Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Wednesday as the club secured a 3-0 home victory against Almeria to remain within two points of the Catalan side.
Barca's 6-0 victory over Getafe on Tuesday certainly needed a reply, and Carlo Ancelotti's side answered with a goal from James Rodriguez late in the first half before a second-half own goal from Mauro Alonso and a goal from Alvaro Arbeloa six minutes from time.
Cristiano Ronaldo went close in the 28th minute with a dangerous free kick that just sailed over the crossbar before hitting the roof of the net.
But Rodriguez came through with a splendid strike in the 44th to put Madrid in front at the break as a chipped ball from Toni Kroos was headed straight into the path of the Colombian, who lashed a volley into the top left corner from 25 yards.
Kroos was involved again shortly after halftime when he got down the right wing and drove a low ball toward the front of goal, where Alonso redirected the ball into his own net while under pressure from Ronaldo.
Raphael Varane went close with a header and Javier Hernandez missed the target from close range as the hosts looked to add to their advantage.
Another goal did arrive in the 84th with Hernandez playing provider as he was played into the area on the left and crossed to the back post, where Arbeloa slid in to provide the final touch.
Third-place Atletico Madrid slipped past Villarreal, 1-0, with a goal from Fernando Torres in the 74th minute, while Sevilla moved into fourth place with a 3-1 win at Eibar thanks to a pair of goals from Carlos Bacca in the opening 15 minutes.
Nolito's 89th-minute goal was the difference as Celta Vigo edged Malaga, 1-0, and Elche used a pair of goals in the opening 20 minutes to top Deportivo, 4-0.