Ron­aldo nets three as Real ex­tends lead

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

CRIS­TIANO Ron­aldo re­turned to goalscor­ing form with his first hat-trick of the sea­son and also missed a penalty as Real Madrid ex­tended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Alaves on October 29.

Barcelona move up to sec­ond, just two points adrift, de­spite a be­low-par dis­play in edg­ing past bottom-placed Granada 1-0 thanks to Rafinha’s spec­tac­u­lar win­ner.

Atletico Madrid re­main three points back of city ri­vals Real thanks to dou­bles from Yan­nick Car­rasco and Kevin Gameiro in a 4-2 win over Malaga de­spite play­ing with 10 men for the fi­nal half-hour.

Ron­aldo’s way­ward form in re­cent weeks had come un­der the spot­light – even draw­ing whis­tles from the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu crowd last week­end – but he turned the game around after Deyver­son had put Alaves into a shock early lead.

“We are al­ways go­ing to de­mand goals from Cris­tiano, but he was good in all as­pects,” said Madrid boss Zine­dine Zi­dane.

“We knew how to suf­fer be­cause the first half and the start of the sec­ond weren’t com­fort­able or easy.

“But play­ing like this, if you know how to suf­fer and then add a bit of move­ment, we know what we can do.”

Real’s un­beaten run stretches to 26 matches, but their de­fen­sive strug­gles con­tin­ued in Vi­to­ria as Zi­dane’s men got off to the worst pos­si­ble start when Deyver­son pounced on an er­ror from goal­keeper Key­lor Navas to slot Alaves into a sev­enth-minute lead.

The vis­i­tors needed two slices of for­tune to turn the game around be­fore half-time.

Firstly, Deyver­son was ad­judged to have han­dled a Gareth Bale free-kick in­side his own area and Ron­aldo slot­ted home the penalty.

Ron­aldo’s sec­ond came 16 min­utes later when his low ef­fort from out­side the area de­flected off Zouhair Fed­dal and flew into the far cor­ner.

The Por­tuguese missed the chance to seal his hat-trick when his sec­ond spot-kick was saved by Fer­nando Pacheco 12 min­utes from time.

How­ever, Al­varo Mo­rata again made his pres­ence felt off the bench as he raced onto Marcelo’s through-ball and lobbed the on­rush­ing Pacheco for his fourth goal as a sub­sti­tute this sea­son.

And Marcelo was in­volved again in the fourth as he and Ron­aldo ex­changed passes be­fore the lat­ter smashed home two min­utes from time.

An in­jury-rav­aged Barcelona named Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ney­mar in at­tack against win­less Granada, but had to rely on free-scor­ing mid­fielder Rafinha in a much closer con­test than an­tic­i­pated at the Camp Nou.

“It is clear it wasn’t a bril­liant match on our part,” said Barca boss Luis En­rique.

“Some­times ma­chines.”

Rafinha’s over­head kick broke the dead­lock three min­utes into the sec­ond half after Barca toiled to break down Granada’s deep-ly­ing de­fence be­fore the break.

Ney­mar, Suarez and Messi all missed chances to add a sec­ond, but Granada never threat­ened to end their record of los­ing in ev­ery one of their now 24 vis­its to the Camp Nou.

Atletico bounced back from their first de­feat of the sea­son at Sevilla last week­end, but made life dif­fi­cult for them­selves against Malaga.

Car­rasco fired home his sixth goal in his last six games to put Atletico in front be­fore Gameiro took ad­van­tage of some slack Malaga de­fend­ing to dou­ble the lead in­side 25 min­utes.

Sandro Ramirez’s stun­ning free­kick brought Malaga back into the game, but Gameiro re­stored Atletico’s two-goal lead when he latched onto An­toine Griez­mann’s flick-on to make it 3-1 just be­fore the break.

How­ever, Ste­fan Savic picked up two the play­ers aren’t quickfire yel­low cards to leave Atletico a man short for the fi­nal half-hour.

Ig­na­cio Ca­ma­cho headed home from a cor­ner to cut Malaga’s deficit once more, but Car­rasco showed stun­ning speed and pro­duced an unerring fin­ish into the far cor­ner to seal the points four min­utes from time.

“I think he has im­proved with a lot of hard work and sac­ri­fice. He has un­der­stood his own po­ten­tial,” Atletico boss Diego Sime­one said of Car­rasco.

“To­day he scored a goal with his left foot and then an­other one on his right on the counter-at­tack with the fin­ish of a striker.”

Sevilla slip to fourth after be­ing held 1-1 at Sport­ing Gi­jon. –

Photo: AFP

Real Madrid’s Por­tuguese for­ward Cris­tiano Ron­aldo cel­e­brates after scor­ing his team’s sec­ond goal dur­ing the Span­ish league foot­ball match be­tween De­portivo Alaves and Real Madrid CF at Men­di­zor­roza Sta­dium in Vi­to­ria on October 29.

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