Real Madrid kept alive their faint title hopes following their 4-2 victory over Primera Liga leaders Barcelona as they cut the gap on their rivals to six points.Goals from Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Raul and Michael Owen ensured the points went to Real in what was a must-win game for Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s men.
Real are now just six points behind leaders Barca at the top of La Liga with seven matches remaining.
Real got off to the best possible start when Zidane bravely headed home the opener despite colliding with the post in the process.
Ronaldo doubled the lead when he converted Beckham’s free-kick with a simple header.
Barcelona emerged from their slumber and the former Real Madrid striker Samuel Eto’o took advantage of a rebound from Ivan Helguera to place the ball past goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
On the stroke of half-time however Real once again increased their lead when Robert Carlos stormed down the wing to deliver a low ball to Raul, who made it 3-1 from close range.
Owen then collected a fine ball from England colleague David Beckham before cooly steering past Valdes.
Ronaldinho, who was outstanding throughout, reduced the arrears with a wonderful curling free-kick 17 minutes from time.
The result leaves the door slightly ajar for Real and their will have been helped further by the news that Eto’o, who was stretchered off after injuring his right knee, could be out for up to a month.
“The first analysis shows a twinge in the right kneecap which could affect the ligaments,” said Barcelona Ardevol.
“He is suffering a lot but it is difficult at this time to be precise about the exact nature of the problem.
“He could be unavailable for between three and eight weeks.
Real coach Luxemburgo was pleased with the win, but admitted that Barcelona remain in pole position.
“Barcelona continue to have the upper hand and still depend on themselves to win the league,” said Luxemburgo.
“We have to keep playing like this so that we can be close to them.
“If they had won today the league would have been over.”
Meanwhile, Michael Owen, who has been linked with a return to the Premeir League, claimed he was happy in Madrid and wanted to stay.
“I am very happy with the goal and I think we all played very well,” said Owen.
“People think I have only played a bit part but I have played as many games as most of the others.
“I have played in over 50 percent of the games and I am happy with the way things are going.”