BARCELONA, Spain -- Cristiano Ronaldo scored his Spanish league-leading 25th goal to give Real Madrid a lacklustre 1-0 win at Malaga on Saturday, when the pacesetters extended their unbeaten run to 30 consecutive matches in all competitions. Diego Costa made sure Atletico Madrid stayed within three points of its crosstown rivals by scoring his 22nd league goal of the season in a 1-0 win at home over Espanyol. Ronaldo netted the winner in the 23rd minute, and a tired Madrid was fortunate Malaga failed to muster a comeback after pushing the visitors into their area for the final 10 minutes. Third-place Barcelona will enter Sundays match against Osasuna seven points behind Madrid with the two powerhouses set to clash in the Spanish capital next weekend. Madrids win was tarnished by the loss of Karim Benzema to a right thigh injury after colliding with Ronaldo in the first half. "We suffered, above all in the second half," Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso said. "They pressed us and it was tough for us to move the ball. These are three important points. There are 10 games left and we have to play each one like its the last." Elsewhere, Rayo Vallecano beat Almeria 3-1 to provisionally escape the relegation zone with a third consecutive victory, while Celta Vigo earned an entertaining 1-0 win at Levante. The opening stage of the match at La Rosaleda Stadium saw a vibrant back-and-forth exchange before Ronaldo put Madrid ahead with a wonderful solo effort. The Ballon dOr winner looked to be hemmed in by two defenders on the edge of the area, but he took three touches to his right and lashed a bouncing strike beyond goalkeeper Willy Caballero. Ronaldos goal gave him 39 goals in 36 games in all competitions this campaign. Ronaldo went close twice more shortly after, first being blocked by Caballero and then sending Gareth Bales lobbed pass into the side netting before he ran into Benzema. Benzema was treated on the sideline by team doctors before he asked to be substituted, ceding his spot to Angel Di Maria, in the 31st. Former Malaga standout Francisco "Isco" Alarcon, who joined Madrid this summer, wasted a golden chance in the 51st when he sent the ball sailing high after Di Maria set him up for a one-on-one with Caballero. Isco was applauded by his former fans when replaced by Jese Rodriguez less than 10 minutes later. Madrid, so dominant in the first half, lost control of the ball and Malaga tilted the match in its favour led by tireless forward Nordin Amrabat. But defender Sergio Sanchez blasted his teams most promising opportunity to level high in the 76th. "This team is consistent game after game," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "We are ready for the clasico." But before receiving fierce rival Barcelona, Madrid hosts Schalke on Tuesday with one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals after winning their first meeting 6-1. The first half at Vicente Calderon Stadium was ruled by the defences and featured a good save each by Atleticos Courtois Thibaut and Espanyols Kiko Casilla. Diego Costa broke through in the 55th when he received a throughball from David Villa, easily fended off Diego Colottos timid attempt to slow him down, and fired the ball past Casilla. Courtois took a hard hit to the head when Jhon Cordoba inadvertently kneed him, but the Belgian recovered and four minutes later in the 77th David Lopezs bouncing strike struck his head before falling wide of the post. "Espanyol played a great game and complicated our lives a lot," Diego Costa said. "But that just makes us stronger." Rayo won thanks to Joaquin Larriveys double after Alberto Bueno headed in the opener. Fernando Soriano scored for Almeria. Rayo rose three points above danger. Almeria was left in the drop zone along with Valladolid and Real Betis before they play on Sunday. Celta forward Manuel "Nolito" Agudo scored from a well-orchestrated counterattack in the 19th. David Barral missed a penalty for Levante in the 61st. The loss was Levantes first in seven straight home games. Both teams stayed in the middle of the standings. Air Max 95 Sale Canada
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. According to bodog.ca, Cleveland moved up to grab the best odds to win the Larry OBrian trophy at 4-1 on Friday. By comparison, the Miami Heats odds plummeted from 3-1 favourites before LeBron left, to 50-1.First, it was Gary Leeman and friends who filed a concussion class action lawsuit against the NHL. On Thursday, I broke the story that a second concussion lawsuit was filed against the NHL. A copy of the lawsuit can be found here. There are nine plaintiffs in this latest lawsuit against the league: Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer, Jack Carlson, Richard Brennan, Brad Maxwell, Michael Peluso, Tom Younghans, Allan Rourke and Scott Bailey. These are not household or brand names, and for casual fans, the only recognizable names may be Peluso, and to a lesser extent, LaCouture. The lawsuit alleges fraudulent concealment. In particular, the players complain that the league knew of the long-term neurological impact of repeated headshots and elected not to share that information with the players. By not revealing that information, players did not have an opportunity to make an informed decision about playing in the NHL. As was the case with the over 200 NFL concussion lawsuits filed, concealment is a critical component of this lawsuit. The players are also alleging that the NHL was negligent in the way it handled the welfare of players. The lawsuit states that the NHL fostered and promoted a culture of violence with a view to generating revenue. In doing so, the league failed to institute reasonable safeguards and protocols to protect its players from head trauma. By failing to protect the players from the risks and consequences of headshots, the league failed to discharge a legal duty owed to its players. Like concussion lawsuits generally, this one faces challenges. The first is causation. In order to get paid, the plaintiffs are going to have to show that the brain damage they suffered was caused at the NHL level. On the flip side, the NHL will point out that no one can say for sure what caused a players neurological condition, and even if it was caused by repeated headshots while playing hockey, how much of that damage was sustained while in the NHL and not in places like the AHL, CHL or Europe. So what caused the damage and when it was caused become critically important issues. Brennan played 50 NHL games, while Rourke and Bailey played 55 and 19 NHL games respectively. With so few NHL games played, its going to be tough for these plaintiffs to show that the NHL is responsible for their brain damage. As well, Peluso played 458 NHL games. He also played over 250 games outside the NHL during his professional career. Can you say definitively that the damage was sustained at the NHL level? Not easy. The league will also take the position that it didnt conceal any information. They will say that there wasnt any conclusive science at the time and they had the same information the players had. Basically, they wiill say we knew what you knew.dddddddddddd That being the case, the league will then maintain that the players were aware of the risk associated with playing hockey based on the science at that time, and agreed to those risks each time they stepped onto the ice. This legal principle is called informed consent. The NHL could also maintain that this lawsuit doesnt belong in court in the first place, but rather should go to arbitration. The collective bargaining agreement provides that issues of player health and safety go to arbitration and not court. On the flip side, the players would take the position that since this case involves fraud, it properly falls outside of arbitration and within the jurisdiction of the courts. So the bottom line is this: the players will need to provide good evidence showing that the league concealed the harmful impact of repeated headshots. If they dont have that evidence, they will have a very difficult time. On top of that, they will need to deal with the very tricky issue of causation. The way the lawsuit itself was drafted is a bit unusual. It provides that Gordie Howe is dead (hes not) and misspells Sidney Crosbys name (Sydney). It also makes reference to movies, including Gladiator, Youngblood and Friday the 13th. This is atypical. The lawsuit also relies on the concussion history of other players as support for the position that the game inflicts permanent neurological damage. In part, the lawyers point to players like Marc Savard, Nick Kypreos, Geoff Courtnall, Petr Svoboda, Keith Primeau, Pat LaFontaine, Tony Granato and Paul Kariya as having suffered long-term damage. However, this doesnt necessarily belong in this type of document. It looks more like evidence that needs to be presented at trial. So the lawsuit is perhaps atypical in the way it was drafted. From a legal standpoint, these inaccuracies may not ultimately hurt the merits of the lawsuit. These things can be corrected. However, it may undermine the credibility of the claims being made. As well, and perhaps more importantly, the whole idea with a class action lawsuit is to recruit other players. Its possible that other players may not feel entirely comfortable with this particular lawsuit given the oversights in the document. Still, there is time to right the ship and this lawsuit has some good lawyers associated with it. As far as next steps, the NHL will do what the NFL has done in the past: go to court and ask a judge to punt this lawsuit. Assuming the lawsuit is not dismissed, we are still years away from a resolution. One more thing: while this is the second NHL concussion lawsuit filed to date, it likely wont be the last. 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