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Real Madrid move closer to title with win in Pamplona; Granada hold Atletico to draw

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Madrid, April 21 (IANS) Real Madrid took another step toward winning the La Liga title this season with a 3-1 win away to Osasuna on Wednesday night.

The game will probably be remembered for Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera saving two penalties from Karim Benzema, but it was not enough to deny Real Madrid, who opened the scoring thanks to David Alaba in the 12th minute as he scored from close range.

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Ante Budimir equalised a minute later after good work from Chimmy Avila, but Marcos Asensio restored Madrid’s lead on the stroke of halftime after Herrera had saved Dani Ceballos’ shot.

Madrid were given two penalties in the second half after fouls on Rodrygo, but Herrera saved both of them, although Lucas Vazquez assured the three points deep into injury time, Xinhua reports.

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Atletico Madrid moved into second place with a 0-0 draw at home to Granada, who had Aitor Karanka in their dugout for the first time.

Atletico had plenty of chances but only managed one shot on target in the entire game. Both Barca and Sevilla will overtake Atletico with draws in their respective matches on Thursday, while a point is not enough to lift Granada out of the bottom three.

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Getafe took a big step towards ensuring another season in the top-flight with a 2-0 win away to Celta Vigo, thanks to two goals from Borja Mayoral, who hit the target in the 23rd and 51st minutes of the game.

Villarreal won their east-coast derby 2-0 at home to Valencia, while Betis’ top-four hopes were dented by a 1-0 defeat at home to Elche, who have just about assured their survival in the top flight for another season.

Finally, Mallorca took an important 2-1 win at home to Alaves, who remain bottom of the table, six points from safety.

Barcelona play Real Sociedad later on Thursday, while Cadiz are at home to Athletic Club Bilbao and Levante face Sevilla.

–IANS

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