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September 14, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Real, Barca win to maintain good start

CRISTIANO Ronaldo came off the bench to seal a 3-0 win for Real Madrid away to Espanyol in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired a 2-0 win for Barcelona at Getafe.

Esteban Granero struck to give Real the lead just before the break, Guti made it 2-0 in the 77th minute and Ronaldo wrapped up the victory in added time.

It was an emotional evening for the Espanyol players and fans as it was their first home league match since captain Dani Jarque collapsed and died last month and their first competitive game in their new Cornella-El Prat Stadium.

Barcelona had earlier got its second win from two when Ibrahimovic made up for a glaring miss in the first half by scoring one and creating the clinching second for Lionel Messi.

Barcelona, which has yet to concede, is top with six points, ahead of Real on goal difference.

Real coach Manuel Pellegrini left record 94-million euro (US$137 million) signing Ronaldo and captain Raul out of his starting lineup and Espanyol had the pick of the chances in the early stages.

Granero's goal came after he exchanged passes with Brazilian playmaker Kaka and finished past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

Kaka, signed from AC Milan for 67 million euros in the close season, then surged to the byline and cut the ball back for Guti to double the lead with just over 10 minutes left.

Ronaldo replaced the ineffective Karim Benzema and was on hand to slot in for Real's third.

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano netted twice in Sevilla's 4-1 win over visiting Real Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid was held 1-1 at home by 10-man Racing Santander.


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