Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Wednesday's French Cup semi-final /WWW.PSG.FR

Immediately after FC Barcelona beat Almería 4-0, Real Madrid won 2-0 away to local rivals Rayo Vallecano to keep the gap between the top two at four points with eight games left to play. But the all-whites made heavy work of the job at Vallecas. After a poor first half, there still was no score until the 67th minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo finally headed home. James Rodríguez converted a Bale assist six minutes later to make sure of three hard-earned points.

As long as the top two keep winning, then Atlético Madrid’s title chances are getting narrower with each game. But they collected three points on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad. Both goals came in the first ten minutes, Mikel González putting the ball in his own net before Antoine Griezmann scored against his former club.

Fourth placed Valencia are away to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday night (8.00pm CET).

Ibra guides PSG into final

In France, Barça’s Champions League quarter-final opponents Paris Saint-Germain qualified for the Coupe de France final with a 4-1 drubbing of Saint-Etienne. Former FCB striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the man of the evening, scoring a hat-trick to break the 100-goal mark for his latest club and move to within just nine of the all-time record. Lavezzi scored PSG’s other goal and Romain Hamouna found the net for Saint-Etienne. PSG will now meet Ligue 2 side Auxerre in the final on May 30.

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