Real Madrid CF remain three points clear at the top of the Spanish standings after getting the better of Valencia CF in a five-goal thriller at Mestalla.
Madrid continue to reign in Spain but they were made to work hard for their victory against a Valencia side who refused to lie down. Karim Benzema's opening goal set the ball rolling for the visitors (20), who doubled their advantage through Sergio Ramos (72) and although Roberto Soldado twice hit back (75, 83) for the hosts, Cristiano Ronaldo's 14th league goal (79) proved the difference between the two sides.
FC Barcelona had briefly drawn level at the top earlier in the evening following a routine 4-0 success against Real Zaragoza, which was graced by strikes from two defenders. Gerard Piqué (18) and captain Carles Puyol (54) were both on target for the first time this season, while Leo Messi's effort – his 15th in the Liga – was pointedly more familiar. David Villa (75) rounded off the scoring. Elsewhere, Villarreal CF rediscovered winning ways with only their third league success of the campaign, a 1-0 defeat of Real Betis Balompié achieved by Borja Valero's winner (21).
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|Last updated: 20/06/2012 12:51 CET|
Jesús Navas 14
|Venue: San Sebastian|
Soldado 75, 83
Borja Valero 21
|1||Real Madrid CF||12||31|
|9||Club Atlético de Madrid||12||16|
|10||Rayo Vallecano de Madrid||12||16|
|13||Real Betis Balompié||12||13|
|14||Real Sporting de Gijón||12||12|
|18||Real Racing Club||11||9|
|20||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||12||9|