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Ronaldo hat-trick in Real derby win; Man Utd lose in EPL

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates yet another goal in his incredible scoring run for Real Madrid.

Story highlights

  • Real Madrid win city derby against Atletico 4-1
  • Win restores four-point lead over Barcelona
  • EPL leaders Manchester United lose at Wigan
  • Manchester City cut the gap to five points at the top

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed his seventh hat-trick of the season as Real Madrid won the capital derby against Atletico 4-1 Wednesday.

The emphatic victory restored Real's four-point lead over Barcelona, who had closed up with a 4-0 drubbing of Getafe the previous night.

Ronaldo's incredible scoring season continued as he put Jose Mourinho's men ahead on 25 minutes with a thunderous free kick from 25 meters out that dipped over the wall and left goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois stranded.

Karim Benzema wasted a great chance to put Real further ahead before Colombia striker Radamel Falcao's fine header on 55 minutes drew Atletico level in the Bernabeu.

But Ronaldo proved the inspiration again as he turned in the penalty area before shooting home on 68 minutes with another swerving, dipping shot.

Gonzalo Higuain was pulled down to win Real a penalty and Ronaldo struck it home for his 52nd goal this season with seven minutes left -- the 40th in 32 league games for the Portugal star, equaling the record he set last year with six matches still to play.

    He moved one ahead of Lionel Messi's La Liga tally, though Barcelona's three-time world player of the year has reached 61 goals in total this season.

    Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, then set up substitute Jose Callejon to complete the home scoring as Real secured their second 4-1 win of the season over Atletico.

    "We were a little tense because Barcelona won yesterday and we were forced to win, so mission accomplished. We have to win our remaining games to increase our chances of winning the title," Ronaldo said after the match.

    "The team is in good form, confident and ready for its next game. I've been one booking short of a suspension for two months, but I'm behaving myself."

    In the English Premier League title race, leaders Manchester United were stunned 1-0 at struggling Wigan Wednesday to give chasing Manchester City a glimmer of hope.

    Defending champions United had gone into the night's fixtures with an eight-point lead and with the title all but conceded by their city rivals.

    But Shaun Maloney's 50th-minute winner for Roberto Martinez's battlers breathed new life into the race.

    City thrashed West Bromwich Albion 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to cut United's lead to five points with five games to go.

    One of those fixtures sees City host United on April 30, a likely title decider.

    United took until deep into the second half to conjure up a shot on goal against Wigan, who moved out of the relegation zone at the expense of Bolton.

    Maloney curled a superb shot past De Gea to seal a deserved three points.

    "It was a disappointing night for us, we were second to every ball in the first half and we were completely dominated by Wigan," said United manager Alex Ferguson.

    City boss Roberto Mancini, beaten 1-0 by Arsenal on Sunday, gave Carlos Tevez his first start since returning to the squad after a three-month absence and the striker rewarded him with a goal.

    Sergio Aguero had already scored twice before halftime, then Tevez struck on the hour after being set up by his fellow Argentine. David Silva scored the fourth.

    In other action, Arsenal continued their superb late run with a 3-0 win at rock bottom Wolves to tighten their grip on third place.

    Robin van Persie opened the scoring from the penalty spot, his league-leading 27th goal this season, after on-loan Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong was sent off for pulling the Dutchman down.

    England forward Theo Walcott and Israel midfielder Yossi Benayoun grabbed the other goals.

    In the relegation battle, Queens Park Rangers improved their hopes of EPL survival with a 3-0 win over Swansea at Loftus Road.

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