Varane leads Real Madrid over Huesca; Sevilla win 4th in a row

Sports Desk, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- Raphael Varane had a brace Saturday in Real Madrid’s 1-2 come from behind victory against last-place Huesca, while Sevilla topped Getafe 3-0 to extend their winning run in LaLiga to four.

Varane’s first goals of the season – and his first double ever in the league – came on the same day that back-line partner Sergio Ramos underwent knee surgery.

In the absence of the Blancos captain and talisman, the Frenchman shined at both ends of the pitch.

After a scoreless first half, the hosts grabbed the lead in the 48th minute on a tremendous goal by Javi Galan and only the cross-bar stopped Rafa Mir from making it 2-0 for Huesca two minutes later.

Real Madrid won a free kick in the hosts’ end in the 54th minute. Karim Benzema’s strike bounced off the cross-bar and Varane leapt to knock in the rebound.

Huesca battled on and Mir forced an outstanding save from Thibaut Courtois before Varane put the defending champions ahead for good in the 84th minute, scoring again off a free kick.

The Blancos improve to 43 points, 7 off the pace of leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand. Huesca remain 4 points from safety.

Sevilla had a tougher time with Getafe than the score would indicate, getting all three of their goals after the visitors were reduced to 10 men with the ejection of Djene Dakonam in the 54th minute.

The Togolese defender received a straight red card for a tackle that saw Lucas Ocampos leave the pitch on a stretcher, while Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui and Getafe counterpart Jose Bordalas were both sent off for a heated exchange on the sideline.

Ending a goal drought dating back to Nov. 24, Munir El Haddadi scored in the 67th minute, seconds after coming on a sub.

New addition Papu Gomez marked his Sevilla debut with a goal in the 87th minute and Youssef En-Nesyri made it 3-0 in the 89th, his eighth goal in the team’s last three home matches.

The win lifts Sevilla to third place with 42 points, 2 more than Barcelona. Twelfth-place Getafe have 24 points.

In Saturday’s other action, Villarreal had to settle for a 2-2 draw away to Elche days after being eliminated from the Copa del Rey The visiting side led 0-2 at the half on a pair of goals by top striker Gerard Moreno, But Guido Carrillo clawed one back for Elche four minutes into the second half and Lucas Boye scored off a rebound in the 64th minute to salvage a point for the hosts, who are second from bottom with 18 points.

Villarreal remain in fifth place with 36 points.

The day began in Valencia, where Levante led on two occasions only to end the match level with Granada at 2-2.

Jose Luis Morales had both goals for the hosts, striking first in the 30th minute. Kenedy answered for Granada two minutes before half-time.

Morales reclaimed the lead for Levante in the 67th, but Roberto Soldado equalized for the visitors in stoppage time.

Eighth-place Granada have 30 points, 3 more than Levante in ninth. EFE rmm/dr

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