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Primera División

  • 6 March 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Campos de Sport de El Sardinero, Santander
  • Referee: Rafael Ramírez Domínguez
  • • Attendance: 20000

Racing Santander 1-3 Real Madrid: Benzema brace narrows Barcelona gap to seven points

Racing Santander 1-3 Real Madrid: Benzema brace narrows Barcelona gap to seven points

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Emmanuel Adebayor also found the net for the visitors but also missed a penalty

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Cristiano Ronaldo's goal-scoring threat was not missed at El Sardinero as a brace from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid to a 3-1 win over Racing Santander, reducing the lead of La Liga leaders Barcelona to seven points.

Emmanuel Adebayor put Jose Mourinho's side ahead despite a passage of strong pressure from the hosts. Benzema doubled Real Madrid's lead before the interval. Racing spurned a penalty shortly after half-time as Pablo Pinillos' effort was easily saved by Iker Casillas. Marcelino's men did pull one back through Kennedy Bakircioglu but any joy was short lived as the Frenchman netted his second of the game. Six minutes from time, Adebayor squandered his opportunity of a brace after missing the game's second spot-kick.

Madrid started the match minus Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in the league this season, but throughout the first half, Mourinho's side barely missed his presence as they dominated proceedings.

Full-back Marcelo missed a glaring chance, before Benzema, who started the match from a wide right role, struck straight at the legs of Antonio Tono in Racing's goal.

The opener was imminent however, and when it arrived it was a superb team move from Madrid. Xabi Alonso, Benzema and Mesut Ozil were all involved in the build-up, and after a passage of delicate one-touch play, the German squared the ball across goal for Adebayor to apply an easy finish.

Four minutes later, it was two when Ozil, who was imperious all evening, picked out a fine through pass and Benzema ran clear to slot his effort under the body of Tono.

Racing had barely been given a kick in the opening 45 minutes, but improved after the break, and had a prime opportunity to reduce the deficit when Giovani dos Santos was felled in the area, but Pinillos’ resulting penalty was weak, and was easily gathered by Casillas down to his left. It was Marcelino's side's fifth spot-kick miss from their last six attempts.

However, Racing did eventually pull a goal back, when Mehdi Lacen’s slide-rule through pass found Bakircioglu, and he drilled neatly into the corner past Casillas, to set up a grandstand finish.

Their revival was short lived though as five minutes later, Angel Di Maria’s incisive breakaway found Benzema on the left of the area, and the Frenchman showed supreme composure to curl the ball into the opposite corner.

Di Maria was brought down in the area in the final minutes, allowing Adebayor the chance to add a fourth, but his kick was showed parity to that of Pinillos, and the Togo striker's effort was comfortably saved.

Their win reduces the gap to leaders Barcelona back to seven points, while Racing remain in relegation trouble, lying just four points above the bottom three.

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