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Real closes gap on Barca

REAL Madrid registered its 10th league victory in a row to reduce Barcelona's lead at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga to four points on Saturday, Guti and Raul Gonzalez scoring for the visitors in a 2-0 victory over Espanyol.

The champions had looked short of ideas for more than an hour in Barcelona before midfielder Guti came off the bench to score a superb free kick in the 70th minute and striker Raul sealed the win two minutes later.

Barcelona, which was beaten 1-2 at home by Espanyol last weekend, can restore its seven-point advantage with victory at Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona leads the standings with 60 points from 24 matches with Real in second on 56 from 25 and Sevilla third on 47. Fourth-placed Villarreal (41) was at Real Betis yesterday when Valencia, in fifth (39), was hosting Valladolid.

Earlier, Frederic Kanoute scored a stylish double to help Sevilla to a 2-1 comeback victory at Athletic Bilbao.

In Italy, Juventus cut Inter Milan's Serie A lead to six points by beating Napoli 1-0 with a lucky strike from Claudio Marchisio on Saturday.

The midfielder scored on the stroke of halftime with a shot from outside the box that looked to be going wide before taking a deflection that handed Napoli its eighth straight away defeat.

Inter can regain its nine-point advantage over Juventus by beating AS Roma.

Elsewhere, Mauro Zarate struck twice as Lazio beat struggling Bologna 2-0 to move up to seventh.


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