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Cristiano Ronaldo caps rout as Real Madrid open six-point gap over Barcelona

Ronaldo caps rout as Real Madrid open six-point gap over Barcelona

Real Madrid extended their lead at
the top of the Primera Division to six points with a comfortable win
over Granada on Saturday.

Madrid looked in for a testing
evening when Mikel Rico (22) cancelled out Karim Benzema's 19th-minute
opener to reward the visitors for an encouraging performance.

On target: Cristiano Ronaldo scored again

On target: Cristiano Ronaldo scored again

But Sergio Ramos headed Jose Mourinho's side back in front on 34 minutes and the game was over as a contest when Gonzalo Higuain and Benzema scored within five minutes of the start of the second period.

Cristiano Ronaldo then added further gloss to the scoreline with the fifth goal two minutes from time as Madrid extended their lead over second-placed Barcelona, who play Espanyol on Sunday.

Elsewhere, goals were in considerably shorter supply with just one scored in the day's other four games.

Manolo Jimenez made a losing start to
his tenure as Real Zaragoza coach as Racing Santander inflicted a narrow
defeat on the Primera Division strugglers.

Hit man: Karim Benzema scores against Granada

Hit man: Karim Benzema scores against Granada

Jimenez took over a side rock bottom of the table after the departure from the hotseat of Javier Aguirre, four points behind 19th-placed Racing and five adrift of safety.

Yet it was Racing who gave themselves a shot in the arm at El Sardinero as Bernardo Espinosa's header in first-half injury-time proved enough to earn a welcome victory.

The games between Levante and Real Mallorca, Real Sociedad and Osasuna and Malaga and Atletico Madrid – for whom Diego Simeone was making his debut in the hotseat – all ended goalless.

Sir Alex Ferguson will only buy in January if his targets are available

I”ll only spend in January if I can get who I want, says Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested he will make a move in the January transfer window if a long-term target becomes available.

The Manchester United manager has seen his squad stretched in recent weeks, with Darren Fletcher taking an extended break from the game with ulcerative colitis, Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the season, Anderson battling a long-term knee problem and Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverly also sidelined.

Patient: Ferguson only wants to spend money on his ideal targets

Patient: Ferguson only wants to spend money on his ideal targets

Out: Fletcher is the latest in a string of unavailable players

Out: Fletcher is the latest in a string of unavailable players

Many pundits expect reinforcements next month, but Ferguson has vowed only to splash the cash on players he is already tracking.

The Red Devils were interested in Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder in the summer, and if he becomes available, Ferguson would likely consider an approach.

Asked if there would be new arrivals in January, he said: “Not necessarily. I don”t know why people keep going on about it.

“(I won”t buy) unless someone appears we have always been interested in appears, but there isn”t (at the moment).”

Casualty: Vidic is out for the season

Casualty: Vidic is out for the season

Ferguson also explained the decision to make public the details of Fletcher”s illness, after previously passing his absence off on a virus.

“That was the big decision,” he said.

“It got to the point where we had to address it in a different way. We spoke about a virus to protect Darren but it got to the point people were delving. It was getting uncomfortable so we decided to make it public.

“He has been in hospital for a few days.”

Ferguson also revealed that striker Dimitar Berbatov was fit after ankle trouble and reserve team midfielder Paul Pogba was in consideration for Sunday”s trip to QPR.

Manchester United poised to sign Juventus winger Krasic on loan

Injury-hit Manchester United poised to sign Juventus winger Krasic on loan

Manchester United are poised to sign Juventus winger Milos Krasic amid a mounting injury crisis.

Sir Alex Ferguson has lost the likes of Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley, Michael Owen and Javier Hernandez.

Hairy moment: Milos Krasic has found himself on the fringes at club side Juventus

Hairy moment: Milos Krasic has found himself on the fringes at club side Juventus

And now Ferguson could sign unsettled Krasic on loan in the January transfer window, reports the Daily Mirror.

AC Milan and Chelsea have also been linked with the 27-year-old.