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Real labour to win over Leganes without Ronaldo, Ramos

  • Published at 11:43 am April 29th, 2018
Real labour to win over Leganes without Ronaldo, Ramos
Real Madrid beat Leganes 2-1 in La Liga Saturday after coach Zinedine Zidane heavily rotated his side in preparation for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich, including leaving out top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Wales forward Gareth Bale produced an acrobatic finish from close range on the volley to put Real ahead against their neighbour in the eighth minute of the game, narrowly beating the offside trap despite protest from the visiting players. Borja Mayoral doubled their lead right at the end of the first half by stabbing in from a metre out. Again Leganes appealed for offside but the goal was eventually allowed to stand after the referee consulted with his assistant. Leganes were unfortunate to go two goals down at the interval after coming to close to scoring on three occasions, including Watford loanee Nordin Amrabat striking the crossbar. They eventually pulled a goal back in the 66th minute when Darko Brasanac knocked a cutback from Amrabat into an empty net. Leganes forward Gabriel was sent off after the final whistle for reacting furiously to the referee for ending the game just as he was shaping to shoot at goal from outside the area. Real are third in the league on 71 points, 12 behind runaway leader Barcelona and one behind second-placed Atletico Madrid. Atletico visit Alaves Sunday while Barca play at Deportivo la Coruna, where a point will see the Catalans become Liga champion for a 25th time. Zidane excluded Ronaldo, captain Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane from the squad and left Luka Modric, goalkeeper Keylor Navas and influential left back Marcelo on the bench. He later brought on midfielder Toni Kroos and winger Marco Asensio, who scored the winning goal in the 2-1 victory at Bayern in Wednesday's first leg. Also Saturday Colombian striker Carlos Bacca scored a first-half hat-trick as Villarreal thrashed Celta Vigo 4-1 at home and moved closer to qualifying for European football again. The win tightened Villarreal's grip on sixth place and took them six points above seventh-placed Sevilla who were beaten 2-1 at Levante Friday, leading the club to sack coach Vincenzo Montella the next day. Real Sociedad won a Basque derby against Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in defender Inigo Martinez's first game back against his old side since his controversial, 32-m-euro move to fierce rivals Athletic in January. Martinez was subjected to constant booing from the home fans, who also waved fake money at him from the stand. Athletic midfielder Mikel San Jose scored two own goals either side of a strike from Spain Mikel Oyarzabal to put Sociedad 3-0 up before Raul Garcia responded for Athletic, who have had a miserable campaign under coach Jose Angel Ziganda and are 14th in the standing. Sociedad climbed up to 10th on 46 points and are two points behind Sevilla, who occupy the final European place. RESULTS Espanyol 1 (Moreno 76) Las Palmas 1 (Calleri 29-P) Sociedad 3 (Jose 15-og, 54-og, Oyarzabal 36) Athletic 1 (Garcia 59-P) Real Madrid 2 (Bale 8, Mayoral 45) Leganes 1 (Brasanac 66) Villarreal 4 (Bacca 13, 35, 38, Castillejo 90+3) Celta 1 (Sisto 34)   SUNDAY'S MATCHES Getafe v Girona, Alaves v Atletico, Valencia v Eibar and Deportivo v Barcelona