Real Madrid reduce Barca's lead to five points

11:05, March 14, 2011      

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FC Barcelona saw their lead at the top of the Spanish La Liga reduced to five ahead of Real Madrid after Sunday's games.

Bojan Krkic scored for Barcelona as they drew a thrilling game 1-1 away to Sevilla on Sunday night. Barca hit the woodwork twice in the game, but Sevilla deserved the point earned by Jesus Navas' goal early in the second half.

Both sides had chances to win the game and Andres Iniesta saw a shot cleared off the Sevilla goal line by Gary Medel in injury time. Barcelona will take consolation for the dropped points from knowing that Real Madrid still has to visit the Sanchez Pizjuan.

On Saturday, Real Madrid enjoyed an easy win against relegation threatened Hercules in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday night.

Striker Karim Benzema confirmed his return to form and confidence with goals in either half in a game which saw Real Madrid rest key players, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe ahead of their midweek game in the Champions League.

Hercules keeper Juan Calatayud produced a series of good saves in the second half to keep the scoreline respectable, but the three points were never in danger of escaping Real Madrid's clutches.

Benzema had now scored four goals in his side's last two games while Hercules slipped to second from bottom of the table in Spain and have not scored a goal away from home in over 1,000 minutes football.

Osasuna chalked up their second win in two games with a 3-1 triumph at home to Racing Santander. Kike Solo opened the scoring, Nekounam doubled the lead and Fernando Soriano, who was later sent off, scored his side's third early in the second half.

Levante and Mallorca drew 1-1 thanks to goal from Juanlu for the home side and an equalizer from Ivan Ramis in a result that keeps both sides in mid-table.

At the bottom of the table, Malaga sprung a major surprise with a 2-0 win away to Real Sociedad thanks to goals from Sergio Barbosa and Jose Rondon.

Espanyol returned to winning way with a 2-0 home triumph against Deportivo la Coruna. Ivan Alonso and Juan Verdu were on target in the second half for the home side who move back to fifth in the table.

Finally there was drama in Villarreal as Deigo Castro scored an injury time penalty to give Sporting Gijon a brave 1-1 draw. The point was all the more valuable as Sporting ended up with nine men after the sending of off Jose Angel and Rafael Sastre.

Kun Aguero scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season as Atletico Madrid twice took the lead away to struggling Almeria. However, the side that kicked off the day second from bottom of the table battled back for a point with goals from Albert Crusat and Henok Goitom.

Finally Zaragoza rounded off a horrible week for Valencia, who were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday, by defeating them 4-0 in the Romareda Stadium.

Jiri Jarosek opened the scoring with a header after five minutes and Ander Herrera doubled the lead five minutes before halftime.

Gabi then scored two second half penalties to lift Zaragoza four points clear of the relegation zone. Getafe entertains Athletic Club Bilbao on Monday night.

Source: Xinhua

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