Liga - Real Madrid close in on La Liga title

Sun, 29 Apr 11:53:00 2012

Karim Benzema struck twice as Real Madrid moved to within touching distance of their first Liga title since 2008 after a 3-0 win over Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo - 0

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Los Blancos a 19th-minute lead when he cut on to his right foot and drilled in his 43rd league goal of the season.

Sevilla missed a host of first-half chances, with Jose Antonio Reyes guilty of the worst of them.

And Sevilla were dealt a blow early in the second half when Coke's clearance ricocheted in off Benzema for Real Madrid's second.

But there was no doubt about Benzema's second, his 31st league goal of the season, as he met Sergio Ramos's cross with a diving header - meaning Barcelona must avoid defeat at Rayo Vallecano later on Sunday to prevent Real being crowned champions.

Real Madrid were looking to gain solace from their bitterly disappointing Champions League exit to Bayern Munich on Wednesday with victory over Sevilla in La Liga. Starting this game seven points clear of Barcelona, Los Blancos would take a huge step to the title with victory.

But they nearly fell behind early on when Ivan Rakitic slammed the ball into the net, only for Alvaro Negredo to be penalised for an innocuous challenge on Pepe in the build-up.

Instead, the hosts drew first blood when Ronaldo scored his 43rd Liga goal of another remarkable season for the Portuguese. Collecting Benzema’s pass, Ronaldo cut inside Coke’s despairing challenge and fired a low effort beyond Javi Varas.

Sevilla responded well to the early setback, and created three superb chances in five minutes. The first fell to Reyes, who could only find Iker Casillas with a tame shot before Jesus Navas blazed over after he was picked out by Reyes’s pinpoint through ball. Negredo went close minutes later when he chipped Casillas, but the ball dropped just over the bar.

That was as good as it got for Sevilla as Real cranked up the pressure and could have doubled their lead before the break, but Ronaldo’s low effort from an indirect free-kick inside the Sevilla box struck the inside of the post.

But Real effectively ended the match as a contest four minutes into the second half when Benzema was the beneficiary of a fortunate deflection. Angel Di Maria picked out Benzema with a low cross, only for Coke’s attempted clearance to deflect in off the Frenchman.

Sevilla barely had time to regroup and it was 3-0, with Benzema capping a fine counter-attack with a finely-taken header. Marcelo robbed Reyes of the ball and set Ramos free down the right wing. The Spaniard’s marauding run allowed him to cross for Benzema, whose diving header beat Varas.

The second half was less fraught than the first as Sevilla, who have now taken points on only three of their last 24 visits to the Bernabeu, accepted their fate and the Champions-elect strolled to their 29th league win of a prolific season.

Jose Mourinho’s side, who travel to the San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, are unbeaten in 19 league games and will be crowned Champions on Sunday if Barcelona lose at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday night.

By Michael Da Silva (on Twitter @mjdasilva) / Eurosport

Comment 1 - 17 of 17

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  1. yaaaaaaa hala madrid we are the best in the world,,,

    From Benjamin, on Wed 2 May 10:24
  2. Kelly you are right. CR is the best No 7 ever

    From , on Mon 30 Apr 14:00
  3. well done ronaldo and madrid.

    From conor, on Mon 30 Apr 11:01
  4. fauk real

    From Ahmed, on Mon 30 Apr 9:23
  5. "But there was no doubt about Benzema's­ second, his 31st league goal of the season". FYI­ Yahoo, it's Benzema's 31st goal in ALL­ competitions. If I'm not mistaken, Benzema only has­ 20 goals in the league.

    From indonoob, on Mon 30 Apr 5:05
  6. Ronaldo & Mou making history together!

    From Pratik, on Sun 29 Apr 20:54
  7. ronaldo is the best

    From Kerry Swaby, on Sun 29 Apr 18:51
  8. I love this man called Jose Moriho,he's a history­ maker!!! C Ronaldo don't worry about their rating­ because as far as am concern,u're the best in the­ whole wide world!!!One LOVE!!!!

    From Ernest, on Sun 29 Apr 18:10
  9. Abe, your right the way city and united play each other­ every other week and call it a classic can become a tad­ tiresome

    From Stephen, on Sun 29 Apr 17:54
  10. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    In the EPL the runners up wouldn't happen to be­ Man City by­ any chance? Difficult to tell I know in­ such a­ competetive league

    From Brucie, on Sun 29 Apr 17:49
  11. The runners up wouldn't happen to be barcelona by­ any chance?difficult to tell i know in such a­ competetive league

    From Stephen, on Sun 29 Apr 17:38
  12. Real Madrid the historical champs,the best football­ Team in the last Century,the pride of Europe! lets now­ champagning for the La Liga crown.Next year is for­ Champion League Crown!

    From mathew, on Sun 29 Apr 17:26
  13. No Probs we will win the league winning the El Clasico

    From Wasim, on Sun 29 Apr 16:15
  14. halla madrid!!!

    From frank Korsah, on Sun 29 Apr 16:12
  15. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    its not even the best team in europe. didnt get to the­ final. so no, not the best team in the world ^^

    From Magnus Thor, on Sun 29 Apr 16:08
  16. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Real Madrid the best team in the world. Top scorer of­ la liga and 3rd and 4th all R.M.A . If barca dont lose­ we win next week hala madrid. Enjoy spanish cup­ suckers.

    From Clobberin' Time!, on Sun 29 Apr 14:43
  17. Don't worry jose will recover and motivate them to­ win.. we need to win tomorrow..Always Real

    From Berhane, on Sat 28 Apr 20:31
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