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Real stretch lead with 2-0 win


Real stretch lead with 2-0 win

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win at Elche on Sunday, as the Spanish league football leaders capitalised on Barcelona’s stumble to increase their advantage to four points.

Madrid grasped the opportunity Barcelona had presented them with after a 1-0 defeat at home to Malaga on Saturday.

Elche were fortunate to escape without conceding in a first half dominated by Madrid.

But Benzema tapped in a boggled clearance by Elche’s defence to make the breakthrough in the 56th, and Ronaldo ended a five-round scoring drought by heading in his league-leading 29th goal in the 69th.

Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ 500 Spanish league game was one of his most uneventful, as he was called upon just once against the outclassed hosts.

Casillas set a club record for the most wins by a Madrid player in la Liga with 328.

While Madrid’s victory was not much of a surprise, Real Sociedad went from losing to winning their 4-3 shootout with Sevilla in a span of the final eight minutes.

Athletic Bilbao also needed a late strike from Aritz Aduriz with four minutes to play to edge Rayo Vallecano 1-0 for their first home win in six rounds.

Villarreal, likewise, eked out a 1-0 win over visitors Eibar thanks to Luciano Vietto’s second-half strike.