Madrid hammer Sevilla, Valencia suffer third straight defeat

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Real Madrid moved to within one point of cross-town rivals Atletico on Sunday, while Valencia edged closer to the dreaded drop zone after slumping to a home defeat at the hands of Celta de Vigo.

In what was an entertaining encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid recorded a third consecutive Primera Division victory following a 4-0 triumph over Sevilla.

Karim Benzema put the hosts in front after just six minutes of play, firing into the bottom corner on the half-volley after latching onto Gareth Bale's pinpoint pass.

Bale had the ball in the net i the 18th minute, but saw it incorrectly ruled out for offside, with subsequent replays showing he was onside as Cristiano Ronaldo knocked the ball down into his path.

Sevilla were handed a route back into the contest after Raphael Varane was adjudged to have fouled Adil Rami on the danger area. However, the resulting spot-kick from Kevin Gameiro was brilliantly saved by Keylor Navas.

Real Madrid were awarded a penalty of their own just before the hour mark after half-time substitute Jose Antonio Reyes brought down Luka Modric on the left-hand side of the box, but the resulting penalty came to nothing as Ronaldo blazed his effort over the bar.

There was plenty more drama to come, however, as Bale struck the crossbar shortly thereafter, before Gameiro incorrectly had a goal ruled out for offside.

The hosts eventually got their second of the evening in the 64th minute as Ronaldo swept home from close range following a well-placed cross towards the far post by Danilo.

Sevilla were still reeling from that goal when Madrid struck again two minutes later, Bale pouncing on Benzema's lofted pass to stroke the ball into an unguarded net from close range.

And Los Merengues rubbed further salt in the wounds of the visitors late on as substitute Jesé added his name to the scoresheet with a curling effort into the top-right corner from just inside the area.

At Estadio de Mestalla, meanwhile, Celta de Vigo heaped further pressure on Valencia manager Gary Neville after recording a 2-0 victory.

Los Che headed into Sunday's Primera Division outing aiming to return to the winning trail following back-to-back league defeats.

However, they found going tough against a Celta outfit aiming to record a second straight victory following a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Real Madrid on 5 March.

Following a goalless first half, the deadlock was finally broken on 80 minutes when John Guidetti latched onto Fabian Orellana's flicked pass before firing past the onrushing Mathew Ryan.

Valencia were still reeling from the opening goal when Celta struck again four minutes later, captain Hugo Mallo firing into the roof of the net from the right-hand byline after making a surging run into the danger area unopposed.

However, it could have been far worse for Valencia as Celta squandered numerous chances throughout and could easily have finished the encounter with five goals to their name.