Real Madrid defeats Elche to go four points clear

Valencia, Spain ( - Real Madrid grew its lead at the La Liga summit to four points on Sunday by earning a 2-0 victory over Elche at the Martinez Valero.

Barcelona suffered a 1-0 defeat to Malaga on Saturday to remain one point back of the Spanish league leaders, and Real Madrid took advantage as second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo helped give the Galacticos some breathing room as they improve to 60 points.

Ronaldo nearly opened the scoring at the four-minute mark when he took a pass from Benzema, cut the ball onto his right foot and curled a beautiful shot toward goal only to be denied by the post.

The visitors ultimately broke the seal on the Elche net, but the opener came in the 56th minute from a bit of fortune.

Ronaldo played a square pass across the face of goal from the left flank and the Elche defense made a hash of the clearance, allowing Benzema to tuck home a simple finish from inside the six-yard box.

Madrid's lead was doubled 13 minutes later as Isco created space on the left side a of the box and whipped a cross into the danger area where an unmarked Ronaldo was waiting to nod the delivery into the upper corner.

Real Sociedad collected three points in dramatic fashion on Sunday, claiming two late goals in a 4-3 defeat of Sevilla at the Anoeta.

Imanol Agirretxe and Thimothee Kolodziejczak exchanged first-half goals, and the two sides remained level after Xabier Prieto converted a penalty and Carlos Bacca equalized once more for Sevilla.

Kevin Gameiro put the visitors in front with a penalty of his own just 12 minutes from time, but an own goal from Alejandro Arribas in the 83rd minute brought La Real level.

Prieto ended up netting the winner at the death, handing Real Sociedad the win to bring the club up to 10th place with 27 points.

Athletic Bilbao also left it late as Aritz Aduriz scored in the 86th minute to grant the club a 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano while Luciano Dario Vietto nabbed the lone goal in Villarreal's 1-0 defeat of Eibar.