Isco, Benzema lead Real past Deportivo

Madrid, Spain ( - Real Madrid moved four points above second-place Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Deportivo that came courtesy of goals from Isco and Karim Benzema.

After losing 4-0 to rivals Atletico Madrid last week, Real was in need of a positive result to get things back on track.

And Carlo Ancelotti's men came close to opening the scoring on two occasions in the first 20 minutes, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Cristiano Ronaldo was first to threaten when he took down a cross from Marcelo and smacked a left-footed shot off the crossbar, while Gareth Bale hit just about the same spot on the bar a few minutes later after winning the ball at the back post.

Isco then calmed the nerves of the home supporters when he put Madrid into the lead by taking down a pass from Alvaro Arbeloa and curling the ball perfectly inside the right post.

The visitors came close to equalizing early in the second half when Celso Borges worked his way into the Madrid penalty area and drove a shot off the post. The ball rebounded out to the wing and was crossed back into the area for Oriel Riera, but Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas produced a fine stop to keep out his effort.

Benzema then killed off the game in the 73rd as Ronaldo latched on to a through ball from Arbeloa and fed the Frenchman, who tucked the ball inside the right post with a tidy first-time finish.

Sevilla moved into fourth place by rolling to a 3-0 win over struggling Cordoba behind first-half goals from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Carlos Bacca before Vicente Iborra tallied a third goal with 15 minutes to play, leaving Cordoba two points from safety.

Granada moved off the bottom of La Liga by earning a 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol topped Malaga, 2-0, through a goal from Alvaro Soberon in the 42nd minute and another from Sergio Garcia in stoppage time.