MADRID: Real Madrid kept pace with champion Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league defeating 10-man Villarreal 2-0 on Wednesday with Cristiano Ronaldo continuing his goal-a-game record while Brazilian Kaka scored his first Real goal from the penalty spot.

It was Real’s fourth straight win as it joined Barcelona on 12 points. Villarreal’s Gonzalo Rodriguez picked up a somewhat harsh second yellow card for clipping Kaka in the ribs.

A fortunate penalty gifted Real the second goal with Marcelo’s cross hand-balled on 72 minutes.

The results: La Liga: Espanyol 2 (Sahar 55, Alonso 80) bt Malaga 1 Fernando (28); Villarreal 0 lost to Real Madrid 2 (Cristiano Ronaldo 1, Kaka 73); Xerez 0 lost to Deportivo La Coruna 3 (Juca 28, Leandro Gioda 72-og, Ivan Sanchez 78). Tenerife 1 (Mikel Alonso 89) bt Athletic Bilbao 0; Valladolid 1 (Diego Costa 49) lost to Osasuna 2 (Walter Pandiani 27, Jorge Galan 74). Atletico Madrid 2 (Cleber Santana 29, Diego Forlan 56) drew with Almeria 2 (Pablo Piatti 27, 90); Getafe 3 (Manuel del Moral 24, 39, Pedro Leon 70) bt Valencia 1 (David Villa 23).

Serie A: Lazio 1 (Zarate 42-pen) lost to Parma 2 (Bojinov 21, Amoruso 45+2-pen); Inter Milan 3 (Eto’o 3, D. Milito 5, Lucio 32) bt Napoli 1 (Lavezzi 37); Bari 0 lost to Cagliari 1 (Nene 76); Bologna 2 (Portanova 35, Di Vaio 53) bt Livorno 0. Udinese 1 (Di Natale 22) bt AC Milan 0; Palermo 3 (Budan 40, Miccoli 45+1, Nocerino 56) drew with Roma 3 (Brighi 20, Burdisso 45+1, Totti 88); Atalanta 0 drew with Catania 0; Siena 0 drew with Chievo 0; Fiorentina 2 (Jovetic 25, Gilardino 66) bt Sampdoria 0. — Agencies

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