Mon, May 06, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Real victory delays Barcelona title

Reuters, MADRID

La Liga leaders Barcelona will have to wait at least another week to wrap up the title after Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice to lead second-placed Real Madrid to a 4-3 comeback success at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday.

If Real had failed to win, victory for Barca against Real Betis at the Camp Nou yesterday would have secured the title, as they would have been at least 13 points clear with only four games left and 12 points available.

Valladolid took a surprise eighth-minute lead when Oscar Gonzalez stole in on the right to score with a low shot.

Real were level in the 26th minute when Marc Valiente deflected an Angel Di Maria shot into his own net before Ronaldo nodded the first of his two headers six minutes later.

Valladolid struck back almost immediately when Javi Guerra finished off a swift breakaway in the 35th minute, but Kaka restored Real’s lead four minutes after the break.

Ronaldo looked to have killed off the game 20 minutes from time when he headed in from a corner, but there was still time for Lluis Sastre to score a third for the visitors.

Real’s victory lifted them to 77 points from 34 matches, eight behind Barca and eight ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid, who were held to a 0-0 draw at RC Deportivo de La Coruna in the late kickoff.

Valencia stayed in the hunt for a Champions League berth with a thumping 4-0 win at home to nine-man CA Osasuna, but Malaga’s hopes of a return to Europe’s elite club competition faded when they lost 1-0 at Granada.

Valencia’s Roberto Soldado started the rout at the Mestalla in the 39th minute when he netted the rebound from a Jonas shot and Ricardo Costa nodded a second for the hosts a minute before halftime.

Osasuna’s Alejandro Arribas was shown a straight red card in the 58th minute when he felled Soldado as he bore down on goal and Ever Banega scored from the resulting free-kick.

Osasuna’s miserable afternoon was completed when David Timor picked up a second yellow card 15 minutes from time and Jonas made it 4-0 from the penalty spot in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

Malaga’s defeat leaves them in sixth, three points behind Valencia and four ahead of Real Betis Balompie.

Fifth and sixth earn an automatic place in the Europa League.

Odion Ighalo scored the winner for Granada in the 28th minute when he diverted an Allan Nyom cross into the net.

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