Ronaldo at the double
A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.
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Real Madrid returned to 13 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona at the summit after a 2-1 win over a Celta Vigo side who made them work all the way.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a scrappy opener and a winner from the penalty spot, after Iago Aspas' equaliser, to take his tally to 188 goals in 186 appearances for the club.
Celta substitute Park Chu-young headed against the crossbar late on but Real held on for victory.
Real Sociedad brought Atletico Madrid's 100 per cent home record in the league this season to an end with a narrow 1-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon.
Xabi Prieto scored the only goal of the game on 53 minutes but was fortunate his effort was not disallowed for offside.
The victory took Phillippe Montanier's side up to fifth in the Primera Division table while Atleti surrendered second place to Real Madrid.
Atletico were marginally the better side in the first half but created few clear chances.
Iker Muniain scored his first goal of the season as Athletic Bilbao overcame Valencia 1-0 at San Mames to record a victory that eased their fears of being dragged into a relegation fight.
The result was also a blow to Valencia's plans of qualifying for the Champions League, as Ernesto Valverde's side, who were knocked out of Europe's elite competition by Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, missed the chance to capitalise on Malaga's draw on Saturday and claim fourth spot.
And the Valencia coach is likely to be furious with his team for failing to at least get on the scoresheet after creating a far greater number of chances than their opponents in the second half.
Levante missed the chance to move closer to the Europa League places as Getafe survived a one-sided goalless draw at the Ciutat de Valencia.
The east-coast outfit reached 36 points and 10th place courtesy of the stalemate - their highest-ever points tally at this stage of a Primera Division season - but they were left to rue a chronic lack of incision in front of goal.
Visiting goalkeeper Miguel Moya deserved praise for keeping Robert Acquafresca and Pedro Rios at bay in the first half but in truth, ninth-placed Getafe were lucky to escape with a point.
On Saturday, Barcelona rang the changes ahead of next week's Champions League clash with AC Milan but still picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna at the Nou Camp.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta were among those out of the first XI against the league's bottom side, but the reserves enjoyed near total dominance in the first period, the only surprise being that Alexis Sanchez's 38th-minute goal was all they had to show for it.
Messi and Iniesta were sent on to close out the victory in the second half and combined for the second goal, a superb Messi finish for his 40th league goal of the season.
Malaga failed to get the maximum points off Valladolid after a 1-1 draw at the Jose Zorilla stadium.
Manuel Pellegrini fielded an under-strength side, presumably with the club's Champions League last-16 second-leg match with Porto on Wednesday in mind, resting Isco and Joaquin.
However, his team got off to a great start when Martin Demichelis headed them into the lead after eight minutes, but Manucho equalised for the hosts shortly before half-time.
Alejandro Alfaro gave Real Mallorca's survival hopes another boost as his two goals helped see off Sevilla 2-1.
A week after he scored his first league goal of the season as Mallorca came from behind to win at Granada, the forward netted in each half to move his side up to third bottom, just one point from safety.
Alvaro Negredo briefly levelled for Sevilla just after the hour mark, but, with the lively Giovani Dos Santos causing plenty of problems, the hosts fully deserved their win.
They finished the match with 10 men after the sending-off of Javi Marquez for a second yellow card in the third minute of stoppage time, but by then the work was done.
Rayo Vallecano moved to within two points of the Champions League places after a convincing 2-0 win at home to Espanyol.
An early goal by Chori Dominguez gave the Madrid side the perfect start and Piti wrapped up the points by netting on 77 minutes.
On Friday night Real Betis beat struggling Osasuna 2-1 at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
The home side took the lead against the run of play after 18 minutes when Jorge Molina's header flew into the top corner from Joel Campbell's cross.
Osasuna did draw level after 73 minutes when Silva converted from 12 yards into the bottom right corner, however they would not remain on level terms for long.
Just six minutes later Betis were back in front when Castro's effort from the edge of the area was well placed past goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.