Real Madrid thrashes Sevilla to close in on La Liga title

Neymar scores a hat-trick for Barcelona against Las Palmas to have it equal on points with Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates with team-mate James Rodriguez after scoring their side's second goal against Sevilla.   -  AP

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th goal for Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane's side closed in on a first La Liga title since 2012, easing to a 4-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday while Neymar hit a hat-trick for Barcelona, which thrashed Las Palmas 4-1.

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The two sides are equal on 87 points with Barcelona leading the standings on its head-to-head record although Real has a game in hand against Celta Vigo next week and needs only four points from its final two matches to take the title.

Defender Nacho Fernandez put Real ahead in the 10th minute with some quick thinking from a free kick, sidefooting the ball into the bottom corner and flummoxing Sevilla which was still preparing its defensive wall. Ronaldo netted his milestone goal in the 23rd minute from close range and then added number 401, restoring Real's two-goal advantage in the 78th with a curling shot into the top corner after Stevan Jovetic had pulled one back for Sevilla early in the second half.

Toni Kroos got the fourth goal in the 84th to add an extra shine to a comfortable last home win of the season for Real, which will play the Champions League final against Juventus next month with the possibility of winning a first league and European Cup double since 1958.

Neymar shines

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In the Canary Islands, Luis Suarez laid on a splendid pass for Neymar to open the scoring for Barca in the 25th minute and then the Uruguayan capitalised on a through ball from the Brazilian to lob over goalkeeper Javi Varas in the 27th. Pedro Bigas pegged back the champion by sliding in to meet a cross from Kevin-Prince Boateng in the 63rd but Neymar quickly put Barca's minds at ease with two quick-fire finishes from close range in the 67th and 71st.

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