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Real wins 6th in a row under Luxemburgo

Real wins 6th in a row under Luxemburgo

Vanderlei Luxemburgo led Real Madrid to its sixth straight Spanish league victory Saturday, a 4-0 win over Espanyol, to tie a team record and close to within four points of leader FC Barcelona.
Luxemburgo has won all six league matches since he took over at Madrid in December. He can surpass Luis Carniglia's 1957-58 record if his team beats host Osasuna next weekend.
Raul Gonzalez scored two goals while Zinedine Zidane and Thomas Gravesen added the others for second-place Madrid.
The hosts took the lead in the 13th minute when Zidane, who had been doubtful before the game with stomach trouble, controlled a pass on the left edge of the area and beat Argentine defender Hugo Ibarra before rifling a rising shot past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas helped maintain his team's lead in the 22nd minute with two reaction saves from midfielder Ito Alvarez, and eight minutes later Raul doubled the margin by tapping home the rebound from a Luis Figo shot which Kameni tipped onto the post.
Espanyol, which came into the match with only one win in its last six games, dominated the final minutes of the first half but was prevented from scoring by a combination of Casillas' agility and poor shooting.
Luxemburgo replaced Zidane with the more defensive Gravesen in the 57th minute during a sluggish spell for Madrid which ended in the 75th when Raul scored again by turning home a low cross from the left by substitute Santiago Solari.
Gravesen rounded off the win in the 84th minute with his first goal for the club since his move from Everton last month with a low shot from just outside the area.
Also Saturday, Turkey striker Nihat Kahveci scored two goals to earn lowly Real Sociedad a 3-3 draw with defending champion Valencia.
Nihat, who has 11 goals this season, helped extend Valencia's winless streak to four games and further reduces its slim chances of retaining its title.
The draw gave Sociedad its first point of 2005 and slightly eased the pressure on coach Jose Maria Amorrortu.
Juve crisis
Italian league leader Juventus lost for the second time in four days, falling at Palermo 1-0 Saturday to give defending champion AC Milan a chance to close to within two points of the top.
Forward Franco Brienza scored the match-winner for Serie A newcomer Palermo in the 12th minute. He controlled a ball slapped by goalkeeper GianLuigi Buffon off a long cross and curled a left-footed shot into the net from the area edge.
The Turin powerhouse, which led AC Milan by eight points last Sunday and seemed to have the title secured, also lost to visiting Sampdoria on Wednesday.However Juve still tops the Serie A standings with 50 points. Milan, which has 45 points, was to host Lazio yesterday.
Juventus attacked for long periods and added forward Marcelo Zalayeta to regular strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Trezeguet but still failed to produce any clear scoring chance.
It was Palermo, with quick counterattacks, which came close to a second goal.
Buffon made a decisive save on Brienza in the 65th and Argentine Mario Alberto Santana missed a great opportunity in the 79th when his lob went just wide.
In an earlier match, Sampdoria won its second game in four days after blanking nine-man Fiorentina 3-0.
Forward Francesco Flachi and Max Tonetto scored first-half goals and captain Aimo Diana added another in the second half.