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Footbal: Real Madrid won 18 of the last 19 games
Real Madrid went 13 points clear of Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday as Karim Benzema grabbed a double in a 4-0 win over 10-man Racing Santander. At the closing time of this edition it was not known the result of the match between Barcelona and third-placed Valencia, with the Catalan side trying to reduce Madrid’s advantage to ten points.
jose Mourinho’s men have given Barca little margin for error having now won 18 of the last 19 games since they drew 0-0 at Santander at the end of September. On Saturday, they weren’t so forgiving towards Racing as they stayed on track for their first league title since 2008. “It was not a brilliant performance but we won without too much effort and it was a good result,” said Mourinho.
A Cristiano Ronaldo header hit the post as Real came out all guns blazing and after six minutes they were a goal up with Kaka crossing for Ronaldo to head in from less than a yard out for his 28th league strike of the season. Real were given a further boost by the harsh dismissal of Domingo Cisma after 38 minutes when he was adjudged to have handled the ball.
On the stroke of half-time Benzema doubled the lead when he clipped the ball in from an acute angle and after the break Real remained firmly in control. Xabi Alonso had a shot from the edge of the area which went narrowly past the post before substitute Angel Di Maria, returning from injury, hit a shot into the back of the net although goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez perhaps should have done better. Benzema completed the rout with a deflected strike a minute from the end.
Mourinho said he was happy to see Di Maria as well as Sami Khedira return to the side particularly with Champions League matches on the horizon. “They have come back at the right time and especially Di Maria gives us options which we lacked when he was injured in terms of winning the ball back and attacking. It’s good to have Khedira available now we are starting to play every three days.”
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