Real Madrid Burned Barcelona to Extend its Lead to 9 Points


Real Madrid extended their lead atop the Liga, although it was not the most convincing victory of their season. The club’s 5-0 drubbing of Real Sociedad on Friday earned it 29 points from 10 games, while Sevilla beat Eibar 2-1 on Saturday. Real Madrid has now taken 36 points in the last eight rounds, the best run of any of the Spanish league’s top teams.

It was, nonetheless, the narrowest of victory margins: Real Madrid lost a fine first-half goal to a Lionel Messi free kick, which saw Iniesta missing a clear shot at goal. Then Mesut Ozil felled Joselu to give Real Sociedad a penalty, which Toni Kroos converted to put the visitors up by two goals at halftime. Ozil would add a third before half time, only for Sergio Escudero to reduce the deficit on the hour mark. Madrid scored the fourth when Nacho was allowed space to score from inside the penalty area. It marked a great comeback for Madrid: a week earlier, they had lost 2-1 to Malaga.

Madrid’s decisive contest on Saturday was the Der Klassiker, of the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich had to play with 10 men after the red card of Holger Badstuber, who had barged the head of Mats Hummels into the wall with a high foot. But after losing their lead in the 11th minute to Hertha Berlin’s Thomas Delaney, Bayern hit back two minutes later. Just ahead of the half-hour mark, Franck Ribery crossed for Joshua Kimmich to nudge the ball in from close range. Then Javi Martinez hit a perfectly placed goal to put Bayern ahead 2-1 in the 65th minute. It capped off a superb individual match for Manuel Neuer, the goalkeeper, who was awarded the man of the match award.

Hertha Berlin set up the win that will send them on to the Europa League at the expense of Hannover.

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