MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo scored a
hat-trick to lead Real Madrid to a 4-0 home win over Getafe on
Tuesday, denying leaders Barcelona the chance to win the La Liga
title without kicking a ball.
Real cut the lead on their arch-rivals back to five points
with two games left to play, which means Pep Guardiola's Barca
side can wrap up their third consecutive league crown with a
draw in their game in hand at Levante on Wednesday.
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Champions League finalists Barca have 91 points to Real's 86
and hold the head-to-head advantage over Jose Mourinho's team
should they finish level on points next week.
Getafe slipped closer to the relegation places in 17th with
40 points, one ahead of 18th-placed Real Zaragoza, who visit
fellow strugglers Real Sociedad (41) on Wednesday.
Deportivo La Coruna's 2-1 comeback win over Athletic Bilbao
pulled them out of the bottom three up to 14th with 42 points.
Racing Santander also recovered to win 2-1 at home to
Atletico Madrid to go ninth on 46 with Malaga were one point
behind them in 10th after a 2-0 win at Sporting Gijon.
Ronaldo closed to within two goals of Real Madrid's club
record of 38 for a season, held by Hugo Sanchez, with his
seventh goal in four days ahving bagged four in Saturday's 6-2
demolition of Sevilla.
The Portugal forward outjumped two defenders to head the
opener in the 24th minute from Mesut Ozil's superb curling cross
with the outside of his left boot.
The German playmaker also laid on Ronaldo's second after a
swift counter-attack in the 57th.
Substitute Karim Benzema then guided in Xabi Alonso's long
pass before Ronaldo sealed his hat-trick with a penalty in added-time, taking his league tally for the season to an unrivalled 36
goals, ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi with 31.
"I'm in good form. I am fighting to win the top scorers'
award but I am not obsessed with it," Ronaldo told Spanish
Racing were all but assured of La Liga football next season
with their win over Europa League-chasing Atletico after an
emotional pre-match tribute to former fan and local resident
The Spanish golfer, a five-times major winner, died aged 54
on Saturday after a struggling to overcome a brain tumour
diagnosed in 2008.
Both teams walked out at the Sardinero stadium with shirts
dedicated to Ballesteros, while a group of children carried a
giant photo of him into the centre circle, for a minute's
silence before kick-off.
Although Mario Suarez scored first for Atletico, goals from
Kennedy Bakircioglu and Markus Rosenberg ensured the match
finished with huge celebrations from the home fans.
Malaga were fired to their fifth consecutive win by in-form
Brazilian forward Julio Baptista, who scored his seventh goal in
five matches with a spectacular mid-air scissors volley.
Deportivo, champions in 2000 and European regulars in the
early part of the last decade, pulled away from trouble courtesy
of Adrian Lopez's effort, which was diverted into his own net by
Bilbao's Carlos Gurpegui, and a Xabi Castillo own goal.
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