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Madrid win to keep the pressure on

Published: Sunday 6 February 2005, 0.21CET
Real Madrid CF reduced FC Barcelona's lead at the top to four points by defeating RCD Espanyol.

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Published: Sunday 6 February 2005, 0.21CET

Madrid win to keep the pressure on

Real Madrid CF reduced FC Barcelona's lead at the top to four points by defeating RCD Espanyol.
By Andy Hall

Thomas Gravesen scored his first Primera División goal as Real Madrid CF reduced FC Barcelona's lead at the top to four points with a 4-0 home win against fourth-placed RCD Espanyol.

Zidane opener
Zinedine Zidane opened Madrid's account on five minutes, drilling a shot into the roof of the net. Raúl González added a second just before the half-hour and the Spain striker sealed the victory on 75 minutes when he flicked in Santiago Solari's cross from the left.

Gravesen goal
Gravesen scored the fourth, side-footing a loose ball in from the edge of the area. Madrid lie second on 47 points while Barça, who have 51 points, meet Club Atlético de Madrid tomorrow.

Valencia denied
In the day's other match, third-placed Valencia CF were denied victory by a last-gasp goal from Nihat Kahveci as they drew 3-3 at Real Sociedad de Fútbol. Marco Di Vaio put Valencia ahead after nine minutes but Real drew level before the break though a Nihat volley and the home fans began thinking about three points when Mikel Aranburu stabbed the ball past Santiago Cañizares with eleven minutes remaining. However, the drama was just beginning.

Nihat finish
Rubén Baraja's header made it 2-2 two minutes later and Xisco Muñoz then looked to have won the game for Valencia when he struck their third two minutes from time. Instead Nihat's near-post finish earned Real a point and left Valencia 13 points behind Barcelona in third place. Real are in 15th place with 23 points.

Last updated: 06/02/05 20.46CET

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