La Liga defending champions, Real Madrid, are back in the hunt for Champions League places after an important win against Valencia at the Estadio Mestalla.
Cristiano Ronaldo twice converted from the spot in a 4-1 win to ease pressure on manager, Zinedine Zidane.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 28, 2018
The result may have flattered Real, but it was a perfect response from their shock defeat in midweek against Leganes in the Copa del Rey.
Ronaldo’s brace, alongside two late goals from Marcelo and a beauty from Toni Kroos earned Los Blancos a needed victory.
It wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests, Real had to survive a barrage of attacks from the home side, who were given hope with scores at 2-1, after Santi Mina pulled one back in the second half.
The win means Real have now reduced the distance between them and Valencia, in third, to just two points.
Elsewhere, Villarreal continue to pile pressure on the top four with a comfortable home win against Real Sociedad.
Goals from Victor Ruiz, Pablo Fornals and Carlos Bacca put the Submarines 3-0 up before Diego Llorente pulled one back Sociedad.
⚽️ 1-0 Victor Ruiz 5'
⚽️ 2-0 Pablo Fornals 17'
⚽️ 3-0 Carlos Bacca 20'
⚽️ 3-1 Diego Llorente 24' pic.twitter.com/dhhmMx957G
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 27, 2018
Samuel Castillejo restored their three goal advantage before the break, with William Jose pulling another one back for the visitors.
Villarreal held on for the win, their fourth in row in all competitions. They, however, remain in fifth position, a point behind Real Madrid.
Deportivo 2-2 Levante
Valencia 1-4 Real Madrid
Malaga 0-0 Girona
Villarreal 4-2 Real Sociedad