A new control structure for a class of uncertain Lagrangian systems that solves the regulation and tracking control problems is proposed. This structure has good robustness properties, similar to sliding-mode-type controllers; and is free from chattering. The control structure is based on a discontinuous, robust observer, which displays a second-order sliding mode yielding an exponential convergence to the state of the plant in spite of the existence of non-vanishing disturbances and parameter uncertainties. At the same time, with the aid of a low-pass filter, this observer is employed to estimate the perturbations affecting the plant. This disturbance estimation is used to compensate the perturbations acting on the plant, improving the controller robustness. The performance of the proposed control structure is illustrated numerically and experimentally.