Real sweep three past Sporting

Real Madrid maintained their run of impressive form at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 victory at Sporting Gijon.

Goals from Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo gave Jose Mourinho's team a 14th win on the trot in all competitions. This was their tenth in succession in the league, keeping them in control at the top of the table.

Ronaldo had the first chance of the game but his shot from 20 yards in the 18th minute went wide. Di Maria was next to threaten less than two minutes later, but goalkeeper Juan Pablo was equal to his 18-yard effort.

Ronaldo drilled over in the 25th minute, before Argentinian international Di Maria opened the scoring ten minutes later, taking advantage of slack defending to advance on goal and tap in from close to the byline.

The home side first tested Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the 36th minute as Miguel's effort was repelled, and soon after Casillas had to show more smart handling to deny Oscar Trejo from 18 yards.

Sporting's best chance of the game came in the 57th minute, after Roberto Canella was fouled by Mesut Ozil. Canella took the free-kick himself and found Alberto Botia, but he headed wide of the target from seven yards out.

Di Maria ended a jinking run with an off-target shot five minutes later, but Real did not have to wait much longer for a second goal. Ronaldo was the man who doubled the lead, beating the offside trap to receive an inch-perfect ball from Di Maria, before rounding Pablo and tucking inside the near post in the 64th minute.

Home appeals for a penalty came to nothing when Gaston Sangoy went down under pressure from Pepe and Sergio Ramos in the 69th minute - shortly after the striker's introduction for Andre Castro.

Pablo was out smartly in the 71st minute to deny Gonzalo Higuain, then Fabio Coentrao shot wide four minutes later. After Pablo had again denied Karim Benzema, the scoring was completed in injury-time when Benzema put Marcelo in the clear and the defender beat the exposed goalkeeper with a high shot.