Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal against Villarreal during their Spanish first division soccer league match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid January 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick on Sunday as Real Madrid beat Villarreal 4-2 in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The win means Real Madrid remain two points behind FC Barcelona, and open up an 11 point gap on third placed Villarreal.
The visitors took the lead twice through Ruben Garcia Cani and Marco Ruben, but Ronaldo netted twice before the break to level the scores.
He added a third with 10 minutes remaining with a goal that should have been ruled out because of an offside from Angel Di Maria and a minute later Kaka scored Madrid's fourth.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho spoiled the win with another ugly detail that saw him celebrate Kaka's goal in from of the Villarreal dugout in a clear act of provocation.
Sunday also saw Juan Mata scored a late goal to give Valencia the full points in their derby match against Levante. The Valencia striker hit the target in the 82nd minute after earlier missing a penalty and also sending a shot against the Levante crossbar.
The win sees Valencia move to within two points of Villarreal.
Mallorca avenged their Copa del Rey defeat to Almeria by beating the same side 4-1. Ivan Ramis, Victor Castano, Emilio Nsue and Michael Pereira scored for the home side, while Albert Crusat netted a consolation goal for Almeria, who remain second from bottom of the table.
Zaragoza slipped back into last place following a comprehensive 4-0 defeat away to Espanyol.
Espanyol were never in trouble after Pablo Osvaldo put them ahead after eight minutes. Luis Garcia scored from the penalty spot on the half hour, young forward Alvaro Vazquez added a third three minutes later and Sergio Garcia made it 4-0 near the end as Espanyol ended a run of the straight defeats.
Diego Castro scored a 91st minute equalizer for Sporting Gijon in their 1-1 draw away to Racing Santander to perhaps save coach Manuel Preciado's job. Racing had taken the lead following an own goal from Sporting defender Gregory Arnolin.
Meanwhile Osasuna drew 0-0 at home to Getafe, but the visitors will be disappointed after Manu del Moral hit the post in the last minute of the game.
On Saturday, FC Barcelona defeated Deportivo la Coruna 4-0. David Villa opened the score thanks to David Villa's 150th Liga Liga goal, 25 minutes into the game.
Leo Messi doubled the lead with a spectacular 25 yard free kick six minutes after the break, before Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez completed the rout with a pair of well taken goals.
The result came despite Pep Guardiola's decision to rest key players Xavi Hernandez and Dani Alves.
Saturday also saw Athletic Bilbao take a last minute draw against a new-look Malaga.
Malaga has made five winter signings and one of them, Martin Demichelis, looked to have given them all three points with an 81st minute goal following a corner, but Javi Martinez earned Athletic a draw with a 93rd minute header from an Igor Gabilondo free kick.
Freddy Kanoute scored twice for Sevilla in his side's 3-2 win away to Real Sociedad.
Diego Rivas put Real Sociedad ahead after 23 minutes only for Kanoute to level with a volley two minutes later.
Joseba Llorente re-established Real Sociedad's lead three minutes before the break with a long range effort that surprised the Sevilla defense and goalkeeper Andres Palop.
Luis Fabiano scored following a corner after 63 minutes and two minutes later Kanoute scored his second of the night following a pass from Alvaro Negredo.
The round of games ends on Monday when Hercules entertain Atletico Madrid.