Higuain & Ronaldo lift Real past Valencia to within a point of Barca; Nino’s hat-trick helps Tenerife sink Getafe; Xerex & Racing draw 2-all

Real Madrid 2 – Valencia 0 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) After 25 minutes at the Bernabeu Gonzalo Higuain stroked Real Madrid into the lead following a through ball from Guti. With twelve minutes remaining Cristiano Ronaldo side footed the second following good work by Marcelo. The win takes Real Madrid to just a point behind league leaders Barcelona.

Tenerife 3 – Getafe 2 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) The visitors opened the scoring on 11 minutes when Pedro Leon struck a well-placed shot into the top corner. Tenerife hit back on the half hour mark, Roman whipped in a teasing delivery, and Nino arrived to place his header superbly into the corner of the net. Nino fired in from a tight angle to put the home side in front, and set the scene for a frantic closing spell of the game. Getafe equalised on 75 minutes, when Francisco Casquero leapt highest of all in the area to nod home. But Tenerife instantly went back in front, Alajandro Alfaro played the ball through, and Nino completed a superb hat-trick, beating Codina to leave the home support in dreamland.

Xerez 2 – Racing Santander 2 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) Fabian Orellana netted from inside the six yard box to hand the hosts a dream start to the match. On the stroke of half-time, Crespo crossed the ball into the area, and Mohamed Tchite was on hand to stroke the ball home to level up proceedings. Ivan Bolado was brought down in the area by Leandro Gioda, and Tchite converted his third penalty kick within a week to edge Racing into the lead. But Xerez hit back in the 73rd minute, on-loan Barcelona man Victor Sanchez headed home an equaliser to make the score 2-2.

Malaga 0 – Valladolid 0 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) Valladolid extended their unbeaten run to three matches under new coach Javier Clemente following a tense goalless draw away to fellow strugglers Malaga.

Deportivo La Coruna 0 – Almeria 0 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) Deportivo La Coruna and Almeria played out a goalless draw in a Primera Division game with a distinctly end-of-season feel to it.

Athletic Bilbao 0 – Real Zaragoza 0 (La Liga, April 18, 2010) The home side could not find a way past Roberto Jimenez and failed to haul themselves back into a Europa League position.