Mon, Feb 02, 2009 - Page 20 News List

LFP: Raul equals di Stefano’s record

AFP , MADRID

Real Madrid’s Arjen Robben, right, controls the ball in front of Numancia’s Juan Ramon Cabrero Obrer during their Spanish La Liga match in Soria, Spain, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AFP

Real Madrid’s captain marvel Raul joined Alfredo di Stefano as the club’s all-time leading scorer with 307 goals on Saturday as he helped his team cut Barcelona’s lead to nine points.

Raul, 31, scored his historic goal in the 48th minute of Real Madrid’s 2-0 win at Numancia, following in after Gonzalo Higuain’s shot had been parried.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored a great individual goal on 56 minutes to clinch Real’s sixth successive league win.

Raul has spent 14 years in the Real first team and after becoming the youngest player to reach 500 league games for the club last month, the No. 7 reached another personal landmark on Saturday.

He also has every club medal, with three Champions League crowns (1998, 2000 and 2002) and five Spanish championships (1995, 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007).

Raul is also the leading scorer in the history of the Champions League with 66 goals.

Numancia had already beaten Barcelona at home this season and were looking for a famous double over the two biggest teams in Spain.

Real had conceded just once in their last five league matches, but Numancia went close twice with Javier del Pino heading against the post before Gorka Brit shot wide from an acute angle.

Real soaked up the pressure and were transformed in the second half as Raul grabbed his history-making goal.

Robben then twisted the Numancia defense inside out before applying a class finish and thereafter there was only going to be one winner, even when Real midfielder Fernando Gago was sent off for a second caution late on.

Athletic Bilbao followed up their midweek Kings Cup heroics with an inspirational 3-2 comeback win over high-flying Malaga on Saturday.

Bilbao reached the semi-finals of the cup on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over Sporting Gijon and rounded off a memorable week by ending Malaga’s six-match unbeaten run in the Spainish league.

“This team has an inner belief that they can come back when they are behind,” coach Joaquin Caparros said.

Malaga twice went ahead through Albert Luque — back in his homeland again after a disastrous two years at Newcastle United — and Manuel Lolo, but substitute Markael Susaeta produced an 86th minute winner.

Athletic climb to ninth with the victory and are challenging for a European spot when a month ago they looked set to be involved in the relegation dogfight. Malaga stay seventh.

Also See: LFP: Paris Saint-Germain down Caen 2-0 and move into third spot

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