The Irish Mail on Sunday
Real worries over Ronaldo as Bale finds target again
GARETH BALE scored his 15th Liga goal of the season as Real Madrid completed their domestic campaign with a 3-1 win against Espanyol.
But Real’s victory was overshadowed by an injury scare involving Cristiano Ronaldo, a week before Real take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final. Ronaldo pulled up injured in the warm-up before the game at the Bernabeu and was replaced by Spanish youngster Isco.
Ronaldo had been hoping to prove his fitness after picking up a muscle injury in the 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo, which ended Real’s title hopes, last weekend.
He must have been hurt because the Portuguese star had been desperate to win the Golden Boot, and needed just one more goal to overhaul Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Both players have scored 31 league goals and will share the prize.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, however, insists Ronaldo will be fine for Saturday’s final. ‘He wasn’t comfortable in the warm-up and we decided not to take any risks,’ said Ancelotti.
The Italian also confirmed Karim Benzema, who limped off with a calf injury, will also be okay for next weekend.
Wales international Bale opened the scoring in the 63rd minute with a clinical finish. It was his 20th goal in all competitions at the end of his first season for Real following his £86million switch from Spurs last summer.
Substitute Alvaro Morata showed his predatory skills with two goals in the last five minutes either side of a Pizzi strike for Espanyol.