The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Real suffer first loss of season
- Paris St Germain snap at leader Nice’s heels with 2-1 victory over Troyes

Madrid: Real Madrid were dealt their first defeat of the season by an inspired Racing Santander who produced a sparkling exhibition of attacking football to claim a 2-0 win over the European champions on Saturday.

Real, missing the injured Luis Figo and Raul, looked uncomfortable without the ball and Ronaldo, making his first start in a full game for his new side, was forced to live off scraps.

The Brazilian had one long-range effort on 21 minutes, but his shot was turned wide by the diving Jose Maria Ceballos.

Goals from Uruguayan striker Mario Regueiro and former Real Madrid forward Pedro Munitis secured what could have been an even more comfortable win for the Cantabrians, who only returned to the top flight this season.

The result underlines Real’s poor away form in the league with their last victory away from the Bernabeu coming at the end of March against Sevilla.

Defending champions Valencia missed their chance to return to the top of the table when they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Madrid.

Former Atletico midfielder Ruben Baraja gave Rafael Benitez’s side the lead when he rifled home from a corner late in the first half, but substitute Javi Moreno snatched the equaliser when he bundled home 15 minutes from time.

Villarreal also upset the form-book and scored their first victory of the season in the process when they came from behind to earn a deserved 3-1 win over Deportivo Coruna.

Deportivo took the lead after just eight minutes through a Victor Sanchez header, but Villarreal fought back well and got their lucky break three minutes into the second half when defender Cesar sent a miscued clearance into his own net.

Victor Fernandez gave Villarreal the lead from the penalty spot midway through the second half and despite being reduced to 10 men after defender Unai was sent off they continued to attack and grabbed a third when Brazilian international Juliano Belletti headed home in the dying minutes.

Ronaldinho sparkles

Brazilian World Cup star Ronaldinho scored with a delightful lob after eight minutes to leave Paris St Germain breathing down the neck of French league leaders Nice Saturday.

While Nice went back to the top despite dropping two points in a goalless draw at Nantes, PSG raced off to a two-goal lead and held on grimly to beat Troyes 2-1 away.

The Parisians are now third, a point behind Nice and Auxe-rre, who fell victim to more Brazilian magic, a hattrick from Juninho Pernambucano sending them crashing to a 0-3 defeat at Lyon.

In Troyes, Ronaldinho was at the heart of PSG’s first goal as well when he accelerated away from his marker and released Fabrice Fiorese with a pinpoint pass. Fiorese’s cross was turned in by Argentinian striker Martin Cardetti after just four minutes.

Ronaldinho scored himself four minutes later after he picked up an errant David Hamed pass and, one-on-one with Troyes goalkeeper Tony Heurtebis, deftly lifted the ball into the net.

Vieri holds Juventus

A last-ditch goal by Inter Milan striker Christian Vieri allowed his team to return with a 1-1 draw against Juventus Saturday.

The match had looked as though it was heading Juventus’ way when Alessandro Del Piero scored from the penalty spot after Inter defender Francesco Coco was judged to have brought down Mauro Camoranesi.

The draw leaves Inter three points ahead of second-placed AC Milan at the top of Serie A and Juventus are third along with AS Roma on nine points.

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