Real Madrid are now seven points clear at the top of the Liga after their 3-1 win over bottom side Real Zaragoza while Barcelona’s poor away form continued as they were held to a scoreless draw at Villarreal.
Madrid must have feared that their bad week was going to continue as they fell behind to an 11th-minute strike by Ángel Lafita at the Santiago Bernabéu. However, Mourinho’s side rallied from a goal down for the third league match running as Kaká levelled terms on 32 minutes before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 31st goal of the season and the Mezut Özil then early in the second half.
Barcelona needed a victory at El Madrigal to keep their rivals from pulling further clear at the top but Josep Guardiola’s side failed to break down a resolute Villarreal side. Lionel Messi squandered the best opportunity on 17 minutes when he raced clear only to send his lob over Diego López wide, while Cesc Fàbregas crashed a shot against the bar on 72 minutes.
Earlier in the day Espanyol moved level on points with fourth-placed Levante thanks to a 1-0 victory against Mallorca, while Athletic Club are just a place back after Fernando Llorente’s hat-trick edged a 3-2 success at Rayo Vallecano.