Five star Madrid thrash Osasuna but Messi keeps Barca in the title hunt
22:24 GMT, 31 March 2012
Real Madrid continue to boast a six-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division standings after both sides claimed impressive victorioes this evening.
Madrid brought up 100 league goals for the season in their 30th match after thumping sixth-placed Osasuna 5-1 at the Reyna de Navarra stadium.
Ronaldo took his own tally to 37 for the league campaign with a brace, while Gonzalo Higuain also netted twice after Karim Benzema had given Jose Mourinho's title-chasers a seventh-minute lead.
Top of the charts: Ronaldo scored for Madrid
Osasuna, who saw coach Jose Luis Mendilibar sent to the stands early on and substitutte Roland Lamah red-carded late on, pulled a goal back through Nino just after half-time but they were already 3-0 down at the time.
Ronaldo's goals lifted him two clear of Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the top of the scoring charts, but the Argentina superstar reduced it back to one when he scored from the spot as his men beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0.
Andres Iniesta opened the scoring as Barca rarely had to leave second gear.
High five: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain celelebrate
Malaga's bid for a Champions League spot suffered a blow as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Andalusian rivals Real Betis.
Ruben Castro and Jose Dorado netted the goals in the final five minutes of the first half as Malaga, who could have moved three points clear in third place with a victory, suffered a rare defeat after winning five and drawing the other of their previous six matches.
At the other end of the table, Real Zaragoza continued their impressive charge to escape relegation as they picked up their third successive victory and fourth in six matches – they only have seven all season – with a 2-1 win at Sporting Gijon.
Another goal: Lionel Messi scored in Barcelona's win over Athletic Bilbao
After a nervy opening, Helder Postiga gave the visitors the lead but Sebastian Eguren equalised for Sporting three minutes into the second half.
However, Zaragoza would go onto claim the points thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Angel Lafita.
Guilherme Siqueira's 89th-minute penalty was enough to secure Granada a deserved 1-0 win over second-bottom Racing Santander.