Madrid:Real Madrid beat visiting Deportivo La Coruna 3-1 on Saturday to retain the lead of the Spanish league with two rounds remaining.
Madrid leads the standings with 72 points, FC Barcelona is second on head-to-head results, Sevilla is third with 67 and Valencia fourth at 65. With a chance at qualification for UEFA games next season is fifth-place Zaragoza with 58 and Villarreal sixth with 56.
Barcelona won 1-0 against Getafe and Villarreal won 3-2 against Valencia.
Madrid has a clear advantage over Barcelona, its traditional rival and the two-time defending champion. Even if the clubs are tied on points at the end of the season, Madrid will win the title because it has the better record in games between the two.
Defender Sergio Ramos put Madrid ahead in the 29th minute when he was first to a loose ball in the area, although Deportivo players were protesting because Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared to have handled the ball just before.
David Beckham just missed when he hit the right post from a free kick in the 51st and Deportivo put pressure on the home defense. It shot four times at Iker Casillas' goal in the 55th, culminating with Joan Capdevila's left-footed equalizer from a cross by Canada midfielder Julian de Guzman.
Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez scored with a header in the 58th from a cross by Beckham. Raul, who was playing in his 605th game for Madrid - matching Francisco Gento's tally of matches with the Spanish powerhouse - received an ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which he ran to share with Beckham.
Van Nistelrooy deftly controlled a poor clearance by defender Fabricio Coloccini and hit the back of the net in the 75th.
Madrid defender Roberto Carlos was taken off the field on a stretcher in the 83rd minute with his left leg bleeding after a clumsy late tackle by defender Fabricio Coloccini.
A well-timed pass by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi wrong-footed Getafe's defense and allowed Ronaldinho to tap in the first goal in the third minute from Samuel Eto'o's cross.
The 27-year-old Brazil midfielder was sent off in the 40th minute after retaliating with a punch in the back and a kick at Getafe captain David Belenguer after receiving three bad tackles. It was Ronaldinho's first ejection in 31 matches and the red card means Ronaldinho is likely to miss the next match against crosstown rival Espanyol.
Villarreal's win lifted it to sixth in the standings, boosting its chances of qualifying for next season's UEFA Cup.
Valencia opened the scoring after Villarreal goalkeeper Sebastian Viera had rushed out to try and tackle David Villa but tripped him inside the penalty area.
Villa converted his third penalty of the season in the 20th minute.
Diego Forlan equalised 35th minute and Denmark striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, who is on loan from Stuttgart to Villarreal until June, scored when he hit the ball just inside the right post.
Villarreal hold an option to make Tomasson's move permanent at the end of the season.
Forlan scored his 17th goal of the season in 86th minute, taking his tally to nine goals in his last four games away from the Madrigal Stadium.
Villa hit a free kick in injury time to complete the scoring.
On Sunday, it's: Gimnastic Tarragona vs. Atletico Madrid; Celta Vigo vs. Real Betis; Osasuna vs. Real Socieded; Racing Santander vs. Levante; Athletic Bilbao vs. Mallorca; Sevilla vs. Zaragoza; Recreativo Huelva vs. Espanyol.