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Madrid in late blitz

Real Madrid struck three times in 16 second-half minutes to finally end the dogged resistance of local rivals Getafe, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale the men on the mark in a 3-0 victory.

After being kept goalless for more than an hour, Madrid's much-vaunted strikeforce made the breakthrough they had been searching for in the 63rd minute when Ronaldo finished off a well-worked move.

Bale then volleyed home a second before Ronaldo wrapped up a 3-0 win with Madrid's third 11 minutes from time, ensuring Carlo Ancelotti's men would finish the first half of the Primera Division season on top of the standings.

Lionel Messi once again responded to speculation about his Barcelona future with a sensational performance on the pitch, scoring a hat-trick as the Catalans trounced Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 to keep the pressure on Real.

Atletico Madrid climbed back into third place thanks to their 2-0 victory at home to Granada.