Ronaldo inspires Real to Sociedad win
Real Madrid closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona back to seven points as Cristiano Ronaldo took his goal tally for the club to 50 in 51 Primera Division games with a brace in a 4-1 victory over Real Sociedad.
Ronaldo, who turned 26 on Saturday, had failed to score in his previous four appearances - his worst spell since joining the club - but he was the catalyst for yet another home win for Real.
Kaka gave Jose Mourinho's side the ideal start when he opened the scoring early on, and then Ronaldo added two more goals before half-time, netting in the 21st and 42nd minutes.
Sociedad pulled a goal back midway through the second half when the ball rebounded in off Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa, but the hosts added a fourth late on through Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored his second goal in three appearances since joining the Spanish giants on loan.
Valencia's fine league form continued as they dispatched Hercules 2-0 at the Mestalla.
Los Che were denied a club record-equalling sixth successive victory by Racing Santander on Monday, but goals from Aritz Aduriz and Tino Costa ensured they made it six from seven. The result left Hercules nursing a run of four league defeats in a row.
Sevilla's below-par season continued as they were held to a goalless stalemate by bottom side Malaga at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Sevilla's stated aim this season is to reach the Champions League but Sunday's 0-0 draw leaves them in seventh place, well off the pace in the battle to claim a top-four finish. The point snapped Malaga's three-game losing streak but they remain bottom of the Primera Division, four points from safety.