Real’s Bale and Ron­aldo score in de­feat of Eibar

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BARCELONA: A Gareth Bale header and a Cris­tiano Ron­aldo penalty gave Real Madrid a much-needed 2-0 vic­tory over Eibar in La Liga yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing their ham­mer­ing by lead­ers Barcelona last week­end, and put them six points off the top of the stand­ings.

The Welsh­man notched up his first goal since the end of Au­gust when he nod­ded in a Luka Mo­dric cross two min­utes be­fore half time against the small Basque club who have sur­prised this sea­son and went into the game with one de­feat from eight matches.

Real were made to work hard against a bat­tling Eibar but Ron­aldo se­cured the win with a penalty af­ter 82 min­utes fol­low­ing a foul by Dani Gar­cia on Lu­cas Vazquez. The win eases the pres­sure on coach Rafa Ben­itez fol­low­ing de­feats in La Liga against Sevilla and in the ‘Cla­sico’ last Satur­day where they lost 4-0.

Third-placed Real now have 27 points from 13 games, two be­hind Atletico Madrid, while Barca have 33 points. “We have been through a dif­fi­cult mo­ment, it has been hard for all of us and we all have to im­prove,” Real keeper Key­lor Navas told re­porters.

“Th­ese three points are im­por­tant to help us fight for what we want which is ti­tles and now we need to keep im­prov­ing.” Real had a makeshift de­fence with Ser­gio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo all out in­jured and so Pepe and Na­cho Fer­nan­dez were in the cen­tre with Danilo on the left. It was a clash be­tween clubs from dif­fer­ent ends of the foot­ball spec­trum with Real the rich­est in the world by in­come against Eibar who have a bud­get this sea­son of 32 mil­lion eu­ros ($33.9 mil­lion), but on the pitch the dif­fer­ence was slim.

Missed penalty spot

Eibar em­ployed their typ­i­cal press­ing game, look­ing to pre­vent Real from set­tling and pounc­ing on the counter. Ron­aldo broke the off­side trap but keeper Asier Riesgo stood tall and blocked his shot af­ter 15 min­utes and then Ma­teo Ko­vacic blazed the re­bound over the cross­bar. A near-post header from Bale put Real in front and he was close to adding to the lead when he pulled down a long ball but his strike when stretch­ing was blocked by Riesgo. Eibar went close with Sergi En­rich and Alek­san­dar Pan­tic both head­ing nar­rowly over the cross­bar while Ron­aldo had an­other ex­cel­lent chance to score when he shot wide in­side the area af­ter 72 min­utes. He got his goal 10 min­utes later by send­ing Asier the wrong way from the penalty spot. Getafe’s An­gel Lafita scored one goal and set up an­other in a 2-0 vic­tory over mis­fir­ing Vil­lar­real, who now have just one win in seven La Liga matches.

Vil­lar­real have lost their way af­ter a bright start to the sea­son and lie sixth on 21 points, be­hind De­portivo La Coruna on goal dif­fer­ence, while Getafe are 13th and level with Rayo Val­le­cano on 14 points.

Getafe were more clin­i­cal with Lafita com­ing off the left wing and fir­ing low into the cor­ner af­ter 21 min­utes and he set up Al­varo Vazquez to score the sec­ond goal from close range six min­utes into the sec­ond half. — Reuters

EIBAR: Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale of Wales, right, fights for the ball with SD Eibar’s An­der Capa dur­ing their Span­ish La Liga soc­cer match, at Ipu­rua sta­dium in Eibar, north­ern Spain, yes­ter­day. Real Madrid won the match 2-0. — AP

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