Saturday, April 11, 2015 7:15 pm
Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his recent good form in front of goal as a second-string Real Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win over Eibar while Fernando Torres scored an own goal in a 2-2 draw at Malaga on Saturday.
A combination of injuries, suspensions and an eye on the first leg quarterfinal at city rivals Atlético in midweek saw Real Madrid give the likes of Javier Hernandez, Jese Rodriguez and Asier Illaramendi rare starts.
Regardless, Carlo Ancelotti’s men provisionally closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to one point through goals from Ronaldo, Hernandez and Jese.
Sergio Ramos hit the crossbar after 18 minutes but Ronaldo put Les Merengues ahead four minutes later with a swerving long range free kick.
Hernandez, having seen a close range tap-in ruled out for offside earlier, doubled Real’s lead 10 minutes later with header off Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross.
Jese sealed an easy win for Real with a late third, as the reigning European champions put themselves in good stead ahead of their clash with Atlético in the Champions League.
Atlético on their part faltered in their faint bid to keep alive their title defence, needing a late strike from top scorer Griezmann to rescue a point from their visit of Malaga.
Griezmann had given Atlético a 25th minute lead but teammate Fernando Torres got Malaga back in the game with a first ever own-goal in a league game.
Samu then put the home side ahead 20 minutes from time, but Griezmann ensured Atlético left with a point courtesy of his second with 11 minutes to go.
The result sees Atlético drop seven points behind Real with seven matches left to play, though Diego Simeone’s side are assured of remaining in third regardless of Valencia’s result on Sunday.