Guti and Raúl González scored midway through the second half to earn Real Madrid CF a 2-0 win at second-bottom RCD Espanyol and a tenth successive Liga victory.
In a game of few chances, Guti broke the deadlock when his free-kick was tipped on to the post and in by Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni after 67 minutes, just minutes after being sent on by coach Juande Ramos. With the hosts despondent, Madrid doubled their lead when Raúl placed a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. Los Merengues now trail leaders FC Barcelona – who lost to Espanyol last week – by four points ahead of the Catalan outfit's match at Club Atlético de Madrid on Sunday, while Espanyol lie three points from safety.
Elsewhere, Sevilla FC tightened their grip on third place by coming from a goal down to win 2-1 at Athletic Club Bilbao. Igor Gabilondo gave the hosts a 27th-minute lead at the San Mamés when he fired in after the visitors failed to clear a corner although Sevilla were soon level. Six minutes before half-time, Frédéric Kanouté brought down a cross from Aquivaldo Mosquera and shot past Armando while the Mali forward struck what proved to be the winner just before the hour when he held off the attention of two Athletic defenders and placed the ball into the bottom corner.
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