MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time leading scorer in Europe’s five modern leagues with 367 goals when he scored Real Madrid’s first in their 2-1 win over Valencia at the Estadio Bernabeu.
The goal was Ronaldo’s 280th in the LaLiga and the eighth season in succession in which he has scored 20 or more league goals. He scored three times in his fledgling time at Sporting Lisbon and then 84 Premier goals in six years at Manchester United.
Ronaldo also missed a penalty but Marcelo scored Madrid’s winner to keep them on Barcelona’s heels with a game in hand.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had made eight changes with a view to preparing for Tuesday’s derby against Atletico in the Champions League semi-finals.
Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona scored a a 3-0 derby win at Espanyol.
Unlike at Malaga earlier this month, there was no slip-up as Suarez latched onto a stray backpass to put Barcelona ahead early in the second half.
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic made sure of the points with 15 minutes left when he slotted in on the break before Suarez rolled in a late third following more shambolic defending from the hosts.
Atletico Madrid scored three goals in the opening 18 minutes as they romped to a 5-0 win at 10-man Las Palmas, which keeps them ahead of Sevilla in third place.
Diego Simeone’s side, who face city rivals Real in the semi-finals of the Champions League next week, made the perfect start at Estadio de Gran Canaria when Kevin Gameiro put them ahead inside two minutes as he swept in Saul Niguez’s cross from the left.
It was soon 2-0 when midfielder Saul headed in from a corner after 17 minutes, with Gameiro adding a third almost immediately from the restart following a break down the right.
Las Palmas managed to regroup for the second half, but then saw midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng sent off for a second caution on 65 minutes.
The hosts, though, managed to hold out until Atletico substitute Thomas Partey made it 4-0 in the 72nd minute.
Veteran forward Fernando Torres, who had replaced Gameiro just before the hour, completed the route with a close-range finish in stoppage tome.
At the other end of the table, Granada’s relegation was confirmed following a 2-1 defeat at Real Sociedad in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Caretaker boss Tony Adams, the former England and Arsenal captain, had been parachuted into the dugout from his role as sporting director by Chinese owner Jiang Lizhang following a poor run under Lucas Alcaraz.
However, a fourth straight defeat under the 50-year-old saw Granada’s fate sealed with three games of the season remaining.
Former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela had put Real Sociedad in front on the stroke of half-time, with Adrian Ramos headed in a 65th-minute equaliser.
The visitors needed to win all of their remaining games to have a chance of survival, but could not even hang on for a point as Juanmi scored the winner six minutes from time.
On Friday night, Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal maintained their push for a European place next season with a comfortable 3-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
The defeat was the visitors’ seventh game without a win and they remain rooted in the bottom three of the LaLiga table with relegation looking increasingly likely.
Roberto Soldado opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark for the hosts and Bakambu added a brace early in the second half before a consolation from Douglas Pereira.
** Bayern Munich have secured a fifth successive German Bundesliga title.