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Easy win for Real, Valencia frustrated

Real Madrid provisionally cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera Division table to two points after comfortably seeing off Levante 2-0 at a rain-drenched Bernabeu.

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First-half goals from Karim Benzema and Ricardo Carvalho decided the game as Jose Mourinho's men kept the pressure up on pacesetters Barca, who host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The victory was Madrid's 22nd successive home win in all competitions and marked nine years since Mourinho last suffered a home defeat in the league, which came on February 23, 2002, when his Porto team lost to Beira Mar.

Sporting Gijon showed off their new-found resilience for the second time in the space of a week as they held third-placed Valencia to a goalless draw at the Mestalla.

The Asturian outfit had won three of their last five matches prior to this one and frustrated league leaders Barcelona at El Molinon last weekend, earning a creditable 1-1 draw to end the Catalans' perfect Primera Division record away from home this season.

Sergio Aguero's second-half strike earned Atletico Madrid a vital victory 1-0 over Real Zaragoza at La Romareda this evening, ending Los Rojiblancos' four-match losing run in the Primera Division.

The Argentina forward netted the game's only goal following a swift counter-attack to ease the pressure on Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

Zaragoza threw everything at their visitors in the closing stages and struck the bar twice in the final two minutes through substitutes Ikechukwu Uche and Nicolas Bertolo, but there was no way through.

The result moved the visitors up four places to seventh in La Liga, while Zaragoza - who had picked up 10 points from the previous 12 on offer at home - stayed 17th.


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