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Ronaldo nets five in Real win


AP

Ronaldo nets five in Real win

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PARIS (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo took his scoring prowess to new levels Sunday, netting five goals for the first time in Real Madrid’s 9-1 rout of Granada in the Spanish football league.

Ronaldo took his league tally to 36 for the season, four more than Lionel Messi, who had a quiet game in Barcelona’s 1-0 win at Celta Vigo.

In France, Paris Saint-Germain won 3-2 at bitter rival Marseille to move one point ahead of Lyon at the top.

In England, veteran striker Jermain Defoe netted a stunning long-range volley to give Sunderland a vital 1-0 win against Newcastle in the derby between northeast rivals.

Italy’s Serie A played all its matches on Saturday because of Easter.

Here’s a look at the top European leagues:

Spain

Ronaldo’s five-goal performances took his career tally to 300 goals for Real Madrid and his season total to 47 in all competitions.

Barcelona had to work much harder at Celta Vigo, but Jeremy Mathieu scored in the 73rd minute – his second goal in as many games – to maintain the club’s four-point lead over Madrid.

After Gareth Bale opened the scoring, Ronaldo netted his first three goals in an eight-minute span before halftime.

The Ballon d’Or holder added two more goals after the break and Karim Benzema also netted two in one of the club’s most lopsided wins. Madrid hadn’t scored nine goals in a league match in 47 years.

Barcelona went ahead after veteran midfielder Xavi Hernandez came on in the second half.

The veteran playmaker made the most of a free kick earned by Luis Suarez by picking out Mathieu at the far post. Mathieu scored a similar header for the opening goal in the previous match, a 2-1 win over Madrid.

Elsewhere, Valencia remained in fourth place and Villarreal in sixth after they finished 0-0 at Mestalla Stadium.

Getafe also beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 to edge away from the relegation zone.

France

Paris Saint-Germain moved back above Lyon to the top of the French league after twice coming back from a goal down at bitter rival Marseille in a frenzied match.

Marseille’s top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac struck twice in the first half, either side of France midfielder Blaise Matuidi’s equaliser, to put Marseille in charge. But PSG profited from poor defending to score twice in quick succession at the start of the second half.

Brazilian defender Marquinhos equalised and Marseille defender Jeremy Morel scored an own goal.

Tensions mounted when some Marseille fans threw projectiles at the PSG bus as it pulled into the Stade Velodrome stadium, with one window slightly cracked.

PSG are one point above Lyon and five ahead of third-place Marseille with seven games remaining.

Elsewhere, winger Nicolas Maurice-Belay’s first goal since August proved a timely one as it helped sixth-place Bordeaux beat Lens 2-1 and keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

Meanwhile, teenage midfielder Thomas Lemar scored his first career goal deep into injury time as Caen won 2-1 at Nantes.

England

On a weekend of spectacular strikes in the Premier League, Sunderland forward Jermain Defoe entered his own contender for goal of the season to settle one of England’s most passionate derby matches.

Defoe met a ball that dropped over his shoulder with a first-time, left-footed volley that dipped into the top corner from 22 metres.

Sunderland moved three points clear of third-to-last Burnley, which occupies the final relegation spot after drawing 0-0 with Tottenham.

Striker Harry Kane captained Spurs for the first time but was subdued as the team’s slim hopes of Champions League qualification took a hit.

Sixth-place Tottenham moved level on points with Liverpool and are provisionally seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City, whose game in hand is against Crystal Palace on Monday.

The Premier League saw a number of wonder goals on Saturday, arguably the most eye-catching coming when Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam scored with a shot from about 65 metres away to Chelsea.

Germany

Augsburg and Schalke drew 0-0 in the Bundesliga, with neither side taking a decisive step toward Europa League qualification.

Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar shot straight at goalkeeper Marwin Hitz in the 54th minute. Since grabbing a hat trick against Mainz, the Netherlands striker hasn’t scored in ten league games.

With seven games remaining, Schalke are in fifth place, a point ahead of Augsburg in sixth, the last European qualification position. Hoffenheim are two points behind.

Meanwhile, Valentin Stocker’s first Bundesliga goal and Nico Schulz’s volley were enough to lift Hertha seven points clear of the relegation zone to 11th.

Newcomer Paderborn remained in the relegation zone.

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