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Real Madrid maintain one-point lead at top

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London : Real Madrid maintained their one-point lead over Barcelona on the top of the La Liga table, thanks to Gareth Bale’s late penalty that helped them overcome Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismissal to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Cordoba.  Algerian striker Nabil Ghilas’ early third-minute penalty helped Cordoba take a 1-0 lead and Real had to fight back. Initially Real fought back through Karim Benzema’s equaliser in the first half.

No other goal came from either side till the late minutes of the game and Real seemed on the verge of a draw after star forward Ronaldo was sent off for lashing out at Edimar in the 82nd minute, the BBC reported.  However, Fede Cartabia saw red for handling in the box and Bale scored from the spot to keep Real at the top of the table and maintain a one point lead over second-placed Barca, who beat Elche 6-0 on Saturday. It was also Real’s third straight La Liga victory after their 22-game winning streak in 2014 was brought to an end by Valencia on 4 January, the report added.