La Liga wrap: Ronaldo at the double for Real, Malaga into fourth
Real Madrid were made to work hard as they overcame Real Betis 3-2 in La Liga on Saturday, while Sporting Gijon also won.
League leaders Real trailed from the 10th minute of the match at Estadio Benito Villamarin following Jorge Molina's opener for the hosts.
Molina showed excellent close control to bring down Nacho's pass, before shooting past Iker Casillas from a tight angle.
The visitors levelled 15 minutes later through Argentina international Gonzalo Higuain, who collected Mesut Oezil's through ball before holding off Jose Antonio Dorado to finish well.
Cristiano Ronaldo made it 2-1 to Real seven minutes into the second half, slotting home from close range following good work by Marcelo and Kaka.
Undeterred, Betis were level three minutes later, as Jefferson Antonio Montero took advantage of some poor Real defending to score from Salva Sevilla's corner.
Despite all their hard work, the hosts were unable to take anything from the match, with Ronaldo claiming the winner for Real in the 73rd minute.
Betis goalkeeper Fabricio did well to save Sergio Ramos' header from a Kaka corner, but Portugal international Ronaldo was on hand to guide home the rebound on the half-volley.
The win saw Real became the first ever team to record 10 consecutive away victories in a single La Liga season.
With reigning champions Barcelona not in action until Sunday, Real's lead at the top of the standings is now 13 points.
Elsewhere, Jose Rondon's 51st-minute goal was enough for Malaga to defeat Levante 1-0 at home, and replace their beaten visitors in fourth place.
Andre Castro scored to help relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon record a crucial 1-0 win at home to Sevilla, who had Jorge Andujar Moreno sent off in the 96th minute.
Finally, Real Sociedad dispatched bottom side Real Zaragoza 3-0 at home, thanks to a brace from Imanol Agirretxe, as well as Carlos Vela's goal, all in the first half at Estadio Anoeta.
Sporting Gijon's win means last-placed Zaragoza are now six points adrift at the bottom, and nine points off the safety of 17th place.