MADRID: Real Madrid ensured Barcelona must wait until Sunday to secure their 22nd Spanish league title after Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 200th goal for the club in a 6-2 win at home to nine-man Malaga.
Barcelona need two more points to regain the crown back from their old rivals and secure a fourth title in five years and can gain them by winning away to third-placed Atletico de Madrid.
Barca have 88 points from 34 of 38 matches, with Real in second on 80 from 35. Atletico, eight points further back in third, secured a berth in the Champions League group stage with a 3-1 win at struggling Celta Vigo.
Both matches had been brought forward due to the King’s Cup final between Real and Atletico on Friday next week.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was again whistled by a significant section of the home support at the Estadio Bernabeu.
Centre back Raul Albiol headed Madrid in front from a corner in the third minute only for Roque Santa Cruz to equalise 12 minutes later.
The match turned in the 21st minute when Malaga defender Sergio Sanchez was red-carded for bringing down Ronaldo.
Although the Portuguese had his spot kick saved by Willy Caballero, who injured his ankle in the process and had to be replaced by Carlos Kameni, Ronaldo converted a free kick in the 26th minute.
It was his 200th goal on his 197th appearance for Real since joining from Manchester United for a record fee in 2009 and his 34th in La Liga this season.
Mesut Ozil finished off a swift breakaway to make it 3-1 to Real in the 34th minute, Vitorino Antunes pulled a goal back for Malaga two minutes later and Ronaldo set up Karim Benzema to make it 4-2 on halftime.
The second half saw Luka Modric fire home in the 63rd minute, a red card – after a second yellow – for Malaga centre-back Martin Demichelis then a stoppage-time goal from Madrid substitute Angel Di Maria.
Madrid ended the game with 10 men after Mesut Ozil suffered a knee injury when Mourinho had already used his three substitutes.
Atletico trio Diego Costa, Juanfran and Radamel Falcao netted second-half goals at Celta to put the 2010 and 2012 Europa League winners back in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in three years.
In Israel Hapoel Ramat Gan beat Kiryat Shmona to win Israeli Cup 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time draw in Netanya.
Ramat Gan’s second Cup victory was a consolation prize after their relegation last month .
Deposed champions Kiryat went ahead in the 17th minute through Shimon Abuhatzeira but Omer Boxenbaum equalised for Ramat Gan in the 52nd minute.
Ramat Gan’s previous Cup win in 2003 set a milestone when they became the only second division side to win the trophy since the founding of Israel in 1948.
In Italy Napoli qualified for the Champions League group stage by winning 3-0 at Bologna while two goals from Mario Balotelli kept AC Milan on course for the qualifying round with a 4-0 victory at Pescara.
Juventus, crowned Serie A champions on Sunday, won 1-0 at Atalanta in a match interrupted for 10 minutes in the first half as rival fans aimed fireworks at each other.
Inter Milan’s accident-prone season continued as midfielder Ricardo Alvarez missed a penalty in a 3-1 home defeat to Lazio.
In Serbia a first-half penalty by midfielder Milan Djuric gave Jagodina a first-ever trophy as they won the cup with a 1-0 win over Vojvodina Novi Sad.
Thus they return to the qualifiers next season after having appeared briefly in the preliminary rounds this past season.
Vojvodina have lost all their six cup finals.