The Associated PressMADRID (AP) — Real Madrid saw Barcelona falter, and then survived an awful mistake by goalkeeper Keylor Navas to regain the Spanish league lead on Sunday.
Barcelona lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna in its first match after its amazing win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, and Madrid took advantage with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Real Betis, despite an own-goal by Navas.
Cristiano Ronaldo equalized before halftime and Sergio Ramos netted an 81st-minute winner for Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after Navas had pushed the ball into his own net while trying to regain control following a close-range shot.
Navas made amends with a superb save two minutes into second-half injury time to secure Madrid the victory and a two-point lead over Barcelona, whose 19-game unbeaten streak in the league ended in La Coruna.
“It’s part of the game, everyone makes mistakes,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said of Navas. “In the end he saved us. The save he made has given us the three points.”
Without some of the starters from the 6-1 victory over PSG in the round of 16 on Wednesday, which reversed a 4-0 first-leg loss, Barcelona lacked the same intensity that it had at the Camp Nou.
“We knew that they were coming off an intense game in the Champions League and I think it showed,” La Coruna midfielder Alex Bergantinos said. “I think you could notice their weariness from the match against PSG.”
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique didn’t start Rafinha, Samuel Umtiti and Neymar, who was decisive on Wednesday with two goals and two assists. Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic only entered Sunday’s match in the second half.
“We struggled from the start,” Luis Enrique said. “There is no justification for the loss. We have to accept it and understand that there are still a lot of rounds left in the league.”
Spurs roll into Cup semis
LONDON (AP) — Son Heung Min grabbed a hat trick as he seamlessly filled the void left by Harry Kane’s injury-enforced early departure, powering Tottenham into the FA Cup semifinals with a 6-0 rout of third-tier Millwall on Sunday.
The South Korean made it six goals in four F.A. Cup games this season and he even set up fellow forward Vincent Janssen to end a seven-month wait for a goal from open play since joining Tottenham.
Christian Eriksen, who replaced Kane after 10 minutes, provided the cross for Son’s third after scoring the opener and also set up Dele Alli’s second-half strike.
But the joy at sealing Tottenham’s trip to the semifinals for the first time in five years was tempered by Kane’s ankle injury. Tottenham’s top scorer missed 10 games after twisting the same right ankle in September and manager Mauricio Pochettino fears the worst again after he left in a protective boot.
“We cannot cry, we have to try to be positive,” Pochettino said. “We have enough players to replace him.”
Meanwhile in Premier League action, Emre Can completed Liverpool’s comeback against Burnley, clinching a 2-1 victory to consolidate fourth place.
Liverpool is a point behind Tottenham and Manchester City and 11 adrift of leader Chelsea, having played a game more than the top three.