Cristiano Ronaldo nets 2 as Real Madrid beats Valencia 5-0
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Second-placed Atletico Madrid and their city neighbours Real both took full advantage of Saturday's first defeat of the campaign for leaders Barcelona with victories against Levante and Valencia respectively on Sunday.
Atletico closed to within eight points of Barca when Adrian and Koke struck in a 2-0 home win, while Real turned in one of their best performances of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria each scored twice as the champions crushed Valencia 5-0 away.
Barca let slip a two-goal lead and were beaten 3-2 at Real Sociedad, although Lionel Messi scored for a 10th consecutive league game to match the La Liga record last achieved by former Barca striker Ronaldo in 1996-97.
Atletico maintained their perfect home record with a 10th victory in 10 league matches this term and have now gone a club record 10 games in all competitions without conceding a goal at their Calderon stadium.
Diego Simeone's side are second on 47 points from 20 of 38 games. Barca have 55 points, while Real, whose erratic form has effectively ended their hopes of a second straight title, remain seven adrift of Atletico on 40 in third.
Ronaldo netted two goals and set up another to power Real Madrid's blistering attack to a 5-0 demolition of Valencia in the Spanish league on Sunday, while Atletico Madrid chipped into Barcelona's lead by maintaining its perfect record at home.
Madrid decided the match by halftime with doubles by Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria after Gonzalo Higuain had opened the scoring.
Atletico, meanwhile, eased to a 2-0 win over Levante despite losing striker Radamel Falcao to injury for its 11th win in 11 home games this season, breathing an inkling of life into the title chase.
Atletico took advantage of Barcelona's first league defeat of the season the day before to reduce the gap to the pacesetters to eight points.
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