The top two in Spain warmed up for next weekend's Clásico with comfortable victories as Real Madrid CF overcame Real Sporting de Gijón 3-0 and FC Barcelona humbled Levante UD 5-0, while Valencia CF won and Villarreal CF suffered a third successive defeat at lowly Real Racing Club.
Madrid continued their impressive form with their 14th consecutive victory in all competitions. Real Sporting de Gijón were the latest victims as goals by Ángel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo – his 17th league goal of the campaign – and Marcelo sealed the result.
Barcelona needed to win to remain within three points of their great rivals and they did so comfortably, with a five-goal dismantling of Levante. Cesc Fàbregas's first-half double and a composed finish by 20-year-old winger Isaac Cuenca was added to after the break by Alexis Sánchez and Lionel Messi – who also now boasts 17 Liga strikes.
Third-placed Valencia remain four points behind Barça after edging out RCD Espanyol 2-1, the visitors succumbing to Roberto Soldado's late winner after Héctor Moreno had cancelled out Tono Costa's sixth-minute penalty. Meanwhile, Villlarreal slumped to their seventh reverse in ten competitive matches as Christian Stuani earned Racing Club, who parted company with coach Héctor Cúper on Tuesday, only their second league win of the season.
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|Last updated: 10/01/2012 17:14 CET|
|Sporting Gijón||0-3||Real Madrid|
|1||Real Madrid CF||14||37|
|10||Club Atlético de Madrid||13||16|
|11||Rayo Vallecano de Madrid||14||16|
|14||Real Betis Balompié||13||13|
|17||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||13||12|
|18||Real Racing Club||14||12|
|19||Real Sporting de Gijón||14||12|