Real take charge in Spain
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Vicente Del Bosque`s side go into their final game of the season against Athletic Bilbao next week knowing the destiny of the title is in their hands after Real Sociedad slipped to defeat at Celta Vigo.
Real took control from the outset with Ronaldo demonstrating exactly why he was brought to the Bernabeu last summer.
The Brazilian latched onto an exquisite Zinedine Zidane pass before smashing a shot into the corner with unerring accuracy.
Atletico were not without chances, as Iker Casillas was forced to make a fine save from Jose Mari, but Real carried the greater threat and it came as no surprise when Luis Figo teed up Raul to poke home the second.
On the half-hour mark, Roberto Carlos escaped down the left before firing in a superb cross which presented compatriot Ronaldo with the simplest of tasks to score his second.
Atletico exerted pressure on the Real goal in the second-half but could not convert their chances and Raul capped the superb performance with his second 17 minutes from time.
Real now have a two-point lead with one game to play after Sociedad were beaten 3-2 at Celta Vigo.
Alexander Mostovoi was the scourge of Sociedad, as the Russian netted twice. Turkish ace Nihat notched a pair of his own to keep Sociedad in the hunt, but Mido`s effort tipped the balance in Celta`s favour.
Celta`s win combined with Valencia`s home defeat at the hands of Barcelona assures them of a place in next term`s Champions League.
Penalties in either half by Gaizka Mendieta and Patrick Kluivert, and a strike from Marc Overmars ended Valencia`s Champions League hopes.
The Mestalla outfit were ragged by the end, with the dismissals of John Carew and Amadeo Carboni meaning they finished the game with nine men - although a late penalty from Juan Sanchez provided some consolation.
Deportivo La Coruna`s season has petered out of late and they fell to a 3-2 defeat at Athletic Bilbao. Asier del Horno and Francisco Navarro had Athletic two up at the break, but Depor threatened a fightback when Joan Capdevila and Sergio scored.
However, Athletic summoned up extra resources and Ismael Urzaiz secured the three points with a goal 20 minutes from time.
Osasuna have found some form late in the season and extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 4-2 home victory over Alaves.
With their Liga safety assured, Osasuna have been playing with an air of confidence and proved too strong for Alaves.
John Aloisi netted a brace, the first from the penalty spot, but Osasuna`s lead was short-lived as Alaves drew level through Ruben Navarro.
Osasuna effectively settled the match in ten second-half minutes, as Moha fired them in front before former Coventry man Aloisi notched his second of the game on 78 minutes.
Relegated Alaves refused to buckle and looked to set up a tense finish when Ruben Navarro scored with five minutes remaining, but Osasuna found an instant reply when Moha restored their two-goal cushion.
A last minute goal from Xisco rescued a point for Villarreal from their trip to Espanyol.
Sevilla`s European dreams were dented with a 3-2 defeat at Malaga, while Real Betis proved too strong for Racing Santander - running out 4-2 winners.
Sunday`s other game between Recreativo and Mallorca ended 1-1.
To view a match summary, click on a link below
Athletic Bilbao v Deportivo
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
Celta Vigo v Real Sociedad
Espanyol v Villarreal
Malaga v Sevilla
Osasuna v Alaves
Real Betis v Racing Santander
Recreativo v Mallorca
Valencia v Barcelona