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By ESPN Staff
Dec 19, 2009

La Liga: Real Madrid hit six, Soldado nets brace

Real Madrid took advantage of Barcelona's absence to keep up the pressure at the top of La Liga by hammering six goals past Real Zaragoza.

Double strikes from Gonzalo Higuain and Rafael van der Vaart put Madrid four up before the half and then Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema got in on the act to put some gloss on the result. With champions Barcelona playing in the Club World Cup, Madrid have cut their lead at the top of the league to two points.

Opportunist goals from Getafe striker Roberto Soldado condemned Sevilla to a 2-1 home defeat in a La Liga match they dominated on Saturday.

Sevilla remain third with 30 points, four behind second-placed Real Madrid, who were hosting struggling Real Zaragoza in the late game.

Soldado finished off a sweeping counter-attack to put Getafe ahead after 12 minutes and netted his 10th of the campaign in the 33rd after a misunderstanding in the home defence.

Sevilla turned to substitute Alvaro Negredo and he pulled one back in the 51st, bundling the ball into the net at the far post to end his 1-1/2 month goal drought.

But profligate finishing and the saves of visiting goalkeeper Jordi Codina made it three games in a row without a win for Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Earlier, Fernando Llorente powered Athletic Bilbao to a 2-0 home victory over Osasuna, lifting his side to sixth in the standings with 26 points.

The Spain striker set up Fran Yeste to tap in the opener inside the first minute at San Mames, and then turned to score with a superb effort from the edge of the area in the 12th.

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