Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th goal for Real Madrid to help his side beat Sevilla 4-1 and move within four points of the La Liga title. With Barcelona beating Las Palmas 4-1, a controversial Nacho free-kick and Ronaldo’s landmark goal put Real in a commanding position in the first half.
Stevan Jovetic pulled a goal back for the visitors early in the second half, but another Ronaldo strike and Toni Kroos’ toe-poked finish wrapped up all three points for Los Blancos.
The result means Real Madrid, who have a game in hand over Barcelona, have to collect four points from their away trips to Celta Vigo and Malaga this week to ensure they win the league.
With both managers making five changes to their starting XIs and Sevilla head coach Jorge Sampaoli electing to play three at the back, Real began the match firmly on the front foot as they went in search of an early opening goal.
Clearly fired up by Real’s opener, Sevilla tried to get back into the game through former Manchester City striker Jovetic who saw a first-time shot smash off the post after his low strike on goal was palmed away by Keylor Navas just moments beforehand.
Real Madrid, however, posed their usual threat on the counter and doubled their lead in the 22nd minute as Ronaldo got his 400th goal in all competitions for the club.
A slick Real move was led by Marco Asensio, who had a shot blocked by Gabriel Mercado, before James Rodriguez’s follow-up shot was palmed away by Sergio Rico as the ball dropped to the feet of Ronaldo for a simple tap in.
Despite Real holding a two-goal lead, Jovetic would cause Real’s defence problems again as he tried an audacious lob on goal which beat Navas, but bounced off the crossbar. The Montenegro international then forced Navas into making another great save five minutes before half-time when he broke through on goal after a one-two with Joaquin Correa, with the Costa Rican sticking both arms out to push the ball away from danger.
Kroos killed off the game completely just seven minutes later after he picked up Nacho’s pass and cleverly toe-poked the ball into the opposite bottom corner.
Real Madrid could have won the game by five goals through Lucas Vazquez in injury time, but they were made to settle for four.