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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 10, 2008

Real put seven past Valladolid to extend lead

MADRID, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Real Madrid crushed Valladolid 7-0 at the Bernabeu to extend their lead at the top of the Primera Liga to eight points on Sunday.

The visitors took the game to Real early on but went in at the break 5-0 behind, as Raul (twice), Julio Baptista, Arjen Robben and Guti punished their overly ambitious approach.

Guti and Royston Drenthe completed the rout after the interval while Iker Casillas pulled off a top-class save to deny Valladolid a consolation goal near the end.

The champions, who lost 2-0 to promoted Almeria last weekend, pulled away from second-placed Barcelona, who could only draw 1-1 away to Sevilla on Saturday.

Earlier, Uruguay striker Diego Forlan scored twice to earn Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win away to Racing Santander, that put them fourth with 41 points, one behind Villarreal who edged Real Murcia 1-0 on Saturday.

His first was a low shot from the edge of the area soon after the break, and the second a stunning long-range effort that made sure of a first win in four for the visitors.

Espanyol slipped to fifth with 39 points after an inspired Recreativo Huelva gave their new coach Manolo Zambrano a 2-1 win on his debut, the club's first in eight.

French striker Florent Sinama Pongolle scored both goals for Recre, while new loan signing Ewerthon pulled one back for the home side.

Valladolid were determined to play open attacking football at the Bernabeu, and had Real pegged back early on. But in the ninth-minute Baptista scored the opening goal with Real's first sortie up field.

Dutch winger Robben, back in the side after injury, fed the Brazilian in the area after a swift counter-attack and he left Sergio Asenjo with no chance.

Against the run of play, Guti released Raul into the area in the 32nd, and he rounded Asenjo to double the lead. A minute later Guti's ball over the top sent Robben scampering clear to score his first league goal for the club.

Valladolid's back four continued to push up and in the 38th minute Baptista was brought down by Asenjo, as he chased a ball into the area.

Raul put the spot-kick away and a minute before the break Guti broke clear in a one-one-one and buried his shot high in the net.

The second half had the atmosphere of a training match as Guti collected his second with a shot off the post in the 62nd and Dutch midfielder Drenthe powered through onto a Guti pass to round off the scoring.

The only worry for Real was when Brazil forward Robinho had to be substituted with what looked like a stomach muscle injury.