Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid, helping his club delay Barcelona’s claim to the Spanish league title by trouncing 10-man Malaga 6-2 on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Had Real dropped a point, Barcelona would have lifted their 22nd league crown, and fourth in five seasons.
Instead, a determined-looking Madrid went on a goal rampage, opening the scoring when Raul Albiol headed inside the far post from a corner by Luka Modric in the third minute.
Roque Santa Cruz equalized in the 15th minute when he bounced in a ball off the far post after a corner by Francisco “Isco” Alarcon.
Sergio Sanchez conceded a penalty and earned a straight red card in the 21st minute when he held an advancing Ronaldo in the penalty area. The Portuguese international tried to convert the spot kick but goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero saved the Madrid forward’s powerful shot with his outstretched left foot.
Ronaldo made up for the miss by adding the second goal five minutes later with a precise free-kick from just outside the box.
Mesut Ozil raced up the left flank, sidestepped two defenders and shot past Caballero in the 34th minute before Vitorino Antunes pulled one back for Malaga two minutes later by connecting sweetly with a ball just outside the penalty area and shooting over goalkeeper Diego Lopez’s reach.
Caballero was replaced by Idriss Kameni in the 42nd.
Karim Benzema scored in first-half injury time by poking home a delicate sideways tap by Ronaldo inside the penalty area four minutes later.
Modric scored in the 63rd, but Real coach Jose Mourinho looked concerned by Ozil’s apparent ankle injury when the German fell awkwardly and had to leave the field later in the second half.
Angel Di Maria scored Madrid’s sixth in injury time.
Atletico Madrid reinforced their claim to a Champions League berth next season by brushing aside Celta Vigo 3-1. Atletico are third in the standings, and Celta remain in the relegation zone.
Diego Costa opened the scoring for Atletico in the 47th minute when he connected with Miranda’s back-header.
Juan Francisco Torres extended the lead in the 66th by scoring from a powerful shot before Augusto Fernandez pulled one back for Celta in the 83rd.
Radamel Falcao added the third in the 86th minute by beating three defenders to rifle a shot past Celta goalkeeper Javier Varas.