Real Madrid beat Cadiz to cut Barcelona LaLiga lead before World Cup break


Real Madrid hold on to win over Cadiz

Toni Kroos and Eder Militao each score to boost Real Madrid to a 2-1 lead over Cadiz.

Toni Kroos scored a goal and set up one for Eder Militao as Real Madrid beat second-bottom Cadiz 2-1 on Thursday in their last LaLiga match before the World Cup break.

The champions returned to winning ways after losing 3-2 to Rayo Vallecano on Monday and are second in the standings on 35 points, two behind leaders Barcelona.

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"I think we played well until the 2-1," Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "If Modric had made it 3-0... But that's normal, you concede, and at the end it was unnecessary suffering.

"It's three deserved points and we end this first stage of the season well."

There was an end-of-the-season feel on a chilly night at Santiago Bernabeu with the World Cup starting in less then two weeks and the game was not a classic.

Cadiz were in ultra defensive mode and Real Madrid struggled to break them down.

Cadiz nearly took a shock lead when defender Alfonso Espino fired a long-range shot that clipped the bar before going over, giving goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois a real scare.

Madrid  opened the scoring in the 40th minute when Kroos delivered a perfect deep cross from a short corner on the left touchline that found Militao who headed into the empty net.

"The way the ball came to me, I couldn't hit it with my in-step," Kroos said. "It turned out well, I could help the team with the goal, and we're happy.

"I think we played a good game except for the last 10 minutes, but we could have scored a third. It's a deserved win, we controlled the game."

Madrid controlled the game after the break and Kroos doubled the lead with a powerful strike from a rebound in the 70th minute.

Luka Modric missed a great chance to add a third following a perfect low cross by Vinicius Jr. and Cadiz grabbed a consolation when Courtois failed to hold a long-range strike by Theo Bongonda and Lucas Perez slammed the ball into the net.

Cadiz remained 19th in the standings on 11 points.

Information from ESPN's Alex Kirkland contributed to this report.