Pérez fires Cádiz to shock victory at Barcelona and Napoli’s title hopes hit | European club football


Barcelona’s faint hopes of catching the La Liga leaders Real Madrid suffered a blow as they slipped to a shock 1-0 home defeat by relegation-threatened Cádiz on Monday.

Real’s victory at Sevilla on Sunday extended their advantage over Barça in second to 15 points, but Xavi Hernández’s in-form side were expected to close the gap when taking on Cádiz in the Camp Nou.

The hosts never really got going, however, in front of a disgruntled crowd and Cádiz had the better first-half openings with Lucas Pérez missing a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock.

Cádiz kept coming after the interval and Pérez scored in the 48th minute before the visitors wasted further big chances to extend their advantage – Álex Fernández slotting wide when it looked easier to score.

Barça piled on the pressure but lacked the final pass as they slipped to a first defeat in 16 La Liga matches stretching back to December. They remain on 60 points from 31 games, 15 behind Real.

An unexpected win for Cádiz in Catalonia lifted them out of the relegation zone and up to 16th on 31 points from 32 matches.

In Naples, Napoli’s Serie A title hopes suffered a blow as Stephan El Shaarawy’s last-gasp equaliser earned Roma a 1-1 draw at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Monday.

The hosts held the lead in a tense clash for the majority of the contest after their captain Lorenzo Insigne broke the deadlock with a well-taken penalty after 11 minutes.

Roma’s Stephan El Shaarawy (second right) celebrates with Tammy Abraham.
Roma’s Stephan El Shaarawy (second right) celebrates with Tammy Abraham. Photograph: Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Chasing a first Scudetto since 1990, Napoli looked nervy as they went in search of three points that would have closed the gap on the leaders Milan, with Roma having several chances to level in the second half.

The home side looked like they had done enough to hold on as the clock passed 90 minutes, before the substitute El Shaarawy stunned Napoli, firing in an equaliser Roma deserved.

The draw left Napoli third in the standings on 67 points from 33 matches, four points behind Milan. Roma stayed fifth on 58 points having stretched their unbeaten run in Serie A to 12 matches.



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