Ron­aldo misses penalty but sets record in Real win

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - WORLD - As­so­ci­ated Press

Madrid needed a late goal by Marcelo to make up for Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s missed penalty and se­cure a 2-1 win over Va­len­cia that kept it on track for the Span­ish league ti­tle.

The vic­tory left Madrid three points ahead of Barcelona be­fore the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons visit Es­panyol later. Madrid also has a game in hand and can en­sure its first Liga crown in five years if it wins all its four re­main­ing matches.

Madrid hosts crosstown ri­val Atletico Madrid on Tues­day in the first leg of their Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nal. Atletico visits Las Pal­mas also on Sat­ur­day.

Ron­aldo put Madrid ahead in the 27th minute when Va­len­cia’s mark­ers lost track of the Por­tu­gal for­ward, leav­ing him alone to nod in Dani Car­va­jal’s cross.

Ron­aldo had an ex­cel­lent chance to add to his 20 league goals this sea­son in the 57th after a ques­tion­able penalty when Luka Mo­dric fell after con­tact with Dani Parejo.

But Va­len­cia’s penalty-stop­ping ex­pert Diego Alves smoth­ered his strike, tak­ing his tally to six saved spot kicks on the sea­son and 26 saves in 53 penal­ties since play­ing in the Span­ish league. Three of those saves have come against Ron­aldo.

Parejo lev­eled in the 82nd by ex­pertly bend­ing a free kick up and over the wall. Goal­keeper Key­lor Navas got a hand to the strike but couldn’t keep it out.

Fac­ing a dam­ag­ing blow to its ti­tle hopes, Madrid right back Marcelo cut in­side to open an an­gle around two de­fend­ers be­fore curl­ing the ball home.

Ron­aldo gave Madrid’s sup porters a late scare when he stum­bled over a Va­len­cia player and slammed his right side into the goal­frame. After a brief mo­ment re­ceiv­ing at­ten­tion from the med­i­cal staff, Ron­aldo re­turned to fin­ish the match.

AP

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo (right) has scored 20 league goals this sea­son.

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