Real Madrid halted their two-match winless streak in La Liga with a 2-1 win over Cadiz on Thursday to go into the World Cup break close to leaders Barcelona.
Eder Militao and Toni Kroos scored for Madrid with one goal each, going within two points of their Catalan rival who had entered the World Cup stoppage.
Madrid were coming off their first league defeat of the season – a 3-2 loss at Rio Vallecano on Monday. He had drawn at home with Girona in the previous round. Madrid’s only other defeat of the season was in Leipzig in the Champions League group stage last month.
It was a heated match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, with players Vinicius Jr. and Rodrigo Cádiz getting into altercations.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was again without Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema due to muscle fatigue.
Militao opened the scoring in the 40th with a header followed by a well by cross, and the German midfielder added to Madrid’s lead in the 70th with a brilliant one-timer from outside the field.
Lucas Pérez took Cádiz close with a shot from inside the field in the 81st, and the visitors nearly equalized with a stoppage-time header by Pacha Espino that missed wide.
Madrid won only one of their last four league matches against Cádiz, having won only one of their last eight matches and sits second-to-last in the 20-team standings, one point from safety.
Sevilla and last-placed Elche are the other two teams in the relegation zone going into the World Cup break. At the top, Real Sociedad was third, Athletic Bilbao fourth and Atlético Madrid fifth.
Valencia won again
Valencia beat 10-man Real Betis 3-0 at home to end a five-match winless streak.
André Almeida, Hugo Guillamon and Justin Kluivert scored in the second half for the team coached by Gennaro Gattuso, which moved up to 10th place.
Valencia had not won since a match in Osasuna last month.
Betis, who dropped to sixth, lost the second yellow card to defender Edgar Gonzalez in the 61st.
Betis had sent off two players in a 1-1 draw against rivals Sevilla in the previous round.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team got off to a good start but won only one of their last five league matches.
Rio Vallecano held
Rayo Vallecano finished eighth with Celta Vigo in a 0–0 draw at home after their win against Madrid. It was seeking its fourth consecutive win.
Celta, victorious in seven matches, were just outside the relegation zone, ahead of Sevilla.
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