Benzema fires hard-fought Real victory while Eto'o inspires Inter

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The Independent Football

Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid survived a scare to win 3-1 at Racing Santander last night to move seven points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Goals from Benzema and Emmanuel Adebayor put Real 2-0 ahead at half-time but Racing fought back, Iker Casillas saving a penalty before being beaten by Kennedy Bakircioglu's assured finish. However, Benzema's second goal of the night restored Real's two-goal advantage with 15 minutes to go. Adebayor then had a penalty saved.

Elsewhere, Valencia came back from a goal down to defeat Mallorca 2-1 at the Iberostar Stadium. Valencia's David Navarro brought Pierre Webó in the area, and Ivá* Ramis slammed in the ensuing penalty into the top-left hand corner to give Mallorca a surprise lead. However, four minutes later, Pablo Hernández volleyed in to the bottom corner to equalise. In the 56th minute, Hernández's cool finish completed the turnaround and strengthened Valencia's hold on third.

In Italy, Internazionale executed a superb second-half comeback to defeat Genoa 5-2 in Serie A yesterday, reducing the gap between them in second and leaders Milan to five points.

Genoa took the lead five minutes before the interval at San Siro, Abdoulay Konko's pass exposing Inter defence for Rodrigo Palacio to send a powerful finish into the bottom corner. Inter's riposte, however, arrived in the 50th minute. Giampaolo Pazzini fired home a pinpoint Maicon cross to equalise before Samuel Eto'o tapped in to put them 2-1 ahead.

In the 57th minute, Eto'o scored his second, the Cameroon international bursting past two defenders before slotting home. Team-mate Goran Pandev scored Inter's fourth and Yuto Nagatomo found the top corner to complete the rout, his first goal for the club. Mauro Boselli then scored with a header for Genoa but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Lazio stayed in fourth with a 2-0 win over Palermo thanks to two first-half goals from striker Giuseppe Sculli.