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La Liga Review: Benzema keeps Madrid top, Espanyol edge Sociedad thriller

Real Madrid maintained their place at the top of La Liga thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu.

All eyes were on Cristiano Ronaldo, who needs just three more goals to become Madrid’s all-time leading scorer, but it was Karim Benzema who sealed the victory as he turned home a fine cross from Isco.

Granada were aggrieved when Youssef El Arabi’s goal was harshly ruled out for offside, but Rafael Benitez’s side did just enough to make it three wins from four in the league this season.

Neighbours Atletico Madrid required some inspired substitutions from Diego Simeone to overcome a spirited Eibar.

Angel Correa opened his Liga account just a minute after coming on in the second period, while half-time substitute Fernando Torres doubled the lead following Correa’s clever throughball.

A 90th-minute goal from saw Espanyol edge a five-goal thriller at Real Sociedad in the day’s late kick-off.

Imanol Agirretxe put David Moyes’ side ahead, but the game swung the visitors’ way just before the break, with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli seeing red for bringing down Marco Asensio and Gerard Moreno converting from the spot.

Enzo Roco’s superb header put Espanyol in front, but Real thought they had snatched a point when Jonathas controlled Gonzalo Castro’s cross expertly before firing low into the corner.

But Hernan Perez arrived to thump home a header in the dying minutes to seal the win for Espanyol and move them into eighth in the table.

Valencia, meanwhile, have now gone three games without a win at home – their longest run under coach Nuno Espirito Santo – after Real Betis held them to a 0-0 draw.

Dani Ceballos’ second-half dismissal had the visitors firmly on the back foot, but Valencia failed to capitalise following a laboured display, as chants of ‘Nuno out’ were heard from sections of the Mestalla faithful in the closing moments.

Sat 19 Sep, 2015
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