MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo’s 57th goal of the season fired Real Madrid to the 3-0 win over Sevilla which eased memories of the Champions League shootout upset in midweek and lifted closer to a first Spanish league title in four years.

Jose Mourinho, who had indicated in the wake of defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday that he is minded to stay at the Estadio Bernabeu, was thus closer to a record of league titles in four countries after his previous achievements in Portugal (with FC Porto), England (Chelsea) and Italy (Internazionale).

Ronaldo – who missed the first penalty against Bayern – put Madrid ahead with his 43rd Liga goal after 19 minutes but Madrid were fortunate to survive as Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo both fired over when one-on-one with Iker Casillas. Immediately after half-time, however, Karim Benzema struck twice on assists from Angel Di Maria and Sergio Ramos.

Barcelona won 7-0 at Rayo Vallecano later in the day to maintain a mathematical chance of retaining their title.

On Saturday second-half goals from Arouna Kone, Xavi Torres and Valdo kept Levante on the fringe of the top four with a 3-1 win over struggling Granada but Racing Santander’s 10-year spell in the top flight is over after two goals from Antoine Griezmann condemned them to a 3-0 defeat at Real Sociedad – who thus avoid relegation.

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