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First Division - Day 34

Real Madrid 3 - Sporting Gijón 1

Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Sahin (Benzema 46'); Callejón (Di María 46'), Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo; Higuaín (Granero 74'). 4-2-3-1.
Sporting: Juan Pablo; Damián Suárez, Botía, Moisés García, Iván Hernández (Ricardo León 46'), Canella; Trejo, Lora, Gálvez, De las Cuevas (Colunga 66'); Sangoy (André Castro 56'). 5-4-1.

0-1. 30. De las Cuevas (penalty). After Sergio Ramos handled ball inside area.
1-1. 37. Higuaín. Got behind defence to head Sergio Ramos cross past keeper.
2-1. 74. Ronaldo. Angled header past Juan Pablo in off post from Di María cross.
3-1. 81. Benzema. Ran on to Özil through ball and struck angled shot past keeper.

Yellow cards: Trejo 27', Sergio Ramos 29', Canella 32', 78', Cuellar 33', Pepe 56', Botía 60', Juan Pablo 65', Gálvez 75' / red cards: Canella 78'.

Leaders Real Madrid kicked off the weekend against Sporting Gijón, the team who ended Mourinho's undefeated nine year home record last season. Needing points to get them out of the relegation zone, coach Javier Clemente lined up with an ultra-defensive side, looking to score on the odd breakaway. And for a few minutes the tactic served them well, Trejo bringing a good save out of Casillas before De las Cuevas opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Sergio Ramos handled the ball in the area. Higuaín equalised before the break though, getting behind a static defence to head a Sergio Ramos cross past Juan Pablo, and Sahin came close to a second when his free kick bounced off the bar shortly before the break. But although Madrid dominated the second half, the result was in doubt until Cristiano Ronaldo got on the end of a cross from half time substitute Di María to steer in a header which the keeper could only push on to the post and in to the net, a record 41st goal in the league this season for the Portuguese striker. A few minutes later the Asturians were left with ten men when Canella picked up a second booking, and soon afterwards Benzema ran on to Özil's through ball to make it 3-1, a 107th goal equalling their best ever in league season. The win keeps Madrid four points clear of Barcelona coming in to next Saturday's clash at the Nou Camp.