Cristiano Ronaldo on fire but Radamel Falcao out
Monday 21 January 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals and set up another to power Real Madrid's blistering attack to a 5-0 demolition of Valencia, while Atletico Madrid chipped into Barcelona's lead by maintaining its perfect record at home.
Madrid decided the match by half time with doubles by Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria after Gonzalo Higuain had opened the scoring.
Atletico eased to a 2-0 win over Levante, breathing an inkling of life into the title chase, but lost Colombian striker Radamel Falcao to a leg injury after he was forced off having pulled up from a sprint. Atletico coach Diego Simeone said Falcao is likely to be out for "around 20 days".
Atletico took advantage of Barcelona's first league defeat of the season - a 3-2 loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday - to reduce the gap to the pacesetters to eight points. Barça coach Tito Vilanova described the loss as a wake-up call that his side needed.
"It was inevitable we would eventually lose a game," Vilanova said. "It puts us in our place, there is still a long way to go in La Liga."
Latest in Sport
Anthony Martial: 'It's normal Wayne Rooney doesn't know who I am..and it's up to me to justify €80m price tag'
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Arsene Wenger uses Anthony Martial's €80m move to Manchester United to defend Arsenal's transfer inactivity this summer
Anthony Martial: Monaco say Manchester United's £36m offer was 'incredible'
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up