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The Spanish midfielder was lost for words about his team-mate's strike and called on his side to continue on this same path to secure the Liga title

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has praised Cristiano Ronaldo's classy finish in Sunday's 1-0 victory against Rayo Vallecano.

The Portuguese attacker's audacious second-half back-heel proved decisive in the match at the Vallecas as Los Blancos were almost made to pay for their wastefulness in front goal.

Xabi Alonso noted that Rayo put in a combative performance and hailed the importance of the three points, as Madrid have moved 13 points clear of Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

"Yes, Rayo had a great match," Xabi Alonso told reporters. "We knew it would not be easy to win here.

"This was a very close match, on a pitch with special conditions, and the most important thing was getting the three points. The goal was a marvellous [piece of] work which helped us win a hard-fought match. We continue with our goal, which is to collect three points every week."