ANOTHER NEW:Striker sets new record
Mallorca 0-2 Barcelona
Real Madrid 5-1 Sociedad
Getafe 3-1 Valencia
Zaragoza 1 - 0 Atletico
BARCELONA Cristiano Ronaldo became the fastest player to reach 100 goals in the Spanish league by scoring a brace to help leader Real Madrid rebound from consecutive draws with a 5-1 rout of Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Gonzalo Higuain scored before both Ronaldo and Karim Benzema hit doubles as Madrid showed no signs of missing the guiding hand of suspended coach Jose Mourinho.
Madrid stayed six points clear at the top of table following 10-man Barcelona’s 2-0 victory at Mallorca where Lionel Messi netted his 55th goal of the season in all competitions.
Messi, who broke Barcelona’s all-time scoring record on Wednesday, netted from a poorly defended free kick to become the first player in a top-level European league to score 55 goals in a season since Sporting Lisbon’s Mario Jardel in 2002.
Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara received his second booking in the 56th, but Gerard Pique volleyed in Messi’s rebound off the post in the 79th to seal the victory.
“It was an important win that will permit us to prepare well for our Champions League game against AC Milan,” said coach Pep Guardiola, whose Barcelona visits Italy on Wednesday. “I am satisfied. At the end, our will, effort and not looking for excuses allowed us to pull out the win.”
Madrid great Ferenc Puskas formerly held the record for the fastest player to reach 100 goals after doing so in 105 matches in the 1960s. Ronaldo needed 92 games to score 101.
Ronaldo and Messi are tied with 35 goals each this season in the Spanish league. With nine games to go, the duo are closing in on Ronaldo’s league record of 40 goals from last season.
Madrid faced the game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium without Mourinho, defender Pepe, midfielders Mesut Oezil, all serving suspensions for losing their nerves in the ill-tempered ending to the 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Wednesday.
After its defensive strategy backfired at Villarreal, Madrid started two strikers in Higuain and Benzema along with Ronaldo and Kaka.
No player or coach for Madrid has spoken to the press since Wednesday, when Madrid lost its composure following Villarreal’s late equalizer. Mourinho, his assistant Rui Faria, and several players were sent off for making abrasive comments to the referee.
Madrid’s decision has been widely criticized in the Spanish press.