Real Madrid edge closer to La Liga title with Sevilla win
April 29, 2012 -- Updated 2235 GMT (0635 HKT)
French international Karim Benzema celebrates scoring Real Madrid's second goal in a 3-0 win against Sevilla on Saturday
- Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema earn Real Madrid a 3-0 win against Sevilla in the Bernabeu
- Barcelona rout Rayo Vallecano 7-0 to keep slim hopes of retaining title alive
- Malaga beat Valencia 1-0 to move up to fourth place
(CNN) -- A Karim Benzema brace helped Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday to edge Jose Mourinho's side one step closer to a first La Liga title in four seasons.
The French striker's goals early in the second half added to Cristiano Ronaldo's 19th minute strike to maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the table with three games remaining.
It was the perfect tonic for Real after they were knocked out of the Champions League on penalties by Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
"It was an important win and the team deserves to be champions as the players have shown their mentality and character," said Aitor Karanka, Real Madrid's assistant coach.
"We will go out looking to win games even when we are the champions, if that happens, as we only have one plan. It will be fantastic to win the league and it is the most important objective at the moment."
Barcelona, who are also coming to terms with a Champions League exit and the impending departure of coach Pep Guardiola, were runaway winners on Saturday beating Rayo Vallecano 7-0.
Puyol backs Vilanova
It was an important win and the team deserves to be champions as the players have shown their mentality and character
Aitor Karanka, Real Madrid's assistant coach
Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 16th minute which was followed by an own goal by Roberto Correa ten minutes later.
Messi turned provider for Barca's third laying on the ball for Seydou Keita to fire a low shot past Rayo keeper David Cobeno six minutes before the break.
Pedro fired in a rebound after Messi headed against the bar at the start of the second half and Thiago scored a fifth 11 minutes from the end.
Pedro bagged a second three minutes from time but it was left to Lionel Messi to complete the rout as he scored his second in the 90th minute.
Earlier, sixth-placed Atletico Madrid scored in the third minute of injury time to salvage a 2-2 draw at Real Betis, but the result does little to enhance the Europa League finalists' chances of gaining a Champions League spot next season.
Malaga, on the other hand did, beating third place Valencia 1-0 to move into fourth and level on 55 points with Unai Emery's side.
Seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao also lost on Saturday going down 2-0 at second-from-bottom Real Zaragoza.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.