Ronaldo, Messi magic bag leaders points
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a wonderful, back-heeled goal, while Lionel Messi hit the target with a deadly accurate free-kick as Real Madrid and Barcelona both emerged victorious from testing La Liga trips today.
Ronaldo gave Real a 1-0 win over neighbours Rayo Vallecano, while Messi scored his team's second goal in a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid. The results also kept Real ten points in front of the defending champions.
"A back-heel is always different. It was a great goal but I'm not sure if it was the best of my career - I have to see it again on TV," said Ronaldo. "The most important thing is the victory and the points."
Barcelona, meanwhile, dominated the first half at Atletico and the breakthrough came on 35 minutes when Dani Alves finished off a swift attacking move started by Messi who presented Cesc Fabregas with the chance to set-up the Brazilian the opener.
However, it was a different Atletico that emerged in the second half and they were soon level when Colombian striker Radamel Falcao met a corner to score his 15th league goal of the season on 48 minutes.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw until Gabi Fernandez tripped Pedro Rodriguez on the edge of the Atletico area. As Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was still lining up his defensive wall Messi hit a curling left-footed shot into the far corner.
Sevilla sink Valencia
Sevilla made it two consecutive wins for new coach Michel with a 2-1 defeat of third-placed Valencia. Tino Costa put Valencia ahead after 25 minutes only for Chilean Gary Medel to level for Sevilla ten minutes later. Spanish international Jesus Navas got the winner on 69 minutes after a perfect pass in front of goal from former Spurs star Frederic Kanoute.
The result moves Sevilla into tenth position on 32 points, while Osasuna move two points and three places ahead of them after a 2-1 win over Granada.
Osasuna raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Javad Nekounam and Dejan Lekic. But, Mikel Rico pulled one back before half-time with a fine right-footed drive. Osasuna held on for the win, though, despite playing the last quarter of the game with ten men after Patxi Punal received his marching orders.
Athletic Bilbao enhanced their UEFA Champions League prospects with a hard fought 2-2 draw at Villarreal. Athletic stay fifth, one point behind Levante who currently hold fourth position and a Champions League classification for next season.