The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Real back at the top

Madrid: Ronaldo and Raul helped Real Madrid reclaim the leadership of the Primera Liga on Wednesday, producing stunning goals in an emphatic 2-0 win over neighbours Atletico in the Madrid derby at the Bernabeu.

Real made a dream start when Ronaldo scored within 15 seconds of the kick-off with a brilliant solo effort and the champions delivered the knockout blow when Raul added a second 19 minutes later, heading in after a pass from David Beckham.

But arch-rivals Barcelona, who host Real at the Nou Camp on Saturday, could hardly have prepared for the game in worse fashion, crashing to a 1-5 defeat at Malaga in a contest that featured a classy hattrick from striker Salva Ballesta.

Real now lead the table on 30 points, two clear of Valencia who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad on Tuesday and three ahead of Deportivo Coruna, who were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at in-form Valladolid.

Osasuna moved up to fourth, a further four points back, after a gritty 1-0 win away to basement side Espanyol. Atletico drop to fifth on 22 points.

Zinedine Zidane fed the ball from the kick-off to Roberto Carlos, who slipped a quick pass to Ronaldo. The Brazilian striker then swerved one defender and poked home into an empty net before Atletico had even had a first sniff of the ball.

Real hit them again 19 minutes later through Raul.

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