Real Madrid beat Leganes in Spanish league tie

Indo Asian News Service

Leganes (Spain), April 6 (IANS) Alvaro Morata scored two goals and was instrumental in a third as a Real Madrid side packed with substitutes beat Club Deportivo Leganes 4-2 to reclaim the top spot in the Spanish football league.

Real Madrid now have 71 points from 30 matches, two points ahead of FC Barcelona. Real Madrid's win over Leganes came hours after Barcelona whipped Sevilla 3-0 to take provisional hold of the top spot in the La Liga with 69 points, reports Efe news service.

Real Madrid coach Zinedane Zidane made nine changes to the line-up for the contest here on Wednesday night with 17th-place Leganes, resting stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Toni Kroos ahead of the upcoming Champions League quarter-finals.

Newly promoted Leganes made an energetic start, with a focus on maintaining their shape and looking for a chance on the counter.

The tactic fared well until 15 minutes in, when the Blancos' Marco Asensio collected the ball at midfield and dashed toward the Leganes end, eluding defenders before passing to James Rodriguez for an easy goal to make it 1-0.

Morata hit the post minutes later, but scored on his next touch to put the visitors ahead 2-0 in the 18th.

Real Madrid's advantage grew to 3-0 in the 23rd minute as Morata got his second of the night off a great pass from Mateo Kovacic.

Instead of giving up, however, the hosts responded with an offensive surge that brought them to within one goal of the Blancos at the 35-minute mark.

Gabriel broke the ice for Leganes, scoring in the 32 minute with a major assist from Diego Rico and some help from a deflection. The home side's second goal came three minutes later from Luciano.

Emboldened, Leganes opened up in the second half and were quickly punished. A Real Madrid free kick ended up on the head of Morata and his shot was deflected into the goal by the hand of host defender Mantovani to make it 4-2 for the visitors.

Along with the elite, all three teams in the La Liga drop zone were also in action on Wednesday.

Last-place Osasuna celebrated only their second victory of the campaign, a 1-0 away win against mid-table side Alaves. Sporting de Gijón, in 18th place, lost 1-0 at home to Malaga CF, while Granada CF played to a 1-1 draw with Deportivo de La Coruña.