Madrid close in on La Liga crown with win

(L-R) Aridane Hernandez of CA Osasuna , Karim Benzema of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander match between Osasuna v Real Madrid at the Estadio El Sadar on April 20, 2022 in Pamplona Spain.


Not even an off day for Karim Benzema was enough to keep Real Madrid from moving closer to clinching the Spanish league title for the 35th time.

Benzema missed two penalty kicks in the second half but Madrid went on to earn a 3-1 win at Osasuna on Wednesday night to open a 17-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid.

Atletico can no longer catch their city rivals as both teams have five games left to play, but Barcelona are 18 points back and have seven games remaining, meaning they still have a mathematical chance to catch Madrid.

It was another small step toward reaching our objective, Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde said.

It was a difficult first half but we corrected our mistakes and finished playing well.

Benzema went scoreless for only the second time in the last 11 games in all competitions. Both of his penalties were saved by Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera in the 52nd and 59th minutes.

Benzema is the league's leading scorer with 25 goals and has netted 15 times in the last 10 matches in all competitions. The French striker scored hat-tricks and decisive goals to help Madrid reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Madrid defender David Alaba opened the scoring in the 12th minute and forward Marco Asensio added to the lead in the 45th after the hosts had equalised through Ante Budimir in the 13th. Lucas Vazquez sealed the victory in added time.

Atletico Madrid's struggles in attack continued in a 0-0 draw at home against relegation-threatened Granada.

It was the fourth time in the last five matches that Atletico failed to score.

The result left Diego Simeone's team in second place, one point ahead of both Barcelona and Sevilla. The Catalan club visit sixth-place Real Sociedad on Thursday, while Sevilla plays at second-last Levante.

Getafe moved five points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Celta Vigo, with Borja Mayoral scoring a goal in each half.

It was the first away win for Getafe after 16 consecutive matches without a road victory, dating to last season.

Getafe, 14th, are unbeaten in four straight league games while 11th-place Celta lost their second in a row at home.

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