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    Real Madrid closer to La Liga title after seventh straight win

    MADRID (AP) Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday to move closer to its first Spanish league title in three years, as Sergio Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed.

    [ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule

    Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty kick to give Real Madrid the win over Athletic Bilbao, for its seventh straight league victory and open a seven-point lead over second-place Barcelona, which visits fifth-place Villarreal later Sunday.

    “These three points are very important, we knew this was going to be one of the difficult matches we had left,” Ramos said. “This was a key victory to try to put some pressure on Barcelona. We only depend on ourselves.”

    Madrid has four matches left as it chases its first league title since 2017.

    Ramos had already scored a late winner from the penalty spot in Madrid’s 1-0 win against Getafe on Thursday. He had scored in three other matches since the league resumed.

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    Ramos converted on Sunday after video review determined there was a foul when defender Dani García stepped on left back Marcelo’s right foot inside the area. Athletic wanted a penalty for a similar foul by Ramos away from the ball a few moments later, but the game was allowed to continue.

    Madrid remained the only team with a perfect record after the coronavirus break. Its last three victories came with 1-0 results.

    Eighth-place Athletic was coming off two straight victories and had won three of its last four matches, with the only setback a loss at Barcelona.

    Madrid was without forward Eden Hazard and defender Raphael Varane because of minor injuries.

    Two-time defending champion Barcelona had the lead when the league was suspended but has drawn three of its six matches since the return, including the last two. It will enter the match against Villarreal with coach Quique Setién under pressure because of the team’s poor run of results.

    The Catalan club will face a Villarreal team that has won five of its six matches after the break.

    More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

    Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

    Real Madrid closer to La Liga title after seventh straight win originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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