Real holds off Atletico

BARCELONA: Ten-man Real Madrid survived a late fightback by Atletico Madrid to win 3-2 and keep the pressure on Spanish league leader Barcelona on Saturday.

Youngster Pedro Rodriguez scored a brace as Barcelona kept up a one-point lead over Real with a 4-2 win over Real Mallorca.

In an action-packed derby at the Calderon, Kaka gave Real the lead after just five minutes although there were suspicions of a foul on Cleber Santana in the lead-up.

Chances came and went for both sides but Real was more clinical with Marcelo doubling the advantage with an acute drive with his weaker right foot.

Still not fully fit, Sergio Aguero was introduced in the second half and after running through on goal was brought down by Sergio Ramos who was dismissed.

However, Real went further ahead through Gonzalo Higuain after 73 minutes before Atletico launched an assault which saw Diego Forlan and Aguero both score.

The results:

Spanish league: Tenerife 2 (Martmnez 18, Alfaro 27) drew with Malaga 2 (Edinho 29, Javi Lopez 77); Getafe 0 lost to Deportivo La Coruna 2 (Mista 15, Filipe 60); Barcelona 4 (Pedrito 11, 40, Henry 44, Messi 87-pen) bt Real Mallorca 2 (Nunes 20, Keita 90+2); Real Madrid 3 (Kaka 5, Marcelo 25, Gonzalo Higuain 64) bt Atletico Madrid 2 (Diego Forlan 79, Sergio Aguero 81).

Italian league: Catania 0 drew with Napoli 0; Atalanta 2 (Valdes 51, Ceravolo 71) lost to Juventus 5 (Camoranesi 36, 37, Felipe Melo 55, Ribas 85, Trezeguet 87). — Agencies

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