Atlético Madrid close the gap as leaders Barcelona slip up

Cristiano Ronaldo helps Real Madrid to a 4-0 thrashing of Eibar

Barcelona's Anoeta Stadium jinx struck again when they lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, their second successive defeat in La Liga.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to hit 30 La Liga goals in six consecutive seasons as he inspired Real Madrid to a 4-0 thrashing of Eibar while Fernando Torres was on target as Atlético Madrid won 3-1 at Espanyol.

The 18-year-old winger Mikel Oyarzabal headed the only goal for Sociedad in the fifth minute against Barça, who were without their top scorer Luis Suárez through suspension and fielded a much-changed side.

Luis Enrique’s side have 76 points with six games to go, three ahead of Atlético and four in front of Real Madrid.


In Italy, second-placed Napoli overcame the absence of their suspended top scorer Gonzalo Higuaín to brush aside bottom-of-the-table Verona 3-0 in Serie A yesterday.

Napoli stayed points six behind the leaders Juventus, who won 2-1 at Milan on Saturday, with six matches each to play, and remain outsiders to win their first title since 1990.

Higuaín, who has led Napoli's challenge with 30 goals, will miss the next three games as he completes a four-match ban for his sending-off and furious reaction in last week's 3-1 defeat at Udinese.

Fiorentina remain fifth as their recent dismal run continued when they lost 2-0 to their Tuscan neighbours Empoli.