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Ronaldo and Higuain put Madrid back top

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Gonzalo Higuain (center) were both on target in another Real Madrid victory on Sunday.
Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Gonzalo Higuain (center) were both on target in another Real Madrid victory on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid defeat Racing Santander 2-0 to return to the top of Spanish table
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain score the goals that lift Real above Barcelona
  • Valencia consolidate third place in the table with a comfortable 3-0 win over Osasuna.
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(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain scored the goals that gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win at Racing Santander on Sunday -- a result that sees Manuel Pelegrini's side return to the top of the Spanish Primera Liga.

Real's 12 consecutive league victory ensured that Real will face title rivals Barcelona in next weekend's crunch league match in pole position on goal difference.

Barcelona's 4-1 victory at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday ensured that Real needed another win to regain top spot and they took the lead in the 24th minute.

Ronaldo teased a foul out of Jose Moraton in the penalty area and from the resulting spot-kick, the Portuguese international fired home his 18th league goal of the season.

Despite dominating the match, Madrid had to wait until the 76th minute for their second goal, Higuain sliding the ball home from Guti's pass for his 24th goal of the season, two behind Lionel Messi at the top of the scoring charts.

Meanwhile, Spanish international striker David Villa took his season's goal tally to 20 with two late goals as Valencia defeated Osasuna 3-0, to take a firm grip on third position.

Joaquin opened the scoring in the 47th minute before Villa netted his first with a minute to go -- and then doubled his tally with an injury-time penalty.