Ronaldo nets a brilliant brace before seeing red as Real beat Malaga; Villarreal edge sorry Zaragoza; Xerez lose again; Santander continue to rise

Real Madrid 2 – Malaga 0 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show at the Bernabeu in the first half against Malaga, C-Ron opened midway through the half with a tidy finish from Kaka’s cross. And the world’s most expensive footballer then bagged a screamer, rifling a half-volley in the net from 20-yards. With twenty minutes to go, Ronaldo ruined much of his good work on the night by picking up his second red card in a Real Madrid shirt.

Getafe 1 – Atletico Madrid 0 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) Getafe came out on top in the local derby with Atletico Madrid defeating their 10-man neighbours. Since winning promotion in 2004, Getafe had never beaten local rivals Atletico in the league at their Coliseum Alfonso Perez home but Manu del Moral’s 38th minute goal ended that sequence.

Tenerife 0 – Valencia 0 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) Valencia had scored nine goals in their last three matches but could not find the breakthrough against Tenerife and now trail Real by two points in third having played one game more. Tenerife had their chances too but had to be content with a point although it is not enough to move them out of the relegation zone.

Villarreal 4 – Zaragoza 2 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) The hosts went three goals up inside the first 25 minutes with Spanish international full back Joan Capdevila, Brazilian forward Nilmar and Giuseppe Rossi on target. Zaragoza came back with two goals (Elisue & Latifa) in the final quarter hour to ensure a nervous few minutes for Villarreal before Ariel Ibagaza wrapped up the game with a fourth on 87 minutes.

Espanyol 1 – Mallorca 1 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) An 80th minute penalty from Borja Valero salvaged a point for Mallorca, who go above Deportivo La Coruna on goal difference.

Xerez 1 – Osasuna 2 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) Bottom side Xerez still can’t get their points total into double figures losing 2-1 at home to Osasuna with Javier Camunas netting the winner seven minutes from time.

Sporting Gijon 0 – Racing Santander 1 (La Liga, January 24, 2010) Alexandre Geijo’s goal earned Racing a fifth win in seven games as they claimed all three points against Sporting Gijon.