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Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao set pace in La Liga
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Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao set pace in La Liga

Agency News

Madris, Sep 23 : Real Madrid eased the pressure on Zinedine Zidane and delivered a rebound to their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain midweek by winning 1-0 away at Seville to move joint top in La Liga.

Real Madrid has 11 points from five games, putting them second on goal difference behind Athletic Bilbao, who beat Alaves 2-0. Real Madrid was thrashed 3-0 on Wednesday in Europe but Zidane selected the same starting line-up at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, with the exception of captain Sergio Ramos, who returned to marshall the defense.

Los Blancos looked a lot more solid than in the French capital and twice came close to scoring in the first half, with Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal having efforts kept out by Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik. Striker Karim Benzema headed home his fifth league goal of the season after the break from a Carvajal floated cross.

Javier Hernandez struck for Sevilla in the final stages but the goal was disallowed for offside. Sevilla, who entered the weekend as league leaders, are now fifth with 10 points.

Athletic Bilbao maintained their excellent home record as the Basque side have not been defeated at home in La Liga since October 2018. Raul Garcia sent them ahead from the penalty spot after Inaki Williams was fouled by Ruben Duarte. Williams struck the post after the break before Iker Muniain bundled home from close range to seal the win on Sunday.

Valencia drew 1-1 with bottom of the table Leganes as fans protested against owner Peter Lim. Albert Celades's Valencia moved 12th after earning their fifth point from five matches.

Elsewhere Getafe earned their first win of the season with a 4-2 triumph over Real Mallorca. Willian Jose's double and a strike from Alexander Isak helped Real Sociedad rise to fourth with a 3-1 win at Espanyol. (XINHUA)