10-man Barcelona loses 3-2 at Real Sociedad


Associated Press

Posted on January 19, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 20 at 2:04 PM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ten-man Barcelona lost its first match of the Spanish league season Saturday, squandering a two-goal lead in a 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad and allowing an injury-time winner.

Barcelona set a league record by winning 18 games and one draw at the midpoint.

Lionel Messi scored for a 14th straight start to open for Barcelona in the seventh minute, and Pedro Rodriguez appeared to give the visitors full control in the 25th.

But Gonzalo "Chori" Castro scored in the 41st and tied it in the 63rd after Barcelona's Gerard Pique was dismissed for a second yellow card.

Imanol Agirretxe entered in the 84th and tapped in Carlos Martinez's cross for the winning goal.


LONDON (AP) — Manchester City kept up its pursuit of Manchester United with a 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, with David Silva's double reducing the champions' deficit to four points in the Premier League title race.

The Spain playmaker secured City's fourth straight league win by scoring in the 2nd and 69th minutes for his first goals in two months, increasing the pressure on United ahead of its testing visit to Tottenham on Sunday.

"All we can do is win our games," City assistant manager David Platt said. "We have to make sure we keep getting victories so if United do slip up, we are in a position to take advantage of that."

Liverpool thrashed Norwich 5-0 to revive hopes of qualifying for European competitions next season, with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge striking up a good combination up front and both getting on the scoresheet at Anfield.

France striker Loic Remy scored on his debut for Queens Park Rangers but a 1-1 draw at West Ham kept the club bottom of the standings, five points from safety after Reading's 2-1 rally over struggling Newcastle and Aston Villa's 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Wigan replaced Villa in the bottom three after losing 3-2 at home to Sunderland, while Swansea beat Stoke 3-1 in the other match.


MILAN (AP) — Lazio missed the chance to draw level with Serie A leader Juventus as it was held to 2-2 at struggling Palermo on Saturday.

Sergio Floccari gave Lazio the lead in the 10th minute with a powerful looping header after a brilliant long ball from Cristian Ledesma.

Floccari had a second goal harshly ruled out for offside in the 64th.

The game turned on its head in the space of a minute in the second half as first Arevalo Rios evaded his marker to slot home Andrea Dossena's cross at the far post.

Moments later Fabrizio Miccoli touched on Josip Ilicic's cross for Paulo Dybala to slot home.

Lazio leveled from the spot after Ezequiel Munoz fouled Floccari. Hernanes fired into the bottom right corner, despite Palermo goalkeeper Samir Ujkani guessing the right way.


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Mario Mandzukic scored both goals in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win over bottom-place Greuther Fuerth as the Bundesliga season resumed Saturday after its one-month winter break.

Bayer Leverkusen stayed nine points behind league leader Bayern by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 in a match that was interrupted when Eintracht supporters launched fireworks onto the pitch.

Wolfsburg gave new coach Dieter Hecking a winning start in a 2-0 victory over Stuttgart. Hoffenheim and Borussia Moenchengladbach played to a 0-0 draw and Mainz and Freiburg also ended in a goalless stalemate.

In the late match, defending champion Borussia Dortmund plays at Werder Bremen.

Mandzukic brought his season total to 11 goals by scoring in each half in Munich, his first brace for Bayern. Bayern did just enough to gain a routine victory over an opponent trying to limit the damage.

The Croatia striker scored the first in the 26th, connecting with a volley that was fumbled by goalkeeper Wolfgang Hesl. The cross came from Thomas Mueller.

Mandzukic doubled the lead in the 61st, heading in a corner from Toni Kroos.

"It was important to start with a win," Mandzukic said.

Bayern stunned the league earlier this week when it announced that former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola would replace Jupp Heynckes at the start of the next season.

"I don't think that was a topic at all, the players didn't behave any differently," said Heynckes, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.


PARIS (AP) — Andre-Pierre Gignac exploited a defensive error to score an injury-time winner as Marseille rallied to beat defending champion Montpellier 3-2 on Saturday and move to within one point of French league leader Lyon.

Marseille bounced back from last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Sochaux but left it late against Montpellier with two goals in the last 10 minutes.

Sochaux beat Reims 1-0 at home to climb out of the relegation zone and send Reims there instead.

On Friday, Lyon dropped points when it drew 0-0 at home to struggling Evian.

Paris Saint-Germain, which is in third place, can move top of the league on goal difference if it wins at Bordeaux on Sunday.