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La Liga wrap: Ronaldo leads high-flying Real Madrid, Barca sink Balboa

1 April 2012 05:18

Real Madrid remain six points clear of title rivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga after both cruised to wins on Saturday.

Braces from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain saw Jose Mourinho's Real to a 5-1 thrashing of sixth-placed Osasuna.

Karim Benzema fired Real ahead with a remarkable strike on seven minutes, connecting with Ronaldo's deep cross.

The ball hung in the air, allowing the Frenchman to set himself up before showing excellent technique to unleash an unstoppable volley into the opposite top corner from a tight angle.

Ronaldo put his side 2-0 up as he netted his first ever goal at the Reyno de Navarra.

Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, the Portugal international rifled a stunning effort into the top corner.

Mourinho's side found a third not long after when Xabi Alonso's precise pass found Higuain, and the Argentina international clipped his finish over Andres Fernandez for his 100th goal in Real Madrid colours.

Osasuna pulled a goal back when Nino sent a bullet header past a helpless Iker Casillas, only for Ronaldo to restore Real's three-goal advantage with a deflected free-kick on 70 minutes.

Higuain headed in a Ronaldo cross soon after to complete the rout and take Real past the 100-goal mark in La Liga this season, while Osasuna finished with 10 men after Roland Lamah was shown two yellow cards late on.

Barcelona ensured the gap remained at six points with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou.

The visitors struggled just 48 hours after their Europa League win over Schalke and Barca took advantage with goals from Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi sealing the three points.

Pep Guardiola's side broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time thanks to a thunderous finish from Iniesta.

Messi slid a pass into Iniesta, who drove towards goal and blasted a shot past Gorka Iraizoz and into the roof of the net.

They doubled their lead just before the hour-mark when Messi dispatched a penalty into the bottom corner after Javi Martinez brought down Cristian Tello.

In other matches, relegation-battling Real Zaragoza recorded their third straight win as Angel Lafita poked home a cross from Franco Zuculini in stoppage time to give them a 2-1 victory at Sporting Gijon.

Fourth-placed Malaga suffered a surprise 2-0 loss to Real Betis, who had Ruben Castro and Jose Dorado on the scoresheet.

Guilherme Siqueira's 89th-minute penalty helped Granada to a 1-0 win at Racing Santander.

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Info

Competition
Primera División
Date
31 March 2012
Game week
31
Kick-off
18:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
89' Guilherme Siqueira (PG)
 (assist by I. Uche)

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
7
10
30
15
16
21
31
# Player Bookings
12
10
18
3
16
22
25

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