Shot in the arm win for Real Madrid, Barca lose

Real Madrid receives a morale-boosting three points in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Real Madrid received a morale-boosting three points in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Captain Fernando Hierro literally kick started the match with a free-kick in the 24th minute only to be saved by Inaki Lafuente. Bilbao was playing a defensive match so far but in the 44th minute they made a rare foray up field and when Javi Gonzalez's cross found Carlos Garcia, the defender should have given the visitors the lead at the interval. The hosts opened the scoring just two minutes after the break and the architect was Michel Salgado whose cross was headed home by Raul. Real doubled their lead in the 72nd minute. Argentine midfielder Santiago Solari's fine strike should have been dealt with by the otherwise impressive Lafuente but he could only parry the ball into the corner of his net. It was a morale-boosting win for Real who move up to 12th in the Primera. Deportivo down Barca 2-1 Deportivo la Coruna captain Fran Gonzalez scored two second-half goals to seal a two-one victory over Barcelona in the Riazor Stadium in La Coruna on Saturday. Barca took the lead eight minutes before the interval. Patrick Kluivert converted a Luis Enrique slip from an acute angle to make it one-nil. After the interval, in the 58th minute, Deportivo once again took the game to Barca and the catalyst was the inspirational Fran who easily beat Roberto Bonano at his near post. The equaliser lifted Deportivo and when substitute Victor Sanchez ran to the byline and lifted the ball back over the covering defenders, Fran was there again to coolly smash home the winner in the 68th minute. And the Standings in the Spanish Primera soccer league after the seventh-round matches on Saturday:
Real Betis641113
Celta Vigo633012