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Football: Real Madrid keep pressure on Atletico

May 14, 2021 08:59 IST
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Real sink Granada to keep pressure on Atletico

Real Madrid

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Luka Modric scores their first goal. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

Real Madrid swatted aside Granada 4-1 on Thursday to ensure the La Liga title race will go down to the wire.

Despite missing a number of first-team regulars, Real started the stronger and first-half strikes from Luka Modric and Rodrygo put the visitors in control.

Such was their dominance that even when Jorge Molina halved the deficit on 71 minutes, tapping in after Thibaut Courtois had kept out Luis Suarez's initial effort, they rarely looked troubled.

 

Substitute Alvaro Odriozola restored Real's two-goal advantage, slamming in from fellow substitute Eden Hazard's pull-back after 75 minutes.

Less than 60 seconds later Karim Benzema made it four after Granada keeper Rui Silva came out but failed to deal with a ball over the top, allowing the Frenchman to fire into an empty net from distance.

"It's not just about scoring goals. We played well in defence, too," Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.

"It was a really complete game. We didn't get overrun at 2-1 and scored quickly after and that shows what character this side have.

"It was a great win against a tough opponent at a difficult place to come to. We are going to give our all in the two remaining games, until La Liga is finished."

Real moved into second place on 78 points, two behind leaders Atletico Madrid with two games left to play. Barcelona are third, two points adrift of Real.

Real travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday while Atleti host Osasuna on the same day, with all matches kicking off simultaneously.

Should Real fail to beat Bilbao, Atletico will be champions if they overcome Osasuna.

Sancho, Haaland doubles fire Dortmund to German Cup glory

Dortmund

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho celebrate winning the DFB Cup with the trophy. Photograph: Martin Rose/Reuters

Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland scored two goals apiece as Borussia Dortmund crushed RB Leipzig 4-1 to lift the German Cup on Thursday.

It was Dortmund's fifth German Cup triumph and their first since 2017 while Leipzig missed out again on winning their first silverware after losing their second Cup final in the last three years.

England international Sancho gave Dortmund a perfect start, finding enough space to curl a superb shot into the top corner in the fifth minute.

The winger, who is likely to leave at the end of the season, added another on the stroke of halftime when he completed a quick break after good early work from Marco Reus

Haaland, who was ruled fit after missing their last two matches due to injury, powered into the box, shook off defender Dayot Upamecano and flicked a clever shot past keeper Peter Gulacsi.

Dortmund were brutally efficient in the first half, scoring with each of their three shots on target.

"The way we played today and the past weeks we have battled our way back into the season," Dortmund captain Marco Reus said. His team have won their last five league games to move back into the top four with two games remaining.

"Today we were very good in the first half. In the second half we had a bit of luck but we have the trophy now and that's what matters."

Leipzig launched a late attempt at a comeback, pulling a goal back with a thundering drive from Dani Olmo in the 71st minute, hitting the post and going close several times.

Sancho wasted a golden chance to complete his hat-trick with only the keeper to beat before Norway international Haaland, also a major transfer target, rifled in his second goal.

"I'll look back at this and I am going to be very disappointed for not scoring a hat-trick," Sancho said. "We knew it was going tough but it was a long time coming. We should be winning trophies season after season."

Leipzig, beaten 3-2 by Dortmund in the league on Saturday, have lost in the final twice in the last three years and their coach Julian Nagelsmann is departing for Bayern Munich next season.

"Obviously, the feelings are not good a the moment when you lose a final," Nagelsmann said. "But I am proud of the team even if the result was 4-1. We played a very good second half."

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Source: REUTERS
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