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Madrid looks to confirm recovery in league play

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MADRID — Real Madrid's win over Manchester City was just the first hurdle as the Spanish champions return to league play looking to confirm their recovery from a poor start to the season.

Madrid's memorable 3-2 victory over City on Tuesday certainly provided a morale-boost for a team in disarray domestically, already eight points behind Spanish leader Barcelona after only four games.

Madrid has a short trip across town Saturday to upstart Rayo Vallecano, where the attitude of star player Cristiano Ronaldo and defender Sergio Ramos will be under extra scrutiny. Ramos was benched against City, while the previously "sad" Ronaldo looked happy again after scoring the late winner.

Barcelona welcomes winless Granada on Sunday with Lionel Messi already in excellent form, having scored two goals in Wednesday's Champions League win to take his season tally to 10.