Fiji Time: 9:10 AM on Sunday 21 December

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Real Madrid closes in on leaders

Afp
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MADRID - Real Madrid moved to within three points of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Espanyol yesterday.

Portuguese defender Pepe got the only goal of the game when he rose highest to head home Luka Modric's free-kick 10 minutes after half-time.

Cristiano Ronaldo should then have added to his side's lead on a number of occasions.

But despite their star man having an off night in front of goal, Madrid comfortably held on for the three points as Espanyol created nothing of note after falling behind.

The hosts had started on the front foot and should have been in front after just three minutes when Cristian Stuani skewed his header wide when unmarked just six yards out.

Thereafter, though, Madrid had the better of the chances in the first-half without ever completely dominating the game.

Ronaldo uncharacteristically fluffed his lines after Karim Benzema's fine solo run down the left had freed the Portuguese inside the area.

Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla also had to beat away Angel di Maria's long-range drive and a free-kick from Ronaldo.

However, the visitors best chances of the first 45 minutes came just before the break when Modric led a counter-attack, but after feeding Di Maria the Argentine failed to pick out one of four available teammates. The ball eventually fell to Gareth Bale and his cross was headed just wide by Benzema.

Madrid did make the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second-half as Modric's free-kick towards the back post was powerfully headed low into the far corner by the unmarked Pepe.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Rodgers makes sharp exit
  2. Mourinho urges Hazard
  3. Millionth man
  4. Van Gaal waits for 'perfect' game
  5. $10m for State coffers
  6. In the top 3
  7. Joy of sharing and caring this festive season
  8. Help for beggars
  9. Good Samaritans bring smiles to gloomy faces
  10. Wardens win Mokani 7s meet

Top Stories this Week

  1. TV pair sent home Wednesday (17 Dec)
  2. My boy, my hero Monday (15 Dec)
  3. Justice and sleep at last Thursday (18 Dec)
  4. She's gone but the pain stays Tuesday (16 Dec)
  5. TERROR ALERT Gunmen strike Sydney cafe Tuesday (16 Dec)
  6. Clan leader calls for harsher penalties Wednesday (17 Dec)
  7. Five-try Fiji forge Plate final berth Monday (15 Dec)
  8. Court told of baby's tragic end Thursday (18 Dec)
  9. 441 new positions Wednesday (17 Dec)
  10. A-G: Claim ludicrous Friday (19 Dec)