La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao
Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s most expensive player, scored three goals Wednesday night against Mallorca to keep Real Madrid‘s title hopes alive. CR9’s hat-trick put him third on the La Liga scoring chart with 25.
Tonight, Los Blancos lock horns with Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu as the Spanish title race goes down to the wire with two rounds to play. FC Barcelona stands on top with 93 points while Manuel Pellegrini’s side followed at heel with a point less. If Madrid fails to win, Barca can take the title with a win over Sevilla as they boast the better head-to-head record.
“We hope that Barca lose points against Sevilla and we will win at home,” Ronaldo told reporters. “I am not a champion yet [in Spain] but I hope to achieve that at the end of the season.”
Pellegrini’s men have won their last five games, 17 of 18 at home this season, and nine of their past 10 home encounters with Los Leones.
The Rojiblancos, meanwhile, are fourth in the standings and battling for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Bilbao will also be looking for a win tonight as they look to keep their dodge hopes of securing European football alive.
The match kicks-off at 21:00 CET.
UPDATE: Real Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 5-1 but Barca maintained their one point lead (96 points) at the top of the table following a 3-2 win at Sevilla.
[Image via LizNN7 on Flickr]