BARCELONA, España (AP) — Dos goles de Mesut Oezil salvaron al Real Madrid el sábado en la liga española, al remontar para vencer 3-2 al Valladolid por la 15ta fecha y reducir provisionalmente la desventaja respecto al líder Barcelona.

Oezil anotó dos tantos de bella factura a los 45 y 75 minutos, para dar la vuelta a un marcador que se puso adverso para el Madrid en dos ocasiones con los tantos de Manucho a los siete y 22. Karim Benzema niveló transitoriamente a los 12.

La sufrida victoria deja al equipo de José Mourinho en el tercer lugar de la tabla de posiciones con 32 puntos; ocho menos de los que suma el Barsa, que juega el domingo en cancha del Betis, y dos menos que el Atlético de Madrid, rival del Deportivo La Coruña.

El viernes, Espanyol y Sevilla empataron 2-2 en el segundo partido del mexicano Javier Aguirre al timón blanquiazul.

Tras un cañonazo sobre el travesaño del madridista Cristiano Ronaldo, el Valladolid convirtió un tiro de esquina en el primer gol del partido, cuando ni Sergio Ramos, ni Xabi Alonso, ni Sami Khedira acertaron a despejar el centro de Patrick Ebert y Manucho, en boca de gol, remachó a la red.

Pero un malentendido en una entrega del defensa Mikel Balenziaga a Marc Valiente propició un robo de José Callejón, titular en detrimento del argentino Angel Di María, y el canterano asistió a Benzema, quien niveló sin oposición.

El portero Dani Hernández despejó un tiro libre marca de la casa de Cristiano, pero fue el Valladolid quien volvió a morder a balón parado, cuando Manucho cabeceó en el área chica otro servicio de Ebert, ante la floja marca de Ramos.

Nuevamente Callejón estuvo a punto de rentabilizar un resbalón de la zaga local, pero su intento de sombrero se fue desviado y Ebert siguió martilleando el arco madridista con un tiro libre que lamió el poste derecho de Iker Casillas.

Pero la lesión del volante alemán desinfló al Valladolid, que reculó ante la presión visitante y acabó cediendo el empate al filo del descanso, cuando Oezil se inventó una diagonal hacia el arco y superó a Hernández tras combinar con Benzema, que le cedió la pelota de taco.

Ramos pudo adelantar a los visitantes con un ajustado cabezazo tras la reanudación, y Oscar González apuntó desviado y luego disparó a manos de Casillas en llegadas sucesivas.

Jugado a ritmo de sprint, el choque enloqueció y Hernández se creció frente a un latigazo de Di María, ingresado al descanso. En pleno vértigo, Benzema fue interceptado en falta al borde del área y nuevamente apareció el talento de Oezil para anotar el gol de la victoria en un tiro libre directo, superando suavemente la barrera y la estirada del arquero.

"Es una pena porque regalamos el primer gol y el segundo fue a los 45 minutos; dos momentos puntuales", lamentó el técnico vallisoletano, Miroslav Djukic. "Pero el equipo se ha convencido que puede jugar de tú a tú a un grande como el Madrid".

Desarmado y cansado, el Valladolid buscó el milagro pero careció de frescura en el tramo final, únicamente destacando Hernández con un vuelo espectacular en un cabezazo de Ramos.

"Tenemos que mejorar a balón parado", reconoció Ramos. "Fallamos y no vamos a tapar nuestros errores, pero el árbitro debe hacer lo mismo", aludió en referencia a su gol anulado por fuera de juego.

Previamente, el Málaga ganó su segundo cotejo de las últimas siete fechas al vencer por 4-0 al visitante Granada, cuyo entrenador Juan Antonio Anquela ve amenazada su continuidad.

Joaquín Sánchez abrió el camino a los 26 minutos, el argentino Javier Saviola (33) e Ignacio Camacho (75) ampliaron y el paraguayo Roque Santa Cruz (85) cerró la cuenta para el equipo del chileno Manuel Pellegrini, que pasó provisionalmente al Betis para alcanzar la cuarta plaza que da opción a jugar la próxima Liga de Campeones.

"Hemos sumado 25 puntos, los mismos que el año pasado en toda la primera vuelta y aún nos faltan tres partidos", se congratuló Pellegrini.

Al cierre de la jornada, Ernesto Valverde debutó con victoria del Valencia por 1-0 en cancha de Osasuna. El ex equipo del argentino Mauricio Pellegrino ganó por primera vez de visitante y se acerca nuevamente a Europa, mientras los navarros continúan al límite del descenso. El gol del triunfo lo anotó Roberto Soldado (56) al rematar un balón al poste del también argentino Pablo Piatti.

En cotejo anterior, un gol de Carlos Martínez en los descuentos salvó un empate de local para la Real Sociedad, que igualó 1-1 ante el Getafe y sigue fuera de los puestos europeos.

El Getafe, que había cobrado ventaja con un tanto de Angel Lafita (86), vio truncada una racha de cuatro victorias al hilo, pero se mantiene provisionalmente en la quinta plaza con 23 puntos, dos más que el conjunto donostiarra, invicto en las últimas cinco fechas.

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