Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and missed a penalty as Real Madrid eased the pressure on under fire coach Rafael Benitez by moving to the top of La Liga with a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad.
Real's Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the ball before taking a penalty against Real Sociedad. Pic/AFP
Real now lead Barcelona and Atletico Madrid by a point, but both can move back ahead of their title rivals with victories over Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano respectively later on Wednesday.
Ronaldo recovered from a terrible start after blasting his first penalty of the day over the bar to put Madrid in front from another spot-kick just before half-time.
Bruma levelled for an injury-hit Sociedad minutes after the break, but Ronaldo delivered when his side needed a goal once more to restore the lead 23 minutes from time before Lucas Vasquez added a late third.
Rumours over Benitez's future refuse to go away after a disappointing first six months in charge at the Bernabeu with the former Liverpool boss even claiming there is a media conspiracy against him on Tuesday.
However, Madrid who scored 22 goals in their previous three games at home, were denied another flying start by a hat-trick of brilliant saves from 'keeper Geronimo Rulli — denying Pepe, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.