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Real Madrid hand Valencia five-goal thrashing

Published on Jan 21, 2013 6:06 AM
 Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) vies with Valencia's Portuguese defender Ricardo Costa during the Spanish league football match Valencia vs Real Madrid on Jan 20, 2013 at Mestalla stadium in Valencia. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid put their dismal first half of the season behind them as they tore Valencia apart for the first 45 minutes to win 5-0 and ease the pressure on coach Jose Mourinho.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria both hit braces and Gonzalo Higuain was also on target in a first-half goal romp.

But there is still little hope of them retaining their title as they trail Barcelona by 15 points despite the Catalan side losing 3-2 against Real Sociedad on Saturday, their bitter rivals' first league defeat of the season.

They are also seven points off neighbours Atletico Madrid who beat Levante 2-0 earlier on Sunday.

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