MADRID: Real Madrid’s sixth straight LaLiga win took them six points clear at the top of the table on Saturday night.
A Cristiano Ronaldo brace proved enough in a nervy 2-1 win over struggling Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu.
Barcelona face a tough trip to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad on Sunday hoping for a win to cut the gap to four points ahead of El Clasico next Saturday.
Sporting showed plenty of guts to get back into the match as Carlos Carmona steered an effort past Keylor Navas in the 35th minute and missed a chance to level when Duje Cop blasted over a 78th-minute penalty.
Sevilla finished the day second after a 2-1 home win over Valencia.
A sterile first half gave way to a much more open second as an Ezequiel Garay own goal put Sevilla ahead in the 53rd minute, but Valencia substitute Munir El Haddadi drew the visitors level 12 minutes later.
Sevilla, who lacked their usual fluency without the playmaking talents of Samir Nasri, had enough about them to grab a winner when Nico Pareja restored their lead in the 75th minute and Jorge Sampaoli’s men just about hung on.
The day’s early kick-off was a cracker as Javi Ontiveros’ spectacular long-range strike in injury time sealed a 4-3 win for Malaga over Deportivo La Coruna at La Rosaleda.
The match had plenty of twists and turns as Depor led 1-0, fell 3-1 behind before fighting back to 3-3 before Ontiveros’ late heroics.
Michael Santos scored one penalty and one from open play for Malaga, with Celso Borges doing likewise for the visitors.
Espanyol secured their first home win of the season at the seventh attempt as two goals early in the second half set them up for a 3-0 victory at home to Leganes.
Quickfire goals from Gerard Moreno and Pablo Piatti did the damage as Leganes failed to build on their win over Osasuna, with the defeat their fifth in six matches. Piatti added a second late on to put extra gloss on the result for the hosts, who are now unbeaten in seven league games.