AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MADRID: Karim Benzema struck a brace in a 3-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday as Real Madrid edged closer to their first Spanish League title in four years.
The win gave Real a 10-point lead on archrivals Barcelona and will be enough to secure the championship if Barca lose to Rayo Vallecano later on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at the Bernabeu for Jose Mourinho’s side and Benzema added a brace after the interval to put them within touching distance of a first La Liga title since 2008.
Real, who were eliminated from the Champions League after a semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich in midweek, took their record breaking haul of league goals for the season to 112.
On Saturday, a strong second half performance from unfancied Levante saw them maintain their push for a place in the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Granada.
At the other end of table, Racing Santander were relegated following a 3-0 defeat by Real Sociedad. Levante, who are more accustomed to fighting relegation battles, have shown that their promising start to the campaign was no fluke.
With just three games to play, they are joint-fourth, level on 52 points with Malaga. Arouna Kone had the first chance of the game for Levante shortly before half-time with a shot which was saved by keeper Julio Cesar but after the break the Ivory Coast striker did make the breakthrough.
Granada grabbed an equaliser with their first moment of real danger as Odion Ighalo swept the ball home after 66 minutes. Levante quickly restored their lead through Xavi Torres and then Valdo Lopes made sure of the win seven minutes from the end.
Antoine Griezmann hit a brace and Imanol Agirretxe got the other goal as Sociedad condemned Racing to second division football after a desperate run which has seen them fail to win since mid-January. Above them Sporting Gijon are still showing plenty of fight with a 3-0 victory away to Espanyol, their third from four games.
Adrian Colunga, Oscar Trejo and Mate Bilic scored the second half goals for Sporting who are four points adrift of Villarreal, who drew 1-1 with an Osasuna side that could have moved into a European place with a win. Villarreal saw their unbeaten run extended to four games with Bruno Soriano putting them ahead before the break before Raul Garcia equalised midway through the second half.
Elsewhere Mallorca came out on top 3-1 in the mid-table scrap with Getafe. Real Madrid’s victory in El Clasico with Barcelona last weekend means that they now
need just six points to win the league.