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Raul closes in on Di Stefano's Real mark
by Paul Kennedy, January 26th, 2009 7AM



[SPAIN] Real Madrid made it five straight wins under new coach Juande Ramos with a 1-0 home win over Deportivo Coruna on Sunday that left it as the only team with any hope of catching leader Barcelona. And that's a stretch: Barcelona thumped Numancia, 4-1, at the Nou Camp on Saturday and remains in the lead by 12 points.

Raul scored off Lassana Diarra's cross for his 306th goal, leaving him just one goal behind legendary Alfredo di Stefano for the Real Madrid scoring record.

Barcelona gained revenge for its only defeat of the season -- suffered on opening day -- when it disposed of Numancia with four second-half goals in a span of 25 minutes. Barca's big three had all the goals -- Lionel Messi with two; Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry with one apiece.

Third-place Sevilla and fourth-place Valencia fell 15 and 18 points off the torrid pace set by Barca when they lost to Racing Santander, 2-0, at home and Real Mallorca, 3-1, respectively.

Racing's giant Serbian Nikola Zigic set up one goal and scored the second. Jurado scored twice for Mallorca, which last won a league game at the end of October.



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