Primera Liga round-up
Real Madrid regained top spot with victory at Sevilla. There were also wins for Espanyol, Getafe and Athletic Bilbao.
Last Updated: 18/12/11 11:02am
Real Madrid will finish the year top of the league after victory at Sevilla. There were also wins for Espanyol, Getafe and Athletic Bilbao.
Real Madrid regained top spot in Spain after winning 6-2 in Sevilla despite being reduced to ten men in the first half.
With Barcelona in Japan taking part in the Club World Cup, Real made a real statement of intent as they moved three points clear at the summit.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after 10 minutes, latching onto a through ball from Angel Di Maria before slotting past Javi Varas with a first time finish.
Di Maria was once again pulling the strings when Jose Callejon netted in the 37th minute. The Argentine flicking the ball over the Sevilla defence for the 24-year-old to flick past the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Three minutes later Ronaldo got his second of the game and Real's third, firing a rocket into the top corner from around 30 yards out.
But then in the 44th minute Pepe was given a second yellow card after being adjudged to have elbowed Alavaro Negredo in the face.
Di Maria got himself on the score sheet in the 65th minute. After receiving a pass from Karim Benzema he broke down the left wing, leaving the defenders for dead, before cutting into the box and firing home.
Jesus Navas pulled one back for Sevilla three minutes later. He was given too much space in the box by Sergio Ramos and fired a shot across Iker Casillas' goal and into the far corner.
In the 73rd minute Sevilla were also reduced to ten men. Manu del Moral was dismissed for a tackle from behind on Alvaro Arbeloa, which seemed a harsh decision.
Federico Fazio then upended Benzema in the box in the 84th minute as he was about to shoot but somehow escaped without even a booking.
Ronaldo then scored from the spot to complete his hat-trick.
Sloppy defending from Sevilla then allowed Xabi Alonso to pick out an unmarked Hamit Altintop to slot home from five yards out in the 89th minute.
Alavro Negrado rounded Casillas in stoppage time to score Sevilla's second.
Sergio Garcia scored the winner seven minutes from time as Espanyol beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 in a thoroughly entertaining match at El Molinon.
The visitors were in front within the first two minutes as a lightening quick counter-attack sent Thievy Bifouma clear and his shot was too good for Juan Pablo in the Sporting goal.
Espanyol were well in control of the game but failed to build on their lead and were punished as Diego Barral flicked in a corner at the near post to bring Sporting level on the hour mark.
Thereafter it was end to end with both teams wasting a host of good chances to take the lead until Garcia latched onto Alvaro Vasquez's flick on and thundered a volley past Pablo to leave Sporting in the relegation zone.
Getafe came from behind to win 2-1 at Mallorca for their first away win of the season.
The visitors did not get off to the best start as Miguel Angel Moya flapped at Michael Pereria's corner and Mallorca captain Ivan Ramis headed into the empty net.
However Abdel Barrada's deflected effort brought Getafe level on 28 minutes before the Moroccan scored again after a wonderful run and pass from Miku left him with the simplest of tasks in front of an unguarded net.
Athletic Bilbao saw off Real Zaragoza 2-1 at San Mames as both sides finished with ten men.
Markel Susaeta put the hosts ahead after seven minutes rounding the goalkeeper before slotting into the net.
Javi Martinez then saw red after tackling Angel Lafita from behind and bringing the midfielder down in the box after 20 minutes.
Leonardo Ponzio sent Iraizoz the wrong way as he converted from the spot.
Maurizio received a second yellow card for a handball in the 70th minute and his side paid for it when poor defending allowed Oscar De Marcos to set Gaizka Toquero up for the winner with three minutes to go.