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Benzema scores twice as Madrid beats Cádiz in Spanish league

Karim Benzema scored two goals and set up another to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Cádiz in the Spanish league in the team's first game since the implosion of the proposed Super League.

The Cádiz players wore T-shirts before the game condemning the Super League, which was proposed by some of Europe’s top clubs on Sunday but essentially folded within days. Madrid president Florentino Pérez had been one of the key figures behind the proposal.

Álvaro Odriozola also scored as Madrid pulled within a point of Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid ahead of its game against Huesca on Thursday. Madrid had lost ground last weekend after being held to draw at Getafe.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, shoots a penalty kick to score past Cadiz's goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma his side's second goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

Madrid was without several players because of injuries and suspensions, including captain Sergio Ramos and midfielder Federico Valverde, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Earlier, Sevilla defeated Levante 1-0 to move to third place and keep alive its title chances.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored early in the second half to give Sevilla its fourth straight victory — and sixth in its last seven league matches.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, top, heads the ball to score his side's third goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

“We'll keep fighting for the league title,” En-Nesyri said. “We are six matches away.”

Julen Lopetegui's team reached 67 points, three behind Atlético. Fourth-place Barcelona was two points behind ahead of its home match against Getafe on Thursday.

Sevilla is unbeaten in seven matches since being eliminated by Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 of the Champions League in March.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, third left, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

It was the second loss in a row for Levante, which stayed 12th in the standings.

Players from Sevilla and Levante also entered the match in Valencia wearing T-shirts criticizing the Super League.

The new league essentially folded after widespread criticism across the world of soccer, though Madrid and Barcelona were yet to officially say they were abandoning the project. The other 10 founding members dropped out.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, right, celebrates with teammate Vinicius Junior after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

Osasuna defeated Valencia 3-1 for its third win in a row, moving to eighth place. Valencia, winless in four matches, remained 14th, seven points from the relegation zone.

Players from both teams also wore T-shirts against the Super League before the match.

The Spanish league went ahead with its campaign against the new competition despite a local court injunction prohibiting actions against proposed league.

Cadiz's Alvaro Negredo, left, and Salvi Sanchez wear t-shirts that read in Spanish: "Super League? Soccer belongs to everyone" and "Soccer belongs to supporters" prior the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

Among the actions by the Spanish league was a video urging teams to "earn it on the pitch!”

The messages was accompanied by the Champions League logo at the end, and the words “football is for the fans.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Cadiz players wearing t-shirts that read in Spanish: "Super League? Soccer belongs to everyone" enter the pitch prior the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)

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

Real Madrid's Alvaro Odriozola celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz and Real Madrid at the Ramon Carranza stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP PhotoJose Breton)