Win over Leganes lifts Real Madrid up to third spot
Madrid, Feb 22: Real Madrid moved into third place in the La Liga points table with a 3-1 win away to Leganes in a game which had been postponed in December as a result of their playing in the World Club Championship.
The win lifts Madrid above Valencia, but leaves them seven points behind neighbours Atletico Madrid and 14 behind Barcelona in the race for the title on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane rested several key players, such as goalkeeper Keylor Navas, for the game, while Cristiano Ronaldo was not even included in the squad.
Leganes meanwhile went into the game on the back of three straight defeats, but soon took the lead after Unai Bustinza bravely used his head to prod the ball home following a corner.
Leganes’ joy was short-lived, however, as Lucas Vazquez’s cross-shot found its way past Pichu Cuellar in the home goal shortly afterwards following a defensive mix-up.
Zidane’s side were pressuring Leganes high up the field and making it hard for them to play from the back and Casemiro put them ahead just before the half-hour after a neat passing move involving Lucas Vazquez and Isco.
The game was turning out to be easier than expected for Madrid against the side that knocked them out of the Copa del Rey, but Leganes threatened from a corner before the break.
Leganes worked hard to try and get on even terms in the second half and Kiko Casilla made one fine save from Claudio Beauveu, while the home side also had a decent penalty shout turned down after a possible foul on Nabil el Zhar by Mateo Kovacic.
As things turned out, a foul by Leganes’ defender Diego Rico in the last minute allowed Sergio Ramos to secure the points with Madrid’s third goal from the penalty spot to give Zidane’s men their third successive league win.
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