Real Madrid narrow gap to leaders Barcelona

Sports Desk, Nov 10 (EFE).- Real Madrid eked out a 2-1 victory Thursday against second-from-bottom Cadiz to reduce the gap to LaLiga leaders Barcelona ahead of the six-week hiatus for World Cup 2022.

The defending champions improved to 35 points, just 2 behind the Blaugrana and 9 better than third-place Real Sociedad.

Despite their being in the drop zone, Cadiz had a reasonable chance of coming away from the Santiago Bernabeu with something after the Blancos drew with Girona and suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Rayo Vallecano.

Real Madrid had 67 percent possession, yet the visitors matched them in shots on target with five apiece.

The teams traded strikes over the cross-bars in the opening 10 minutes before falling into a bad-tempered exchange of fouls that saw four yellow cards in the first half.

With five minutes left before the break, Eder Militao got his head to a pass from Toni Kroos to put the hosts up 1-0.

Fede Valverde forced a stop from Iza Carcelen in the 53rd minute, but there was nothing the Cadiz keeper to do to prevent Kroos from doubling the Real Madrid lead with a spectacular goal in the 70th.

Luka Modric fired wide on a chance to make it 3-0 in the 80th minute. Seconds later, a miscue by Blancos keeper Thibaut Courtois allowed Lucas Perez to cut the deficit for Cadiz to one.

The Belgian international denied Cadiz’s Alvaro Negredo in the 88th minute and the visitors’ final opportunity ended with an effort by Alfonso Espino that sailed over the cross-bar. EFE rmm/dr

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