Madrid, Jan 23 (IANS) Real Madrid retained their five point lead at the top of the Spanish La Liga football with a 4-1 home win over Athletic Club Bilbao. Barcelona won 4-1 away to Malaga.
Athletic opened the scoring through Fernando Llorente, but Marcelo equalised midway through the first half.
Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid ahead thanks to a questionable penalty decision in the first minute of the second half and added a second penalty 20 minutes later. Referee Mateu Lahoz sent off Athletic’s Oscar de Marcos in the same move.
Javier Callejon added the fourth goal five minutes from time following a move that began with a clear foul on Athletic’s Iker Muniain, Xinhua reported Monday.
In other matches Sunday, Barcelona cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win away to Malaga courtesy another spectacular display from Lionel Messi, who scored a hat-trick. His second and third goals came after superb solo runs, while his opening goal came from a header following an Adriano cross.
Alexis Sanchez scored the remaining goal for a Barca side which was able to rest Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey game against Real Madrid.
Osasuna kicked off the day with a dramatic home draw to Valencia. Roberto Soldado looked to have given Valencia the points with his 85th minute goal, but after captain David Albelda was sent off in injury time for a dangerous tackle, Lolo took advantage to net a late equalising goal for the home side.
Rayo Vallecano’s recent good form came to an end with a 1-0 home defeat to Mallorca. Ivan Ramos scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes after halftime.
Levante and Zaragoza produced a turgid 0-0 draw.