Real Madrid downs Valladolid to keep pace
Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Real Madrid moved back to within six points of leaders Barcelona on Sunday as the club recorded a 2-0 win over Valladolid at the Bernabeu.
Raul and Arjen Robben scored a goal on either side of halftime for Real Madrid, which has won 14 of its last 15 league matches, while third-placed Sevilla lost 1-0 to Getafe to leave Real 12 points clear.
The hosts enjoyed much of the possession in the opening half but it was Valladolid who looked to be the more dangerous side, nearly scoring twice midway through the first half.
The first opportunity came in the 25th minute when Valladolid's Luis Prieto headed wide of an open net after goalkeeper Iker Casillas failed to handle Pedro Leon's free kick.
Leon then sent a corner into the box that caused problems for the Real defense, with Pepe and Casillas being forced to keep the ball out.
The Real attack was lacking imagination but they put together a good build up that led to the game's first goal shortly before the break.
Gonzalo Higuain took the ball and split two Valladolid defenders before delivering a great cross for Raul to finish off from close range.
The second half was also played at a slow pace and with neither side really doing a lot in attack, the game was still there to be had in the last 15 minutes.
The visitors began to push more players forward in an effort to equalize, and they had a chance with 11 minutes to play as Inaki Bea tracked down a long ball but headed wide of the target.
Valladolid then had a penalty appeal turned down when Henok Goitom felt he was fouled inside the area by Pepe, but the home side quickly responded and killed off the match.
Guti came into the game as a substitute and he floated a perfect ball over the top to Robben, who got into the box and slotted past goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to put the game away.
Valencia moved past Villarreal and into fourth place with an exciting 3-2 win over Sporting Gijon as Mata scored in the 88th minute, while Atletico Madrid took over sixth by beating Deportivo, 2-1.
The bottom two clubs in the league, Numancia and Espanyol, played to a 0-0 draw, Osasuna got past Athletic Bilbao 2-1 as Sergio scored in the 82nd minute, Real Betis downed Racing 3-2 behind two goals from Achille Emana and Mallorca tallied twice in the second half to earn a 2-0 win over Almeria.
04/12 17:10:09 ET