the net after young Barca keeper Manuel Reina failed to deal with the set-piece.
Barca lost all control in the second-half, conceding a third goal to Rosado and having three men, Sergi, Simao (pictured) and Ivan De La Pena, dismissed.
The loss puts more pressure on Serra Ferrer, with president Joan Gaspart saying after the game: "Barcelona cannot remain in fifth place, we need to fight and we are not showing that.
"We are a team who need to battle for every possible title, and we are not managing that.
"I am disappointed to have lost this match because we have to achieve our objectives of qualifying for the Champions League and winning the Spanish Cup.
"I don`t want to talk about replacing the manager, I am only interested in the defeat."
Osasuna`s joy would have been tempered slightly, however, by the result from the Anoeta stadium, where relegation-threatened Real Sociedad claimed a 3-1 win over Valladolid.
Igor Gabilondo grabbed a first-half brace and Tayfun Korkut was the other successful Sociedad marksman. Valentin Pachon scored a consolation in the last minute.
Racing Santander remain in trouble after a 3-0 defeat at Espanyol. A pair from Roger on 24 and 72 minutes, plus a finish from Manuel Serrano on the hour meant all three points went back to Barcelona.
Alaves were hoping to cap a fine week after reaching the Uefa Cup final on Thursday, but they fell to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Malaga.
Txomin Larrainzar and Rufete put the visitors 2-0 up, but a reply on the hour by Oscar Tellez ensured a tense finish.
Athletic Bilbao moved into the safety zone of mid-table with an excellent 2-1 win at Rayo Vallecano,but it was a dramatic finish to the game.
Athletic looked to be cruising to victory after Santiago Ezquero gave them an early lead, and when Tilko scored in the last minute it looked all over. However, Rayo went on the attack and Luis Cembranos scored from the penalty spot but it was too little too late, as the Bilbao club held on.
Mallorca were unable to put any real pressure on the other teams vying for a Champions League berth, as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Villarreal.
Villarreal were 2-0 up thanks to strikes from Martin Palermo and Victor, but the visitors showed great resilience and earned a point thanks to goals from Luis Carreras and Daniel Guiza.
Argentine hot-shot Palermo went from hero to villain, being dismissed in the last minute.
To read the round-up from Sunday`s late games, featuring Real Madrid at Real Zaragoza, click here.