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Monday, Oct. 25, 2010

Ronaldo, Messi put on show in La Liga

MADRID (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lit up the Spanish League with goals on Saturday as Ronaldo scored four times to lead Real Madrid after Messi tormented Zaragoza with a brace.

News photo
A real treat: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Racing Santander on Saturday in Madrid. Ronaldo scored four times in Real's 6-1 win. AP PHOTO

While Gonzalo Higuain started Madrid's 6-1 thrashing of Racing Santander, Ronaldo went on to score four for the first time in his career inside a 40-minute span to take his season-leading tally to 10 and keep Madrid top of the standings with 20 points.

"I like to win like this," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "The more goals, the better."

Barcelona was next with 19 points after Messi scored either side of halftime in a 2-0 win at last-place Zaragoza, which has become one of the Argentina forward's favorite venues.

Messi followed up last season's hat trick at La Romareda Stadium with another dominant display. It started in the 42nd minute when David Villa drew four defenders with a run before slipping to Messi, who was alone on goalkeeper Antonio Doblas to score with a left-footed shot.

Zaragoza was reduced to 10 men from the 47th after Leonardo Ponzio received a red card. Messi took advantage by shooting a loose ball past Doblas in the 66th.

"That's Leo — today and always," coach Pep Guardiola said. "He's a goalscorer."

Blues cage Wolves

LONDON (AP) Chelsea continued its perfect home record in the Premier League on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Tottenham recovered from a goal behind to earn a point in an 1-1 draw with Everton.

Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou gave Chelsea a fifth victory from five home matches to ensure the defending champion will be in first place after the weekend whatever the results of Sunday's games.

Rafael van der Vaart equalized for Tottenham to move Spurs into third place, at least until Manchester United plays at Stoke and second-place Manchester City hosts Arsenal on Sunday.

West Bromwich Albion beat Fulham 2-1, Sunderland beat Aston Villa 1-0, Birmingham beat Blackpool 2-0, Bolton drew 1-1 at Wigan and Newcastle won 2-1 at last-place West Ham.

Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa, playing his first home game since injuring his knee more than a year ago, almost put the Blues ahead in the 13th but goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann pushed it past the post.

Nicolas Anelka and Yuri Zhirkov combined 10 minutes later for the Russia international to set up Malouda, who side-footed the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season.

Wolves had chances of their own and held out until the 81st, when Kalou scored past Hahnemann from close range following a pass by Michael Essien.

Chelsea has 22 points from nine matches, five more than City.

"It is a good advantage but tomorrow it might be different," Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "It is too early to say we have enough points. We have started the season well and have to continue that.

"A difficult moment will arrive for us and we have to be ready."

The Blues are seven ahead of Tottenham, which salvaged a draw at White Hart Lane despite conceding first for the fifth straight Premier League match.

"You don't get an easy game with Everton; they're always tough opposition," Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. "They make it hard for you. They get around you; they close you."

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