Real Madrid returned to the top of La Liga on Wednesday, despite being held to a goalless draw by Osasuna, but Barcelona dropped to ninth after losing 1-0 to Rayo Vallecano, with Radamel Falcao scoring the winner.
Karim Benzema struck the bar in the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu but Osasuna could have won it too, with Kike Garcia missing the best chance of the game when he hit the post from five yards.
Madrid jump above Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Sociedad – all four of them with 21 points – on goal difference while Osasuna sit sixth after extending their strong start to the season.
“La Liga is very even, there are lots of teams up there. I don’t think it’s going to take 100 points to win it this season,” said Carlo Ancelotti.
The 35-year-old Falcao continues to roll back the years at Rayo after scoring his fourth goal in six games for his new club and surely the sweetest, coming against Barca, whom he last scored against in 2013.
Memphis Depay missed a penalty at a bouncing Vallecas as Barca’s miserable start to the season under Ronald Koeman took another turn for the worse.
After losing the Clasico at home to Real Madrid on Sunday, Barcelona now sit ninth in La Liga, six points off the top and, most concerningly for the board, the gap growing between them and the top four.
“It says we’re not well,” said Koeman. “The team has lost balance in the squad, lost very effective players, which shows. In recent years other clubs have strengthened every season and we haven’t, which also shows.”
Barca president Joan Laporta was squeezed in amongst the home crowd and cannot have been impressed by another limp display that hardly suggested this team’s form is about to improve.
Asked if the result could affect his future, Koeman said: “I don’t know.”