LaLiga: Real Madrid keeps 8-point lead over Barca

Madrid, April 14 (IANS) Real Madrid goes into next weekend’s ‘Clasico’ at home to FC Barcelona after retaining its eight-point lead at the top of LaLiga thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Mallorca.

Real Madrid’s win leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s side in a strong position in the title race.

Mallorca presented a solid defense and physical presence and Real Madrid was nullified in the first half, with Jude Bellingham’s effort against the crossbar their only noteworthy chance, reports Xinhua.

Aurelian Tchouameni put Madrid ahead with a stroke of luck in the second minute of the second half when his powerful shot took enough of a deflection off Manu Morales to end up in the Mallorca net.

Andriy Lunin produced a great save to deny Sergi Darder in the 73rd minute as Mallorca looked for an equalizer, and Vedat Muriqi missed a good chance in injury time, blazing wide as the ball dropped for him in the Madrid area.

Xavi Hernandez made sweeping changes to Barcelona’s starting 11, resting a host of key players away to Cadiz, with a view to Tuesday’s Champions League return leg at home to Paris Saint Germain.

Joao Felix made a stunning overhead kick in the 36th minute that gave Barca the win.

Atletico Madrid came back from a goal down to win 3-1 at home to Girona, who opened the scoring with Artem Dovbyk scoring from close range after good work from Savio and Yan Couto.

Antoine Griezmann leveled from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after a handball in the Girona area, and Angel Correa put Atletico in front in the first-half injury time.

Girona had a good penalty shout of their own inexplicably turned down after Reinildo brought down Savio.

Griezmann netted his second from a rebound in the 50th minute to give Atletico the 3-1 lead, although Dovbyk missed an open goal that would have put Girona back into the game.

Rayo Vallecano and Getafe drew a south Madrid derby 0-0 in a game of few chances, which sees the home side edge a point closer to safety and dent Getafe’s slight hopes of playing in Europe next season.

Betis ended a four-game losing run with a 2-1 win at home to Celta Vigo on Friday. Joan Miranda and Nabil Fekir scored for Betis, before Jorgen Strand Larsen netted a late goal for Celta, who remain deep in trouble.



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