Iker Casillas: these wins earn you the league

Gareth Bale won and scored the last-minute winning penalty for Real to give the European champions a 15th win in 16 league games

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas praised the resilience of his team-mates after they overcame a red card for Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Cordoba 2-1 on Saturday.

“These are the types of victories that win you leagues,” the keeper said. “It was difficult and we didn’t play at our best. It came more as a result of effort than anything else.”

Nabil Ghilas gave the home side an early lead from the spot after a shot from former Manchester United striker Bebe was handled by Sergio Ramos, before Karim Benzema levelled before the break.

Real struggled to break down a dogged Cordoba defence and Ronaldo allowed his frustrations to get the better of him, lashing out at both Jose Crespo and Edimar, earning a sending off for the latter. The Portuguese, who faces a possible three-match suspension, posted on Twitter: “I apologise to  everyone and especially to Edimar for my thoughtless act in today’s game.”

Gareth Bale won and scored the last-minute winning penalty for Real to give the European champions a 15th win in 16 league games, but only after Fede Cartabia had been dismissed for the hosts.

The win maintained Real’s single-point advantage at the top of La Liga as Barcelona in second place kept up the pressure with a 6-0 win at Elche - their  sixth successive win. Lionel Messi and Neymar scored twice each and Barça have now beaten Elche three times this season, scoring 15 without reply.

In Italy, Samuel Eto’o watched from the stands as Sampdoria drew 1-1 with Palermo as his move from Everton nears completion.

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