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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Real beat Barcelona to close gap
Raul's superb headed goal gave Real an early lead
Real Madrid closed the gap on Spanish league leaders Barcelona to two points after a deserved 2-0 win.

Real captain Raul put the home side ahead on three minutes with a flighted header following Sergio Ramos' cross.

Five minutes into the second half Ruud van Nistelrooy volleyed in Robinho's cross after a Real counter-attack.

Real boss Fabio Capello, who sent on former England captain David Beckham with five minutes left, also saw his side hit the bar twice.

Raul's deflected shot struck the woodwork while Van Nistelrooy was similarly unlucky with a great chip.

It was the first time Barcelona had lost in the league this season, though Frank Rijkaard's side still top the table on goal difference ahead of Valencia.

Barcelona had plenty of possession but former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen was unable to replicate the deadliness in front of goal of Raul and Van Nistelrooy.

The Icelandic striker was eventually withdrawn midway through the second half as Rijkaard introduced Javier Saviola in a bid to save the game.

Saviola immediately created an opening for Lionel Messi but the Argentine lashed his shot into the side-netting.

Raul gave Real the perfect start when he lost his marker Lilian Thuram and rose superbly to meet Ramos' cross from the right with a firm header.

Real captain's might have had a second goal on 15 minutes, but his deflected shot hit the crossbar.

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy might also have had a penalty in the first half
That chance was set up by Robinho, who initiated many of Real's early attacks.

A curling shot from Robinho forced Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes into a save, before the Brazilian sent Van Nistelrooy marauding into the box.

The Dutchman went to ground under Valdes' challenge but play was waved on.

Barcelona took their time to adapt to Real's forceful start.

Messi's dazzling skill created a chance for Gudjohnsen, who shot wide with just Iker Casillas to beat.

Barcelona switched their point of attack to the other flank, Andres Iniestas crossing to the unmarked Messi, who shot over the bar.

A sublime exchange of passes between Messi and Ronaldinho freed the Argentine, but Casillas was quickly out of his goal to rescue Real.

Barcelona began the second half brightly and Gudjohnsen briefly glimpsed goal, only to delay his shot.

Van Nistelrooy punished Gudjohnsen's profligacy when Real broke quickly - the Dutchman managed to get to Robinho's cross before Valdes and cleverly volleyed home.

And just as Raul had done in the first half, Van Nistelrooy clipped the bar with a superb chip.

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