Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid CF triumphed 4-1 at top-four hopefuls RCD Mallorca, reducing FC Barcelona's lead at the Liga summit to a point with two games remaining.
The Portugal forward (26) cancelled out Aritz Aduriz's close-range header (16) with a lob over onrushing goalkeeper Dudu Aouate after being picked out by Sergio Ramos's searching pass. He completed his treble with strikes on 56 and 72 minutes, his third a superb solo effort having ridden several Mallorca challenges, before Gonzalo Higuaín neatly lobbed in a fourth late on. Attention now switches to Saturday, when Madrid host Athletic Club and Barcelona visit fourth-placed Sevilla FC.
The latter climbed into Spain's final UEFA Champions League berth above Mallorca thanks to a 5-1 win at struggling Real Racing Club. Álvaro Negredo started and finished the scoring at El Sardinero, his second and Sevilla's fifth coming 11 minutes after Nasief Morris was sent off.
Elsewhere, UEFA Europa League finalists Club Atlético de Madrid defeated second-bottom Real Valladolid CF 3-1. Juanito, José Manuel Jurado and Diego Forlán were on target for Los Rojiblancos before Jonathan Sesma (78) replied for the visitors. Málaga CF, meanwhile, are one point and two places clear of the bottom three after a 1-1 draw at Athletic, while Real Zaragoza gave their survival chances a massive shot in the arm with a 1-0 home win against ten-man RCD Espanyol.
Adrián Colunga (78) scored the winner from the penalty spot moments after Nico Pareja was dismissed, moving his side five points clear of trouble with two fixtures left. Elsewhere, all the goals arrived in the first 32 minutes as CA Osasuna prevailed 3-1 at home to RC Deportivo La Coruña.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 04:45 CET|