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Real Madrid back on top

Madrid: Real Madrid went back atop the Spanish Liga by scoring a late 1-0 win on Sunday at lowly Sporting Gijon.

Real's legendary fighting spirit finally prevailed in a tense encounter, and it battled out its sixth consecutive win thanks to a goal just eight minutes from time by Gonzalo Higuain.

There was a certain poetic justice in this because Higuain had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside half an hour earlier.

Real now has 29 points from 11 games, one point more than second-place Barcelona, which beat third-place Villarreal 3-1 on Saturday. Later on Sunday, Valencia beat Getafe 2-0 to score its first win in five matches. Tino Costa and David Navarro got the goals.

Valencia is now joint fourth with Sevilla, which scored a last-gasp 2-1 win over bottom team Real Zaragoza.

The results:

Spanish: Racing Santander 0 drew with Espanyol 0; Real Mallorca 0 drew wit Deportivo la Coruna 0; Real Zaragoza 1 (Bertolo 53) lost to Sevilla 2 (Luis Fabiano 29, Negredo 90); Hercules 2 (Trezeguet 46, Drenthe 51) bt Real Sociedad 1 (Griezmann 15); Malaga 1 (Eliseu 63) bt Levante 0; Sporting Gijon 0 lost to Real Madrid 1 (Higuain 82); Valencia 2 (Alberto Costa 8, David Navarro 63) bt Getafe 0.

Italian: Bari 0 lost to Parma 1 (Candreva 33); Bologna 1 (di Vaio 58) bt Brescia 0; Cagliari 0 lost to Genoa 1 (Ranocchia 84); Palermo 3 (Pastore 33, 47, 85) bt Catania 1 (Terlizzi 46); Sampdoria 0 drew with Chievo 0; Udinese 4 (di Natale 10, 24, 40, Floro Flores 55) bt Lecce 0; Inter Milan 0 lost to AC Milan 1 (Zlatan Ibrahimovic 5-pen) . — DPA

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