Real Madrid equals Barcelona’s win­ning record in Spain

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Real Madrid equalled a record set by ri­val Barcelona as James Ro­driguez and Karim Ben­zema scored in a 20 de­feat of Es­panyol on Sun­day in the Span­ish league.

It was the 16th straight league win for Madrid, go­ing back to last sea­son, match­ing Pep Guardi­ola’s Barcelona in the 2010-11 sea­son.

Madrid main­tained a three­p­oint lead over Barcelona with its fourth straight league vic­tory this sea­son.

Celta Vigo and Va­len­cia re­mained win­less, while Vil­lar­real stayed near the top thanks to a spec­tac­u­lar goal from near the half­way line by Ital­ian striker Ni­cola San­sone.

Madrid’s vic­tory came de­spite the ab­sence of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Gareth Bale, who were rested by coach Zine­dine Zi­dane.

“What is im­por­tant is to keep adding points,” Madrid goal­keeper Kiko Casilla said. “We are happy be­cause we won again and stayed in the lead.”

Madrid is the only team to have won four straight to start the league. Barcelona won 5-1 at Leganes on Saturday to re­bound from a 2-1 home loss to Alaves a week ago. Atletico Madrid routed Sport­ing Gi­jon 5-0 to win its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive match and reach eight points, be­hind third-place Las Pal­mas, the league’s early sur­prise team.

Ro­driguez opened the scor­ing by con­vert­ing a penalty kick in first-half in­jury time and Ben­zema sealed the away vic­tory from close range in the 71st minute.

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