MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 300th competitive goal for world and European Real Madrid as they won 2-0 away to Rayo Vallecano to stay four points behind Spanish league leaders Barcelona.

Madrid had veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas to thank for being level at the break after being outplayed.

Gareth Bale’s diving header was just wide after the break for the improved visitors before Ronaldo was denied a clear penalty. Ronaldo finally headed home his 37th league goal of term before fit-again Colombian James Rodriguez curled in a second.

The Portuguese’s 300 Real goals have come in 288 games since joining from Manchester United for £80m in 2009.

He is the third player after Raul (323) and Alfredo Di Stefano (307) to reach 300 goals for Real. His rivals needed 741 and 396 matches respectively to reach that mark.

The 30-year-old scored five goals for the first time in Real’s 9-1 hammering of Granada at the weekend.

Barcelona remained top by defeating Almeria 4-0.