Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th top-flight goal for Real Madrid CF as the Liga leaders returned to winning ways after ten-man FC Barcelona had ramped up the pressure by overcoming RCD Mallorca.
Having had their advantage over the Azulgrana reduced to six points in the last week following successive 1-1 draws, Madrid were back to their free-scoring best against Real Sociedad de Fútbol, Gonzalo Higuaín (6) setting them on their way.
Ronaldo's landmark strike, on just his 92nd league appearance for the club, and a lob from Karim Benzema extended the hosts' lead before the break, with the pair scoring again in the second half as Madrid registered five goals or more in a match for the ninth time this season. Xabi Prieto (41) replied for Sociedad, who remain 14th.
The win restored their six-point cushion over Barcelona, who had earlier won 2-0 at Mallorca. Lionel Messi (25) opened the scoring with a free-kick which evaded everyone, despite Alexis Sánchez's attempt to apply the finishing touch, although it was not until the latter stages that the points were secured through Gerard Piqué’s opportunist strike.
Josep Guardiola’s team had been down to ten men since Thiago Alcántara was dismissed in the 56th minute for a second booking. Elsewhere, Pedro Rios (12), Miku (24) and a Bruno own goal (30) ensured Getafe CF came from behind to beat third-placed Valencia CF 3-1.
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|Last updated: 24/03/2012 23:55 CET|
|Real Madrid||5-1||Real Sociedad|
|Venue: Palma de Mallorca|
|1||Real Madrid CF||29||75|
|8||Club Atlético de Madrid||28||39|
|11||Rayo Vallecano de Madrid||28||37|
|14||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||29||33|
|15||Real Betis Balompié||28||31|
|18||Real Racing Club||28||24|
|19||Real Sporting de Gijón||28||24|