Real Madrid claim 14th straight win

Updated: 2011-12-04 10:29


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Real Madrid claim 14th straight win

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) scores a second goal after beating Sporting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas Ferreras during their Spanish first division soccer match at El Molinon stadium in Gijon December 3, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - Real Madrid chalked up their 14th straight win in all competitions as they enjoyed a hard-fought but ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory against Sporting Gijon.

The balance in a physical first half was tipped 10 minutes before the break when Angel de Maria robbed Sporting full back Damien Suarez before fooling keeper Juan Pablo on his near post.

Juan Pablo was expecting a cross, but De Maria scored with a clever finish with the outside of his left foot.

Sporting tried to get back into the game in the second half, but although the home side worked hard they failed to create clear cut chances to draw level and they were punished again on 64 minutes when De Maria fed Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo took the ball past Juan Pablo and rolled into an empty net.

Marcelo made it 3-0 with a left foot shot in injury time.

If that result intimidated FC Barcelona, who kicked off straight afterwards, the Catalans didn't show it against Levante as they cruised to a 5-0 win.

Barcelona raced into a 3-0 lead against the side fourth in the table, thanks to two goals from Cesc Fabrigas, who shot calmly home after just three minutes following a Andres Iniesta flick.

They headed home a second from a Xavi free kick after 33 minutes and youngster Isaac Cuenca added a third with a right foot shot from the corner of the Levante area.

Leo Messi and Alexis Sanchez added further goals in the second half as Barcelona enjoyed a placid preparation for next week's trip to the capital.

Valencia got off to a flying start against Espanyol when Tino Costa scored a sixth minute penalty following some shirt pulling in visitors' penalty area. They controlled the first half, but made the mistake of trying to conserve energy in the second and were punished when Hector Moreno equalized for Espanyol with 20 minutes remaining.

Valencia coach Unai Emery brought Roberto Soldado into the game and was rewarded as the striker headed his side 2-1 up from a corner with 10 minutes left.

Meanwhile there was some good news for Racing Santander, whose former coach Hector Cuper resigned last week.

Christian Stauni scored the only goal of the game after 17 minutes to give Racing only their second win of the season and a 1-0 triumph against Villarreal.

The win lifts Racing off the bottom of the table, while Villarreal are now just two points above the drop zone.