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Sociedad re-establish two-point lead
Three goals in three minutes keep Inter on top with Juventu

Madrid: Real Sociedad re-established their two-point lead at the top of the Spanish first division with a composed 2-0 victory at home to Osasuna on Sunday.

Sociedad recovered their poise with goals from Darko Kovacevic and Mikel Alonso.

The result gave the Basques 47 points from 23 games and took them back ahead of second-placed Real Madrid on 45.

Valencia kept pace with the top two, joining Real Madrid on 45 points with a spectacular 4-0 win at Rayo Vallecano.

Miguel Angel Angulo put Valencia ahead on 12 minutes with a break from midfield and neat finish and Viktor Onopko turned a Juan Sanchez cross into his own net to provide the second.

Ruben Barajaís free kick made it 3-0 just before the break, Mista added a fourth from close range on 59 minutes and the reigning champions, who stay third behind Real Madrid on goal difference, finished at a canter.

Deportivo Coruna and Barcelona were also in free-scoring form in matches played Saturday.

Depor remain fourth on 42 points after a 6-0 demolition of Alaves, Diego Tristan leading the way with three goals.

Fast-improving Barcelona also had hattrick man in Javier Saviola in their 4-0 success at home to Real Betis.

Recreativo Huelva beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 to give a boost to their faint hopes of avoiding the drop, while Racing Santander scored their third successive victory, 3-0 away to Villarreal.

Real Sociedad always had the edge over a hardworking Osasuna side as Jose Javier Barkeroís corner hit Kovacevicís knee and ballooned into the net.

Sociedad were more relaxed after the break and passed the ball around at their leisure. Their second goal came on 64 minutes when Christian Manfrediniís clearance fell straight to Alonso to smash the ball in.

Lazioís title hopes fade

Meanwhile, three goals in the space of three minutes, two of them from Christian Vieri, gave Inter Milan a 3-1 win over Piacenza on Sunday to keep them level at the top of Serie A with Juventus. Lazioís title hopes faded as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Atalanta, while AS Romaís poor season continued with a 1-2 loss at Udinese.

Inter and Juventus share the lead on 48 points with AC Milan in third place on 43 points after their game at Torino on Saturday was abandoned in the 64th minute due to crowd trouble.

Gabriel Batistuta put Inter ahead, with his first goal for the club, turning in a low drive from Stephane Dalmat in the 64th minute.

A minute later Vieri doubled the advantage . The result was put beyond doubt in the 67th minute with Vieriís 21st goal of the season, the burly striker slotting home from close range after good work from Domenico Morfeo.

Monaco close gap

Meanwhile, in the French first division, in-form Monaco closed the gap on league leaders Olympique Marseille after a 3-1 win at home to title-challengers AJ Auxerre on Sunday.

Dado Prso put Monaco ahead with a goal in the 14th minute and Ludovic Giuly doubled the advantage shortly after the break before Djibril Cisse pulled one back for the visitors in the 55th minute.

Shabani Nonda put the result beyond doubt for Didier Deschampsís team with his 14th goal of the season 16 minutes from time.

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