La Liga wrap: Deportivo in crucial win, Ronaldo strikes again

Deportivo La Coruna pulled clear of La Liga’s relegation zone, while Cristiano Ronaldo hit a sixth hat-trick of the season for Real Madrid.Deportivo’s upset 2-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao helped them leap from the clutches of the relegation zone to 14th, sending Real Zaragoza down to 18th as a consequence.

Athletic Bilbao – who could have all-but stitched up a Europa League spot with victory – took a third-minute lead when striker Gaizka Toquero finished crisply past former team-mate Daniel Aranzubia in the Deportivo goal.

But led by playmaker Juan Carlos Valeron, Deportivo found a way back into the match on 22 minutes when Adrian Lopez’s shot was deflected into his own net by Athletic midfielder Carlos Gurpegi.

Fernando Llorente hit the crossbar with a trademark header shortly before half-time, while the two sides traded efforts when the second half got underway.

But Deportivo was to claim all three points when Athletic defender Castillo only succeeded in sliding an Adrian cross past goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz as he attempted to clear.

The win puts Deportivo three points above the relegation zone with two games of the season remaining.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo took his goal tally in all competitions this season to 49 courtesy of another hat-trick – this time in a 4-0 win over struggling Getafe at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo’s treble was completed with of a 90th-minute penalty, with Karim Bezema having poked home in the 77th minute with his first touch of the game to put Real 3-0 up.

Real remain second and five points behind league-leaders Barcelona, while Getafe are just one point above the drop zone.

Atletico Madrid failed to do themselves any favours in their bid for Europa League football next season after losing 2-1 at Racing Santander.

Atletico took an 11th-minute lead through Mario Suarez, but goals either side of half-time from Swedish duo Kennedy Bakircioglu and Markus Rosenberg handed Racing the win.

They move to ninth on the table, while Atletico are in sixth and have Sevilla lurking just goal difference away.

In a match that meant little for either end of the table, Julio Baptista and Eliseu struck to propel Malaga to a 2-0 home win over Sporting Gijon.

Article title: La Liga wrap: Deportivo in crucial win, Ronaldo strikes again

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