Real keep heat on Barcelona with another win

European champions see off Almeria at home to move back to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

    Rodriguez scored from outside the box to send Real on the way [AP]
    Rodriguez scored from outside the box to send Real on the way [AP]

    Real Madrid kept alive their hopes of overhauling La Liga leaders Barcelona when a James Rodriguez stunner set up a serene 3-0 home victory over struggling Almeria.

    La Liga top-scorers
    39 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)     
    38 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)            
    22 Antoine Griezmann (Atl Madrid) 
    20 Neymar (Barcelona)                  
    19 Carlos Bacca (Sevilla)        

    Barca, chasing a fifth Spanish league title in seven years, thrashed Getafe 6-0 at the Nou Camp on Tuesday and have a two-point advantage over their arch-rivals with four matches remaining.

    Champions Atletico Madrid stayed on course to secure third place and an automatic spot in the Champions League when Fernando Torres came off the bench and scored a thrilling breakaway goal to clinch a 1-0 win at Villarreal.

    Torres nicked the ball away from a defender near the halfway line 16 minutes from time, sped towards the penalty area and rounded goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo before slotting into the net.

    Barca have 84 points, with Real on 82 and Atletico 75, six ahead of Sevilla, who won 3-1 at La Liga debutants Eibar to climb above Valencia into fourth.

    Valencia can reclaim Spain's fourth Champions League berth, which carries a place in qualifying for Europe's elite club competition, if they avoid defeat at mid-table Rayo Vallecano on Thursday.

    Results:

    Celta Vigo 1-0 Malaga 

    Eibar 1-3 Sevilla 

    Elche 4-0 Deportivo Coruna 

    Real Madrid 3-0 Almeria 

    Villarreal 0-1 Atletico Madrid

    SOURCE: Reuters


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