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Ronaldo double rescues Real Madrid; Milan crash to Juventus defeat

(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continued their hot goalscoring runs as Real Madrid and Barcelona moved ominously clear of their La Liga rivals in Spain on Saturday night.

Ronaldo followed up his four strikes from last weekend with another two as Real came from behind to beat Hercules 3-1 and stay a point clear of second-placed champions Barcelona.

Third-placed Villarreal trail Real by four points ahead of Sunday's trip to Sporting Gijon.

Real, held 0-0 by third-division Murcia in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, looked like suffering another humiliation after going behind only three minutes into the game in Alicante -- the first time the Galacticos have trailed in Jose Mourinho's first season as coach.

Former France World Cup winner David Trezeguet headed home David Cortes' right-wing cross to continue his good scoring run since joining from Italian club Juventus as promoted Hercules raised hopes of repeating their upset wins over Barca and Sevilla earlier this season.

But Real's depth in attacking strength finally told seven minutes after halftime, when Angel Di Maria followed up to equalize after goalkeeper Juan Calatayud failed to deal with Ronaldo's long-range dipping shot.

The world's most expensive player wrapped up Real's seventh win in nine league starts with two late goals in the space of three minutes.

Both came after Mourinho took off central defender and introduced Karim Benzema, with Ronaldo pouncing from close range after the France forward's shot was blocked by Calatayud.

The Portugal forward then took his tally to 11 goals this season after Benzema broke down the right and cut back a perfect low pass.

Messi has 14 goals in 12 appearances following his double in Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Sevilla, who were left in sixth place -- nine points off the lead.

The Argentina forward forced a shot home in the fourth minute as Sevilla struggled to keep Barca at bay, and netted a fine individual effort on 67 after winning the ball just inside the visitors' half.

Spain striker David Villa ended his recent goal drought as he also scored a double. The first came in the 24th minute as he collected Messi's pass, cut in from the right and curled a superb shot into the far corner. The second was the last kick of the match -- a low, angled drive.

Sevilla's task became mammoth when French defender Abdoulay Konko was harshly sent off just before halftime, having received two bookings in the space of three minutes.

Dani Alves extended Barcelona's lead eight minutes after the interval with a superb opportunist effort as he anticipated Ivory Coast midfielder Romaric's headed backpass and leaped to volley the ball over goalkeeper Javi Varas.

In Saturday's opening match, Valencia lost ground on the leading duo with a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Real Zaragoza.

Valencia, who host Scottish club Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday, fell behind in just the second minute as Maurizio Lanzaro scored -- but the Italian defender put through his own net just before halftime.

Zaragoza had second-half substitute Ander Herrera sent off in the 67th minute, but held on to move off the bottom on goal difference.

In Italy, title hopefuls AC Milan suffered a 2-1 home defeat by injury-hit Juventus ahead of Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash with Real.

Alessandro Del Piero became his club's record scorer on 179 with the second goal as fourth-placed Juve moved to within four points of leaders Lazio, who travel to Palermo on Sunday.


Fabio Quagliarella headed the opener from Paolo De Ceglie's 24th-minute cross, and Del Piero doubled the lead in the 65th minute before Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late consolation.

Third-placed Milan remain a point behind defending champions Inter, who beat Genoa 1-0 on Friday.

In Saturday's other Serie A game, AS Roma moved up to seventh place with a 2-0 win at home to Lecce, which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.

Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso and Montenegro forward Mirko Vucinic scored in the second half before teammate Francesco Totti and Lecce's Ruben Olivera were sent off for fighting. Totti will now miss next weekend's Rome derby clash with Lazio.

I leave you with my current jam..nothing new just to help me not think about Milan crap defense thats been going on for some time now.




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Tags: club: ac milan, club: juventus, club: roma, club: sevilla, cristiano ronaldo, dani alves, david villa, francesco totti, jose mourinho, karim benzema, league: la liga, league: serie a, lionel messi, oh no they didn't!, unbridled joy
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