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Cristiano Ronaldo gets red card in Madrid win; day of shocks for English giants in FA Cup

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LONDON — World player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo earned a red card for kicking an opponent during Real Madrid's latest win in the Spanish league to overshadow a day of shocks in England's FA Cup.

In an uncharacteristic outburst, Ronaldo lashed out in anger at a defender and then swiped the face of another opponent toward the end of Madrid's 2-1 win at Cordoba that kept the European champions top of the standings above Barcelona.

Four of the Premier League's top six were eliminated from the FA Cup, which lived up to its so-called "giant-killing" reputation as Chelsea and Manchester City lost to lower-league opposition.

Here is a look at the best of the action in Europe's top leagues:


SPAIN

Ronaldo earned a straight red for Madrid at Cordoba just before Gareth Bale snatched a winner for the Spanish league leaders with an 89th-minute penalty.

Lionel Messi set up Neymar twice and scored two of his own to reach the 30-goal mark for a seventh straight season in Barcelona's 6-0 rout at 10-man Elche, keeping the Catalan club one point behind Madrid.

Madrid has a game in hand, but it may not have its leading scorer for its next one after his violent outburst.

In the 82nd his frustration boiled over as he lashed out at defender Edimar. He also swiped the face of Cordoba's Jose Crespo following the kicking incident.

Ronaldo strolled off the pitch, taking time to gesture to the patch on his shirt for Madrid winning the Club World Cup in December. The gesture earned the Ballon d'Or winner jeers from the Nuevo Arcangel crowd. Ronaldo later apologized for his "rash act."

With Madrid facing a costly draw at a modest rival, Wales winger Bale earned a free kick and sent his strike into the defensive wall, where Fede Cartabia used his hand to block it. Bale then converted the resulting spot kick to take the valuable three points.

Bale had already set up Karim Benzema to level in the 27th after Cordoba's Nabil Ghilas opened the scoring with a penalty two minutes in.

Messi continued his excellent start to 2015 with his seventh and eighth goals in his last five games, while his two assists gave him a league-leading 10 for the season.

Gerard Pique got Barcelona going with a goal in the 35th before Messi scored his 30th goal of the season from the spot following Sergio Pelegrin's foul of Neymar.

Elche's Faycal Fajr was sent off with his second booking in the 57th, and Messi picked the hosts apart with two passes for Neymar to finish off in the 69th and 72nd.

Messi tallied up his 31st goal of this campaign two minutes from time before Neymar passed for Pedro Rodriguez to polish off Barcelona's fourth win over Elche this season for a combined score of 18-0.

Later, third-place Atletico hosts Rayo Vallecano.

PHOTO: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is seen during their La Liga soccer match against Cordoba at the Arcangel stadium, in Cordoba, Spain on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is seen during their La Liga soccer match against Cordoba at the Arcangel stadium, in Cordoba, Spain on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)


ENGLAND

It was a classic day of surprises in the world's oldest knockout competition, with Premier League leader Chelsea squandering a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 to third-tier Bradford at Stamford Bridge in the biggest shock of them all.

"It was a 'Black Saturday' for the Premier League teams," Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said. "Every year you can see this kind of result in the FA Cup. It's just unfortunate that today, for the first time, I was on the wrong side of this miracle."

A virtually full-strength Man City lost 2-0 to second-tier Middlesbrough at Etihad Stadium, raising questions about the wisdom of the English champions' decision to travel to Abu Dhabi for a five-day warm-weather training camp in the build-up to the game. They only returned from the United Arab Emirates late on Friday and the team faded in the second half.

Southampton, which is third in the Premier League, twice surrendered the lead to lose 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace, and Tottenham — sixth in the league — conceded an injury-time winner to lose 2-1 to Leicester. They were both all-Premier League games.

Swansea lost 3-1 at second-tier Blackburn in another fourth-round surprise, with the Welsh team finishing the match with nine men after getting players sent off in the early and late minutes. Liverpool was taken to a replay by Bolton after drawing 0-0 with the second-tier side.

The upsets began on Friday when star-studded Manchester United was held 0-0 by fourth-tier Cambridge.

As it stands, only three Premier League teams are assured of being in the fifth round — and none are in the top half of the standings. Arsenal and West Ham can change that when they play lower-league opponents on Sunday.


FRANCE

Veteran Monaco striker Dimitar Berbatov scored in the 1-0 win over Lille as the fifth-place side extended its unbeaten run to 12 games to keep the pressure on the top four in the French league.

Monaco has 11 clean sheets during its unbeaten run, conceding only one goal, and has 39 points — one less than fourth-place Saint-Etienne and two behind third-place Paris Saint-Germain, which travels to Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Leader Lyon has 45 points, one ahead of Marseille.

On Friday, Marseille failed to win away from home for the eighth straight game as it lost 2-1 at Nice.

Later Saturday, it's: Bastia vs. Bordeaux; Guingamp vs. Lorient; and Montpellier vs. Nantes.


SCOTLAND

Celtic moved three points clear in the Scottish Premiership by beating Ross County 1-0 thanks to Kris Commons' deflected second-half goal on Saturday.

The champions took advantage of second-place Aberdeen's 1-1 draw at St. Johnstone on Friday by registering a fourth straight league win. Celtic also has a game in hand.

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