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November 2, 2009

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Higuain fires 10-man Real to victory

ARGENTINE striker Gonzalo Higuain scored twice for 10-man Real Madrid in a 2-0 win over Getafe on Saturday that eased the pressure on coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Real has 22 points from nine games and is a point behind La Liga leader Barcelona after the champion was held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna, Gerard Pique scoring in his own net in the last minute to equalize Seydou Keita's 72nd-minute effort.

Sevilla is third on 19 points after seeing off neighbor Xerez 2-0. Alvaro Negredo opened the scoring before the break and Luis Fabiano secured the points at the end.

Athletic Bilbao spoiled Quique Sanchez Flores's first league match as Atletico Madrid coach by winning 1-0 at San Mames. Javi Martinez's first-half header did the damage.

With only one win in eight league games, this is the worst start to a season for Atletico since 1953-54.

Pellegrini's position was called into question after Real's embarrassing 0-4 defeat by third-tier Alcorcon in theCopa del Rey in midweek made it three games without a win.

It was quickly on the back foot against local rival Getafe at the Bernabeu when defender Raul Albiol was harshly sent off after 28 minutes.

The impatient fans, who had been whistling their own players, swung behind their team and Real improved with 10 men. Marcelo crossed from the left in the 53rd and Higuain controlled on his chest before firing in.

Three minutes later Higuain, 21, doubled the lead.


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