Real maintain lead at La Liga summit with hard-fought win

Barcelona smash six past Alaves, Madrid side still odds-on to claim La Liga after 3-1 victory against Osasuna


Afp February 12, 2017
Real were pushed to their very limits in their 3-1 win over Osasuna despite it being the clash between La Liga’s top and bottom sides. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID: Real Madrid maintained a one point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga as Cristiano Ronaldo was on target in a hard fought 3-1 win at rock bottom Osasuna on Saturday.

Earlier, Barca's front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all struck in a 6-0 thrashing of Alaves.

Madrid also have two games in hand on their title rivals.

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However, both games were overshadowed by horrible injuries as Barca's Aleix Vidal suffered a dislocated right ankle that will keep him out for five months and Osasuna's Tano Bonnin a double leg fracture.

"There is no such a difference [between the sides]. It is true it was the leader against last in the table, but you have to play the games and the opponents always make it difficult against Madrid," said Real boss Zinedine Zidane. "We have to suffer, but in the end we got what we came for."

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Barca's success was also soured by violent clashes between fans outside the ground before kick-off which left one supporter in hospital with serious head injuries.

Both sides later released statements condemning the violence.

"I go away with very good feelings from the football perspective, for the result and the way we achieved it," said Barca boss Luis Enrique. "But I am upset by Aleix's injury, the way it came about and what it means for him."

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Barca confirmed Vidal underwent surgery on Saturday night that will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao moved up to seventh with a 2-1 win over Deportivo la Coruna, whilst Betis and Valencia played out a 0-0 draw.

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