Real Madrid played first and Carlo Ancelotti’s side went ahead just a minute into the second half when Ángel Di María’s cross intended for Ronaldo caught out Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero and ended up in the back of the net.
Ancelotti brought on Gareth Bale for the final 15 minutes and the €100m wrapped things up for the Whites when he earned a questionable penalty that Ronaldo converted in injury time for his eight goal of the season.
Real Madrid’s day improved when Barcelona were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by Osasuna, the first Liga game in which they had failed to score since January 2012. Barca wasted chance after chance in this one, and as captain Carles Puyol said afterwards:
“These grounds are always tough. We had our chances but just lacked that finishing touch in the final meters.”
That left Atletico with a chance to go top, but they lost 1-0 at Espanyol after an own goal from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. With the defeat Atletico find themselves a point behind Barcelona and two in front of Madrid.