Málaga vs. Mallorca  3 - 1

Article

La Liga wrap: Ronaldo hat-trick sends Real clear, Valencia crush Gijon

13 February 2012 03:50

Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat 10-man Levante 4-2 on Sunday and extend their lead to 10 points at the top of La Liga.

Visitors Levante opened the scoring just five minutes from kick-off at the Santiago Bernabeu, when Gustavo Cabral headed home from Francisco Farinos' free-kick.

Karim Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside soon afterwards, and it took until the stroke of half-time for Real to force an equaliser.

It came at a serious cost to the visitors, with Vicente Iborra shown a second yellow card for handling inside the box, and Cristiano Ronaldo converting from the penalty spot.

Ronaldo headed his side ahead just five minutes into the second half, climbing highest to nod home Gonzalo Higuain's cross.

And the Portugal international completed his hat-trick in some style seven minutes later, cutting in from the left to fire home a vicious strike from distance.

Aroune Kone pulled one back for Levante on 63 minutes, but his headed goal arrived against the run of play.

And Benzema restored Real's two-goal cushion just three minutes later, advancing into the box before dispatching a curling effort to the back post.

The win means Real now boast a commanding lead over defending champions Barcelona, and appear on course to collect their first league title since 2008.

In other matches, Valencia cruised to a 4-0 win in their match at home to Sporting Gijon.

Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring 32 minutes into the match at the Mestalla, and the hosts doubled their lead thanks to Alberto Botias's 72nd-minute own goal.

An injury-time brace from substitute Jonas added further gloss to the margin of victory.

Miguel Perez Cuesta and Diego Da Silva Costa were on target for Rayo Vallecano in their 2-0 win at home to Getafe, who had Michel sent off on the hour mark.

Sebastien Fernendez, Jeremy Toulalan and Jose Salomon Rondon all scored as Malaga came from a goal down to beat Mallorca 3-1 at home.

Finally, second-half strikes from Paulo Da Silva and Juan Carlos helped bottom side Real Zaragoza record their first victory from 16 matches in all competitions, a 2-0 win away to Espanyol.

Article

La Liga preview: Real aim for Levante revenge

11 February 2012 03:10

Real Madrid hold a healthy seven-point lead atop La Liga ahead of Sunday's meeting with Levante, while Barcelona visit Osasuna.

Despite speculation suggesting Jose Mourinho will depart the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, an 18th-minute winner from Sergio Ramos saw Real continue their fine form with a 1-0 victory at Getafe last time out.

Mourinho has been linked with a return to the English Premier League, but Real forward Jose Callejon believes the Portuguese tactician will remain with the La Liga giants.

"I do not believe Mourinho will go at the end of the season, because he is happy here," Callejon said on Wednesday.

"He really wants to work hard and to do things well. I think he is calm and really wants to win a lot of trophies."

They host a Levante side clinging to fourth spot, winless in six outings after a stunning start to the campaign, which included a shock 1-0 win over Real in September.

Meanwhile, Barca's chase of their rivals continues with a trip to ninth-placed Osasuna.

Several players - including Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Pedro - are hopeful of recovering from injury in time for Saturday's encounter.

Another slip-up from Barca could cost them any chance of retaining their title.

In other matches, third-placed Valencia, 11 points adrift of Barca, take on lowly Sporting Gijon at Estadio Mestalla on Sunday.

Inaki Tejada has been confirmed as Sporting Gijon boss until the end of the season, with his team's 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna bringing them to within four points of safety.

Espanyol will be out to extend their unbeaten league run to eight matches when they host bottom-placed Real Zaragoza.

Atletico Madrid, who have kept six consecutive clean sheets and are unbeaten under Diego Simeone, visit Racing Santander, while Athletic Bilbao travel to Real Betis, both on Saturday.

Villarreal will look to continue their resurgence under Jose Molina when they host Granada on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Malaga face Mallorca, mid-table sides Getafe and Rayo Vallecano meet and Real Sociedad host Sevilla.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +89 100
2 38 +85 91
3 38 +15 61
4 38 +1 58
5 38 +7 56
6 38 +4 55
7 38 -17 54
8 38 -4 52
9 38 +1 50
10 38 -3 49
11 38 -11 47
12 38 -6 47
13 38 -9 47
14 38 -10 46
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -25 43
17 38 -21 42
18 38 -14 41
19 38 -27 37
20 38 -35 27