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Real reel in Barcelona with win over Sevilla

  • Story Highlights
  • Raul Gonzalez scores hat-trick for Real in the 4-2 defeat of third-placed Sevilla
  • Barcelona draw 2-2 with fourth-placed Valencia after a late Thierry Henry goal
  • Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera League has been cut to four 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.

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

Raul Gonzalez scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Sevilla to cut Barcelona's lead to four points.

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 matches remaining of the season.

Barcelona's 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, 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.

In the 43rd minute, a mix up between goalkeeper Victor Valdes and Carlos Puyol allowed Maduro to bundle the ball in with his thigh, before a second was added minutes 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 the Frenchman lobbed home from a poor clearance.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Villareal kept their European hopes on track with 2-1 win away at Getafe, the Yellow Submarine weighed in with goals from Joan Capdevila and Joseba Llorente to leave Getafe one point outside the relegation zome.

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.

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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.

Espanyol lifted themselves up to 16th by overcoming Real Betis 2-0, it moves the Barcelona-based side out of the bottom three for the first time in four months.

Luis Garcia scored inside five minutes before Roman Martinez struck seven minutes from time to complete a foruth consecutive win.

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