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Ronaldo winner keeps Madrid on track in Malaga

Cristiano-RonaldoReal Madrid moved six points clear at the top of La Liga as Cristiano Ronaldo’s 39th goal of the season handed them a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Malaga.
Ronaldo made the breakthrough with a resounding finish from the edge of the area midway through the first-half and was only denied from adding to his tally by a series of saves from Willy Caballero.
Malaga pushed hard for an equaliser in the final quarter, but couldn’t find a way through as they remain just three points above the relegation zone.
Real now lead third-placed Barcelona by seven points with the Catalans not in action until when they host Osasuna, whilst Atletico Madrid can move back to within three points of the leaders with victory over Espanyol later on Saturday.
The visitors had a strong claim for a penalty waved away after just six minutes when Gareth Bale turned Marcos Angeleri inside the area and appeared to be taken out by the Argentine defender.
Malaga then went on to enjoy a good spell as Vitorino Antunes and Roque Santa Cruz saw efforts fly just over the bar.
However, the game swung in Madrid’s favour on 22 minutes when Ronaldo collected Bale’s crossfield pass and cut inside two Malaga defenders before thumping a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The Portuguese captain could then have added to his tally twice in quick succession as he forced Caballero into a fine low save before volleying a lovely cross from Bale wide at the far post.
In trying to reach the ball for the second chance, though, Ronaldo clashed with teammate Karim Benzema and the Frenchman had to replaced by Angel di Maria after failing to recover from a knock to the thigh.
Ronaldo continued to pose problems for the Malaga defence and headed wide Di Maria’s pin-point volleyed cross just before the break.

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