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Madrid derby delight for Real

Benzema goal gives LaLiga leaders a fourth successive victory.

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Karim Benzema, centre, celebrates his winner in Saturday’s Madrid derby (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Karim Benzema, centre, celebrates his winner in Saturday’s Madrid derby (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Karim Benzema, centre, celebrates his winner in Saturday’s Madrid derby (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Karim Benzema struck the only goal as Real Madrid sank derby rivals Atletico 1-0 to forge six points clear at the top of LaLiga.

Benzema turned home his 18th goal in 29 games in all competitions this season early in the second half to secure Real a fourth straight league win.

Second-placed Barcelona play on Sunday at home against Levante.

Real extended their unbeaten run to 21 matches in total, while Atletico, for whom Angel Correa hit a post, have taken just one point from their last three in the league.

Valencia moved up three places to fourth after Carlos Soler marked his 100th league appearance by firing the only goal in a 1-0 win against Celta Vigo at the Mestalla.

Los Che followed up last week’s victory against Barcelona to make it back-to-back home wins and climb to within a point of third-placed Sevilla.

Granada put back-to-back defeats behind them with a hard-fought 2-1 home win against bottom club Espanyol.

Darwin Machis cancelled out a first-half penalty from Espanyol striker Raul de Tomas and Carlos Fernandez curled home a brilliant winner early in the second period.

Real Valladolid registered their first league win since early November thanks to Enes Unal’s solitary strike in Mallorca.

Mallorca’s Dani Rodriguez had a first-half effort ruled out by VAR.

Paris St Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 13 points after thrashing Montpellier 5-0 at Parc des Princes.

Montpellier, who remain fourth, ended the game with nine men after goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud and midfielder Joris Chotard were both sent off.

Pablo Sarabia opened the scoring for PSG before Bertaud was shown a straight red card in the 17th minute for handling outside the area.

Angel Di Maria and Daniel Congre’s own goal made it 3-0 at the break before Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa struck in the second half.

Chotard was given his marching orders in the closing stages for his second yellow-card offence.

Lille replaced Montpellier in fourth spot as Victor Osimhen’s late penalty clinched them a 2-1 win at Strasbourg and Reims’ biggest win of the season, 4-1 at Angers, lifted them up to seventh.

Nimes boosted their survival hopes with a 3-1 home win against nine-man Monaco, for whom Tiemoue Bakayoko and Gelson Martins were both sent off in the 32nd minute.

Bakayoko’s yellow card for his foul on Romain Philippoteaux was upgraded to red by VAR and Martins followed him down the tunnel for protesting.

Dijon’s 3-0 home win against  Brest lifted them five points clear of the bottom three and Toulouse drew 0-0 at fellow relegation battlers Amiens.

Bayern Munich climbed top of the Bundesliga with victory at Mainz as title rivals RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach held each other to a draw.

Robert Lewandowski’s early header, Thomas Muller and Thiago put Bayern 3-0 up in 26 minutes and Mainz struck through Jeremiah St Juste before half-time.

Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku rescued a point for his side as they fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home against Monchengladbach.

Alassane Plea and Jonas Hofmann put the visitors in control at half-time before Leipzig responded through Patrik Schick and Christopher Nkunku’s 89th minute equaliser. Plea was sent off in the 61st minute for his second yellow card.

Borussia Dortmund moved into third place after a thumping 5-0 home win against Union Berlin.

Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho became the only teenager to score 25 goals in the German top flight by opening the scoring.

Erling Braut Haaland added Dortmund’s second and fifth to become the only player to score seven goals in his first three Bundesliga games.

Marco Reus (penalty) and Axel Witsel were also on target for Lucien Favre’s side.

Bayer Leverkusen’s top-four hopes were dealt a blow as they lost 2-1 at Hoffenheim and Augsburg moved up to ninth with a 2-1 home win against Werder Bremen.

Fortuna Dusseldorf remain second from bottom after drawing 1-1 at home against Eintracht Frankfurt.

In Serie A, Roma missed the chance to close the gap on the top three as they lost 4-2 at Sassuolo and had Lorenzo Pellegrini sent off.

Francesco Caputo’s early double and Filip Djuricic put Sassuolo 3-0 up inside 26 minutes before Edin Dzeko reduced the deficit for Roma in the second half.

Pellegrini then departed after his second yellow card and although Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout’s penalty made it 3-2, Jeremie Boga lashed in Sassuolo’s fourth a minute later.

Bologna came from behind to win 2-1 at home against Brescia and Cagliari’s winless league run was extended to eight matches after they were held  2-2 at home by Parma.

PA