Primera Liga round-up
Gonzalo Higuain netted a double as Real Madrid demolished Espanyol 5-0 to maintain their commanding lead at the top of La Liga.
Last Updated: 04/03/12 10:26pm
Gonzalo Higuain netted a double as Real Madrid demolished Espanyol 5-0 to maintain their commanding lead at the top of the Primera Liga.
The emphatic triumph marked a 10th straight league success for Jose Mourinho's men, keeping them 10 points clear of nearest rivals Barcelona at the top.
Cristiano Ronaldo took his goal tally this season to 30 when he opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and Sami Khedira made it 2-0 15 minutes later.
The Bernabeu rout was completed in the second half as Higuain scored either side of a 66th-minute Kaka strike.
Sofiane Feghouli's first-half goal was enough to hand Valencia a hard-fought 1-0 win at Granada.
In a game of few clear-cut chances it was the Algerian's strike after 32 minutes that proved vital as he burst onto Jonas Goncalves' pass, turned inside Guilherme Siqueira and fired in a left-foot shot that Julio Cesar will have been disappointed to see slip through his grasp and into the net.
Jordi Alba came within inches of doubling Valencia's lead just before the break and despite having the better of the game after half-time Jaime Romero's shot off the inside of the post was the closest Granada came to an equaliser.
Two goals from Markel Susaeta guided Athletic Bilbao to their second victory over Basque rivals Real Sociedad this season and took them back into the top four of the Primera Division.
The hosts had by far the better of the opening period and deservedly went ahead when Susaeta collected Andoni Iraola's pass to fire past Claudio Bravo.
Susaeta also hit the bar and Bravo made a terrific triple save just before the break to keep the scoreline down, but Sociedad should have been level within minutes of the restart.
Carlos Vela's effort had clearly trickled over the goalline before Gorka Iraizoz pulled it into his grasp, however the goal was not given and, despite being under pressure, Athletic sealed all three points when Susaeta curled in a wonderful free-kick with 10 minutes remaining.
Abraham Fernandez scored an injury-time winner as bottom side Real Zaragoza produced a stunning late fightback to beat Villarreal 2-1.
The visitors had started the brighter and went in front after wonderful build up play from Nilmar and Javier Camunas left Alejandro Martinuccio with the simplest of finishes to score his first goal for the club.
Villarreal had chances to extend their lead in the first period but were sloppy after the break and they were made to pay when Luis Garcia fired in a wonderful volley from the edge of the area to equalise five minutes from time.
Carlos Marchena and Borja Valero then passed up good opportunities to take all three points for Villarreal, but it was the hosts who grabbed only their fourth victory of the season when the ball fell kindly to Abraham inside the area and he tucked the ball calmly past Diego Lopez.