Real Madrid win easily to pile pressure on Barca
Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil scored to help Real Madrid beat Zaragoza 3-1 on Saturday and move to points clear at the top of La Liga, ahead of second-placed Barcelona's game away to Villarreal.
Angel Lafita had given the side rock bottom of the league an early lead but the leaders were dominant throughout and could have scored more.
The result makes it fifteen wins in sixteen league games, the home defeat to Barcelona in December being the only blip, for a Madrid side showing great consistency in the league.
Lafita surprised Madrid when he opened the scoring on ten minutes against the run of play, turning in a right wing cross from ex-Madrid youth player Carlos Aranda.
However, Madrid were quick to press forward and Kaka came close on 25 minutes flicking wide a Xabi Alonso free-kick with his head before Ronaldo headed high from close range three minutes later.
Kaka then found himself in space but stretching when he sent the ball wide before moments later latching on to a Ricardo Carvalho pass and slotting the ball home for the equaliser on 31 minutes.
Madrid continued in the same vein after the break and Ozil supplied Ronaldo for an easy finish on 48 minutes after clever build-up play by Esteban Granero and Marcelo.
Then Kaka was the supplier for Ozil who finished well with a powerful shot from a tight angle on the left hand side of the area for Madrid's third on 55 minutes.
Iker Casillas had to save well to deny Hector Postiga on 71 minutes, but Madrid were never in trouble of losing control of the game against a side marooned six points behind their closest competitor at the foot of the table.
Earlier on Saturday Espanyol beat a ten-man Mallorca with a Vladimir Weiss goal to remain fifth and move level on points with fourth placed Levante, who play Getafe at home on Sunday.
Slovakian winger Weiss, on loan from Manchester City, grabbed his second goal of the season for Espanyol on 18 minutes after a huge mix up between Dude Aouate in the Mallorca goal and his defender Pablo Caceres.
Aouate then received his marching orders in the first minute of the second-half for what seemed to be a clean tackle on the advancing Espanyol forward Rui Fonte.
Spain centre-forward Fernando Llorente scored a hat-trick for Athletic Bilbao in a 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano to keep the Basque side in sixth, two points behind Espanyol and Levante.
Llorente's hat-trick was enough to overcome a plucky Rayo side for whom Miguel Cuesta 'Michu' and Alejandro Arribas grabbed goals.
The winner came on 67 minutes when Llorente reached to head home a Gaizka Toquero cross from the right to make it eleven league goals for him for the season.
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