23 Jan 2012

Ronaldo scores brace as Real restore big lead

3:31 pm on 23 January 2012

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties as Real Madrid restored their five-point advantage in the Spanish football league with a 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Ronaldo took his La Liga season's league tally to 23, hours after Lionel Messi had hit a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 triumph at Malaga.

That put the Argentine star on 22 for the season as the champions temporarily cut the gap on their bitter rivals at the top to just two points.