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Sunday 9. March 2008 - 10:15

Raul’s 200th league goal puts Real eight clear

Raul scored his 200th league goal to move Real Madrid eight points clear in the Primera Liga after a 2-1 comeback win over Espanyol on Saturday.

The visitors went ahead in the first half through Valdo, taking advantage of a Real side suffering a hangover from their midweek Champions League exit at AS Roma’s hands.

Gonzalo Higuain levelled before the break and Raul converted a penalty in the second half to earn Bernd Schuster’s side a morale-boosting three points.

Second-placed Barcelona, who have 54 points, host a Villarreal side in third spot with 47 on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid stayed fourth on 44, two ahead of Espanyol, after Real Zaragoza came back to win 2-1 at home.

Zaragoza’s fourth coach of the season, Manolo Villanova, got off to a winning start thanks to an own-goal from Atletico defender Pablo Ibanez and a second-half penalty from Argentina striker Diego Milito, his 15th goal of the campaign.

Portugal winger Simao Sabrosa had given Atletico the lead with a superb curling shot after 26 minutes, while Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan missed last-minute chances to equalise.

At the Bernabeu, a scrappy game turned Espanyol’s way in the 29th minute when former Real player Valdo was left free to head home at the far post.

A nervous-looking Real were missing Fabio Cannavaro and Sergio Ramos in defence and Ruud van Nistelrooy up front and did not test goalkeeper Carlos Kameni until the 37th minute.

The Cameroon international tipped Julio Baptista’s free kick over the bar but was beaten six minutes later when Higuain got on the end of Marcelo’s cross.

Daniel Jarque then tugged Raul’s shirt in the 73rd minute and the Real captain scored from the penalty spot.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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