Second-placed Atletico register a comfortable 3-0 win over Valladolid
Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka was delighted with the contribution of 20-year-old striker Alvaro Morata after their 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
But he called into question the judgement of referee Jose Luis Paradas Romero after he sent-off Sergio Ramos after just 18 minutes.
Morata and Ramos had already given the hosts a commanding 2-0 advantage inside the opening 12 minutes, but the home fans were left furious after Ramos was shown a second yellow card for handball and Rayo’s Lass Bangoura escaped the same punishment for a similar offence in the second period.
Paradas Romero was also at the centre of a controversial encounter between Villarreal and Madrid last season when he sent-off Ramos, Mesut Ozil and sent Jose Mourinho from the technical area and Karanka was far from impressed this time around.
As a result of red card Morata was withdrawn after just 27 minutes as Mourinho looked to offer more defensive cover with the introduction of Raul Albiol but Karanka believes he did all that he could to show he is deserving of more opportunities in the first team.
The win allowed Real Madrid to cut the gap on Atletico Madrid in second place to four points.
Atletico Madrid moved back to within 12 points of the leaders with a comfortable 3-0 win over Valladolid.
Radamel Falcao got the visitors off to the perfect start with his 20th league goal of the season as he pounced from a yard after Dani Hernandez had made a fine save to deny Diego Godin.
Diego Costa then made it 2-0 seven minutes into the second-half as he smashed home Koke’s knockdown and Cristian Rodriguez rounded off a first away win in six league games in stoppage time.
Real Sociedad missed the chance to close the gap on Malaga in fourth place to three points as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Levante despite their opponents having a man sent-off.
Both goals came in the first-half as Carlos Vela’s penalty gave Sociedad the lead before Jose Barkero levelled, also from the spot, nine minutes later.
Valencia did close to within three points of Malaga despite losing Tino Costa to an early red card as second-half goals from Ricardo Costa and Roberto Soldado gave them a 2-0 win over Mallorca and Espanyol also continued their fine run with a 1-0 win over Real Betis thanks to Sergio Garcia’s solitary goal.AFP