Ronaldo strikes to keep Real in hunt

Ronaldo strikes to keep Real in hunt

Leaders Barcelona followed up Saturday's 2-0 victory over Real with a 3-0 home win against Deportivo Coruna on Wednesday to go six points clear on 83 but Real's success in Andalucia has trimmed the gap back to three with six games left.

Almeria came under some early pressure before an unmarked Albert Crusat gave the home side a surprise lead in the 14th minute, sweeping a low Kalu Uche cross past Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

World Cup-bound Portugal forward Ronaldo sliced through the home defence to level with an angled shot in the 27th and Real squandered several chances to grab the lead before halftime.

Midfielder Guti struck a powerful drive against the post on the half hour and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain had an effort cleared off the line before Van der Vaart lashed home from just outside the penalty area in the 69th.

Real host third-placed Valencia on Sunday, with Unai Emery's side a massive 21 points behind them after their 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao in Thursday's late kickoff.
Spain midfielder David Silva struck either side of halftime at the Mestalla to lift Valencia seven points clear of fourth-placed Real Mallorca, who drew 1-1 at relegation threatened Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.