Real Madrid outlasted Valencia 3-2 for 8th straight league victory
Barcelona: First-place Real Madrid outlasted Valencia 3-2 to win its eighth straight league game and maintain a three-point lead over second-place Barcelona, which beat Zaragoza 4-0.
Real Madrid opened a 2-0 lead on goals by Karim Benzema in the 20th minute and Sergio Ramos in the 71st.
Striker Roberto Soldado cut the gap four minutes later, before Cristiano Ronaldo made it 3-1 in the 59th on an angled shot, his 18th goal overall and 14th in the league. Soldado scored again in the 83rd.
Real Madrid (10-1-1) has 31 points, three ahead of Barcelona (7-0-4), which extended its overall unbeaten streak this year to 20 games at 14-0-6.
Gerard Pique scored in the 18th minute and Lionel Messi in the 43rd, his 24th goal of the season for Barcelona and league-leading 15th, Messi`s goal was his 50th for Barcelona in 2011.
Carles Puyol forced Zaragoza defender Maurizio Lanzaro into an own goal in the 54th, and David Villa scored in the 75th.
Barcelona has outscored opponents 30-0 in league home games this season. Goalkeeper Victor Valdes didn`t have to make a single save.
Valencia (7-2-3) is seven points off the lead.