La Liga round-up: Madrid beat Cadiz to cut Barca's lead ahead of World Cup

La Liga round-up: Madrid beat Cadiz to cut Barca’s lead ahead of World Cup

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid is back to winning ways — and Barcelona are closing in on the World Cup break.

Madrid ended a two-game winless run in the Spanish league with a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Cadiz on Thursday to cut Barcelona’s lead to two points heading into the World Cup.

Edir Melito and Toni Kroos scored a goal in the half for Madrid.

“It deserves three points to end the first part of the season well,” said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Madrid were coming off their first league defeat of the season – a 3-2 defeat at Rio de Janeiro on Monday. It was drawn at home to Girona in the previous round. Madrid’s only other defeat of the season was at Leipzig in the Champions League group stage last month.

It was a heated match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium early on, with Vincenzo Jr. and Rodrigo clashing with Cádiz players. Vencius was particularly upset after being pushed off goal by Cadiz defender Fali in the first half.

“We can’t get into this conflict because that’s what the other group wants us to do,” Cruz said.

Milito opened the scoring in the 40th with a header after a well-placed cross from Kroos, and the German midfielder added to Madrid’s lead in the 70th with a stunning one-timer from outside the area.

“We were in control and created a lot of scoring chances,” Cruz said. “It was a good game.”

Lucas Perez went close for Cádiz with a shot from inside the area in the 81st and the visitors almost equalized with a stoppage-time header by King Espino that went over the crossbar.

Madrid have won just one of their last four league matches against Cádiz, who have won just one of their last eight and are second-to-last in the 20-team table, from safety a point

Sevilla and last-placed Elche are the other two teams in the relegation zone heading into the World Cup break. At the top, Real Sociedad was third, Atlético Bilbao was fourth and Atlético Madrid was fifth.

Valencia won again

Valencia beat 10th-placed Real Betis 3-0 at home to end a five-match winless streak.

Andre Almeida, Hugo Guillemón and Justin Kluivert scored in the second half for the team coached by Gennaro Gattuso, who moved to 10th place.

Valencia haven’t won since a game at Osasuna last month.

Betis, who dropped to sixth, lost defender Edgar Gonzalez to a second yellow card in the 61st.

Betis had two players sent off in the 1-1 draw against rivals Sevilla in the previous round.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have started well but have managed just one win in their last five league games.

RAYO VALLECANO was arrested

Rayo Vallecano followed up their win over Madrid with a 0-0 draw at home to Celta Vigo, remaining in eighth place. It was looking for a fourth straight win.

Celta, without a win in seven matches, were out of the relegation zone ahead of Sevilla.

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