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Ronaldo double helps Real escape Celta

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Sunday, lifting Jose Mourinho's side provisionally into second place in the Spanish league.

Except for Celta's initial and last-gasp surges, Madrid had the better of the scoring chances at Balaidos Stadium despite Mourinho making several changes to his starting team following a week featuring wins over Barcelona and Manchester United.

Ronaldo was well positioned to score from a loose ball in the 61st minute. Striker Iago Aspas leveled against the run of play two minutes later, but the Portugal forward converted a spot kick earned by Kaka in the 72nd.

Ronaldo has 26 league goals this season, second only to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi with 40.

Defending champion Real (17-5-4) is 13 points back of Barcelona (23-2-2) and moved into second place as Atletico Madrid (18-5-3) lost 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad.

Xabi Prieto scored the only goal after 53 minutes to inflict a sixth loss of the season on their opponents.

Iker Muniain scored his first goal of the season as Athletic Bilbao overcame Valencia 1-0 at San Mames to record a victory that eased their fears of being dragged into a relegation fight.

Levante missed the chance to move closer to the Europa League places as Getafe survived a one-sided goalless draw at the Ciutat de Valencia.

Visiting goalkeeper Miguel Moya deserved praise for keeping Robert Acquafresca and Pedro Rios at bay in the first half but in truth, ninth-placed Getafe were lucky to escape with a point.

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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