Real Madrid pull away in LaLiga as rivals falter

Sports Desk, Dec 4 (EFE).- Real Madrid overcame losing top attacker Karim Benzema to injury early in Saturday’s match against fifth-place Real Sociedad, winning 2-0 to extend cushion atop LaLiga to 8 points over Sevilla.

What had been dubbed “super Saturday” because all seven clubs now occupying the European places would be in action certainly turned out better for the Blancos than for cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid and traditional nemesis Barcelona.

Defending champions Atleti fell to Mallorca and Barça went down against Real Betis.

Carlo Ancelotti’s squad will be 10 points ahead of Colchoneros when the two teams meet eight days from now in the Madrid derby. And 16 points separate the Blancos from Barcelona.

Seeing their offensive leader leave the pitch hurt in the 17th minute had to cause at least a few moments and concern for the Frenchman’s teammates, but Vinicius Jr., who has emerged this season as one of the stars of LaLiga, and Benzema’s replacement, Luka Jovic, proved equal to the challenge.

The game in San Sebastian was still scoreless at the start of the second half, but Vini scored in the 47th minute with an assist from Jovic, who added the second goal 10 minutes later.

Earlier Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico conceded twice in the final 10 minutes to lose 2-1 defeat against 12th-place Mallorca.

Despite wasting chances, the Colchoneros led 1-0 on Matheus Cunha’s goal in the 68th minute and should have been able to see the game out.

But defender Felipe gave up a free kick in a dangerous spot and Lee Kang-in floated the ball into the box, where Franco Russo was waiting to head in over Jan Oblak for the equalizer.

A minute into stoppage time, Mallorca’s Take Kubo charged 40 yards down the field before sliding a shot past Oblak to win it for the visitors.

Super Saturday kicked off at Camp Nou with a contest pitting Barcelona against Betis.

Undefeated in three matches since club legend Xavi took charge as coach, Barça hoped to extend that run and a make a challenge for the top four feasible.

Instead, the hosts failed to pose any real problems for keeper Rui Silva and watched Juanmi score twice for Betis. The first goal, in the opening moments of the second half, but the second with 11 minutes left in regulation stood.

Betis climbed to third place on 30 points. EFE


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