Madrid moved top of the Primera Liga after goals from Robinho and Alvaro
Mejia clinched a 2-0 win at struggling Real Betis on Saturday.
Brazil forward Robinho, a $30 million close-season buy, scored in the
30th minute to settle Vanderlei Luxemburgo's side, who had lost their
previous two league games.
Former youth team player Mejia made sure of the points with a
Betis continue to struggle and have now lost their last three league
matches since a 4-0 mauling by Chelsea in the Champions League.
Real are level on 18 points with Osasuna, who play Espanyol on Sunday,
but Luxemburgo's team have a superior goal difference.
Third-placed Getafe, who have 17 points, travel to face Deportivo Coruna.
Celta Vigo moved into fourth, also on 17 points, after drawing 1-1 at
bottom club Athletic Bilbao.
Bilbao, who have not won since the opening day of the season, took the
lead through Carlos Gurpegi in the 24th minute.
Celta levelled when defender Angel turned in David Silva's cross 14
minutes after the restart.
Champions Barcelona have home advantage against in-form Real Sociedad on
Sunday. Both teams have 16 points.
Betis are stalled in 16th with nine points.
Hosts Betis and Real fielded unfamiliar sides due to injuries and
Real were missing Brazilian pair Ronaldo and Julio Baptista, England
midfielder David Beckham and France playmaker Zinedine Zidane through
Betis were without winger Joaquin and defender Melli, who were suspended,
and injured Brazilian midfielder Marcos Assuncao.
A frenetic opening period left little room for constructive football,
though Betis posed the biggest threat with striker Ricardo Oliveira
sending a header wide of the post early on.
Real took the lead with their first attempt at goal.
Raul's square pass on the edge of the area found Robinho, with team mate
Carlos Diogo stepping over the ball, and the Brazilian curled a low shot
inside the post.
The home side's Brazilian forward Edu headed against the post in the
77th minute but three minutes later the game was effectively sealed.
Guti lifted a pass over the defence and Mejia, who had only been on the
field a minute, raced into the area unchallenged to head past Toni