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Ronaldo inspires Real as Atletico keep up pace

ESPN staff
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Cristiano Ronaldo once again inspired Real Madrid © Getty Images
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Cristiano Ronaldo scored his La Liga-leading 25th goal to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win away to Malaga on Saturday, when the pacesetters extended their unbeaten run to 30 consecutive matches in all competitions.

Ronaldo netted the winner in the 23rd minute, and a tired Madrid was fortunate Malaga failed to muster a comeback in the final 10 minutes.

Madrid's win was tarnished by the loss of Karim Benzema to an apparent leg injury.

Later on Saturday, Atletico Madrid closed the gap to three points again, with a 1-0 win over Espanyol.

David Villa went close in the first half when his header was saved by Kiko Casilla and Diego Costa could have had a penalty as a tangle of legs with Juan Fuentes occurred in the area, but the referee did not blow his whistle.

Then, Villa threaded a great ball through for Costa to chase and the Spain international slotted home in the 55th minute to ensure his side took all the points.

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