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Real reel in Barcelona with win over Sevilla

  • Story Highlights
  • Raul Gonzalez scores hat-trick in a 4-2 defeat of third-placed Sevilla
  • Barca draw 2-2 with foruth-placed Valencia with late Theirry Henry goal
  • Barcelona lead at the top of the Primera League cut to 4 points
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(CNN) -- Three goals from captain Raul Gonzalez helped Real Madrid come from behind to complete a 4-2 home win over Sevilla on Sunday, closing the gap with arch-rivals Barcelona to four points at the top of the Premira Liga.

Raul Gonzalez

Raul Gonzalez celebrated three goals in Real's defeat of Sevilla

The 31-year-old equalized for Los Merengues just before half-time with a point-blank finish after Renato opened for Sevilla in the 17th minute from a Diego Perotti cross.

Raul struck again with two goals in five minutes midway through the second half; substitute Diego Capel hit back for third-placed Sevilla before the two-goal margin was restored when Marcelo netted in added time.

The victory was a remarkable 16th in 17 games for Sergio Ramos' men and, with only four points separating Real and league-leaders Barcelona, sets up a mouthwatering 'El Clasico' tie at the Santiago Bernabeu on 2 May with five games remaining of the season.

Barcelona build up to what could be a title-decider was not quite as convincing as they dropped points with a 2-2 draw at fourth-placed Valencia.

All looked to be going to plan for the Champions League semifinalists when Lionel Messi put them ahead after 24 minutes at the Mestalla after being picked out by Andres Iniesta.

But the hosts turned the match on its head with two goals in three minutes just before half-time through Hedwiges Maduro and Pablo Hernandez.

Barcelona celebrate their opening goal, but they needed a late equalizer to draw 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

Barcelona celebrate their opening goal, but they needed a late equalizer to draw 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

In the 43rd minute, Pep Guardiola's side failed to defend a corner with goalkeeper Victor Valdes and Carlos Puyol going for the same ball and Maduro bundling the ball in with his thigh.

It broke Valdes' run of seven consecutive clean sheets and he conceded again 120 seconds later when Hernandez played a neat one-two before slotting home.

However, substitute Thierry Henry rescued a point for Barca with just four minutes remaining when Valencia keeper Cesar Sanchez failed to punch the ball clear, allowing the Frenchman to lob home.

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Elsewhere on Saturday, Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at La Rosaleda to both remain in contention for a place in next season's Europa League.

Malaga, who began the day in sixth place, took the lead after 32 minutes through much-travelled striker Albert Luque.

But Depor, in seventh position before this match with a point fewer than the Andalusians, hit back five minutes into the second half through Sergio Gonzalez.

At the other end, Almeria look virtually safe from relegation after beating basement boys Numancia 2-1.

Hugo Sanchez's side reached the 40-point mark with first-half goals from Kalu Uche and Fernando Soriano sealing a deserved win. The visitors hit back through Asier Goiria with nine minutes left, but were unable to find a way back into the game.

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