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Rediff.com  » Sports » Real Madrid crush Espanyol

Real Madrid crush Espanyol

February 05, 2006 16:22 IST

A stunning 45-metre strike from Spain forward David Villa earned Valencia a 1-0 win at Deportivo Coruna, while Real Madrid ran riot to sink Espanyol 4-0 at the Bernabeu in the Spanish Primera Liga action on Saturday.

Valencia remain second with 43 points from 22 games, nine behind leaders Barcelona who host Atletico Madrid on Sunday. Real are third with 42 points.

Villa took his tally for the season to 14 as he saw Depor keeper Jose Molina off his line in the 21st minute and let fly with a dipping shot from just over the halfway line that bounced inside the far post.

Depor were awarded two controversial penalties to knock Valencia out of the King's Cup in midweek, and controversy surrounded another spot kick given to them in the 27th minute on Saturday when Raul Albiol led with his arm going for a header.

Visiting keeper Santiago Canizares saved Victor's first attempt only for the referee to order the kick to be retaken. He guessed right again to stop the second as well.

Real hardly broke sweat against fellow King's Cup semi-finalists Espanyol as they extended their winning streak to seven games in all competitions.

England captain David Beckham told reporters: "It is an important win which gives us a lot of confidence for the cup game against Real Zaragoza next week."

Real opened the scoring with their first attack when Beckham broke down the right in the 14th minute and crossed low to the near post for Guti to flick the ball in from close range.

ZIDANE DOUBLE

Brazilians Robinho and Roberto Carlos combined down the left after 43 minutes to set up Zinedine Zidane for the second, and two minutes later it was Cicinho who broke and floated a pass to Ronaldo to head the third.

Espanyol, who were hammered 5-0 by Getafe two weeks ago, offered little resistance.

Five minutes after the break Zidane collected Cicinho's pass to fire in a half-volley from outside the area.

Beckham put on a strong performance and set up compatriot Jonathan Woodgate in the 63rd minute with a deep cross but the defender's header was cleared off the line.

Only some profligate finishing from the home side and good saves by Gorka Iraizoz prevented more goals.

Earlier on Saturday a Salva Ballesta header dragged Malaga off the foot of the table and earned new coach Manuel Hierro a 2-1 debut home win over Athletic Bilbao.

Malaga's Portuguese defender Litos scored after 30 minutes but fellow strugglers Bilbao equalised through Aritz Aduriz just before the break.

The Andalucians had midfielder Nacho sent off in the 69th minute but secured the win four minutes later when Salva rose to head home from a free kick.

Malaga climb to 17th in the table with 20 points from 22 games, a point ahead of Bilbao who slip to 18th.

 

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