Sevilla 2-3 Real Madrid. Ronaldo nets hat-trick, keeps Real Madrid title hopes alive

Real Madrid moved to within two points of Barcelona after Cristiano Ronaldo‘s hat-tick sealed a 3-2 La Liga victory at Sevilla.

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s fifth La Liga hat-trick of the season gave Real Madrid a 3-1 victory over Sevilla to keep the pressure on leaders Barcelona.

Ronaldo, whose quick-fire double midway through the first half put Carlo Ancelotti‘s side in command at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, capped the treble with a terrific header after being set up by substitute Gareth Bale in the 68th minute.

Carlos Bacca pulled one back from the penalty spot for Unai Emery’s side – who had earlier gone agonisingly close to taking the lead through Jose Antonio Reyes – after former Sevilla man Sergio Ramos had fouled Aleix Vidal in first-half stoppage time.

Sevilla, who face a Europa League semi-final clash with Fiorentina next week, did snatch a second through substitute Iborra, but despite a late onslaught, they were unable to prevent Real from securing a seventh consecutive league triumph.

With Barcelona having increased their lead at the top of La Liga to five points with an 8-0 demolition of Cordoba earlier on Saturday, Real got off to a positive start, with Sergio Rico pulling off a phenomenal save to prevent Ronaldo firing the visitors in front.

Sevilla, undefeated at home since a 4-1 loss to Barcelona in February 2014, were not to be outdone, however, with Iker Casillas, returning in place of Keylor Navas, having to be alert to deny Vidal.

Reyes almost nudged Sevilla in front soon after when Bacca, who scored twice last time out, played in a wonderful cross that the winger was just inches away from prodding in.

Ramos – deployed in midfield after returning from suspension – was involved in a clash of heads with Grzegorz Krychowiak soon after, with the Polish midfielder retreating to the sidelines for treatment.

And Real made the man advantage pay when, in the 36th minute, Ronaldo leapt to head home his 40th league goal of the campaign from Isco‘s hanging cross.

The Portuguese was on hand to double the advantage one minute later, tapping home at the back post following Javier Hernandez‘s flick-on.

However, Ramos‘ rash tackle on Vidal on the stroke of half-time gave Sevilla a golden opportunity to get back in contention and Bacca duly obliged as he converted from the spot.

Ancelotti introduced Bale – returning from injury – in place of Hernandez shortly after the hour mark and the change paid immediate dividends as the Welshman crossed to the back post, where Ronaldo executed a sublime header back across goal to seal his hat-trick in splendid fashion.

Emery brought on Kevin Gameiro and Iborra with 12 minutes remaining, with the latter on hand to tuck away a second for the hosts after being set up by Vidal just two minutes after coming on to set up a frantic final 10 minutes.

Fortsätt läsa Sevilla 2-3 Real Madrid. Ronaldo nets hat-trick, keeps Real Madrid title hopes alive

Benzema & Ronaldo stars as Real Madrid Go 4 Points Clear

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s bullet header helped Real Madrid to a 2-0 victory over a physical Elche side on Sunday as they extended their lead at the top of La Liga to four points.

With Barcelona suffering a shock defeat at home to Malaga on Saturday, Real had a chance to move four points clear and they grabbed it with second-half goals by Karim Benzema and Ronaldo.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo Bullet Header vs Elche (Feb 22, 2015)

Although the Portugal forward struck a curling shot against the post after four minutes, Real struggled to break down a team that worked hard and were guilty of some aggressive challenges.

Benzema was unlucky to have a spectacular overhead kick ruled out due to a questionable offside call but he did knock a loose ball in from close range after 56 minutes.

Ronaldo then sealed the victory with a powerful header into the top corner from an Isco cross after 70 minutes.

It was a welcome goal for Ronaldo who has suffered a dip in form since Christmas following an electrifying start to the season and has now moved joint third in Real’s all-time list.

The Portuguese now has 290 goals and is level with Carlos Santillana, while Raul is out in front on 323.

We’re trying to rediscover our best form and we know that in a short amount of time everything can change,” Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who celebrated his 500th La Liga match, told reporters.

We received a lot of criticism but now the situation is more relaxed but this situation is normal playing for Real Madrid.

Our attitude has always been right and it is usual that you have ups and downs in form. When you are down it is when you have to be more united and that has been the case.

Real once again started by deploying Lucas Silva in midfield with James Rodriguez and Sami Khedira injured and Asier Illarramendi still out of favour with coach Carlos Ancelotti.

Ronaldo was unfortunate with his early strike from the left of the area that hit the woodwork but he then fluffed a shot with the goal gaping after being found by Gareth Bale.

The visitors pushed forward and the Elche rearguard resorted to some combative tackles to keep them at bay.

Fullback Eduardo Albacar was booked midway through the first half after several fouls on Bale on the wing. Then early in the second half Aaron Niguez should have been dismissed for a reckless two-footed lunge on the Welshman.

While Benzema‘s acrobatic effort was ruled out in the first half he scored with a more mundane goal when he tapped in after a David Lomban clearance rebounded off keeper Przemyslaw Tyton and fell to the France striker.

Fortsätt läsa Benzema & Ronaldo stars as Real Madrid Go 4 Points Clear

Carlo Ancelotti not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s form

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says he is not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent sharp drop in form as the holders prepare to play at Schalke 04 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Ronaldo made a blistering start to the season and looked well on the way to breaking the record for La Liga goals in one campaign of 50 set by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi in 2011-12.

However, the Portugal captain has only managed four goals since the turn of the year and Saturday’s blank in Real’s 2-0 win at home to Deportivo La Coruna means he has failed to score in three consecutive La Liga matches for the first time since February 2011.

To be sure, he was short on luck at the Bernabeu, with one shot rattling the crossbar in the first half, but in recent weeks he has looked a shadow of the player who terrorised defenders in scoring a record 17 goals in last season’s edition of the Champions League.

He didn’t score but he was dangerous,Ancelotti said at a news conference after Real stretched their lead over second-placed Barca at the top to four points.

A crossbar, an assist (for Karim Benzema), he could have scored, he didn’t miss passes and the technical evaluation of his match is positive.”

Ancelotti will need Ronaldo back to his best soon if Real are to secure a record-extending 11th European crown this term.

It was a difficult week for the former Manchester United player, who was widely criticised after photographs leaked into the media of him and some Real team mates enjoying his 30th birthday party hours after last weekend’s humiliating 4-0 drubbing at Atletico Madrid.

Mister Chip, who collates soccer statistics, noted on Saturday that Ronaldo has suffered a loss of form after collecting each of the last two FIFA Ballon d’Or awards.

He scored 14 goals in the 10 games before the 2014 award and six in the 10 matches after, and for the 2015 award netted 12 goals in the 10 games before and only four after.

In Pictures, Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid vs Deportivo | Feb 14, 2015

Fortsätt läsa Carlo Ancelotti not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s form

Cristiano Ronaldo hits his Record 23rd Hattrick in La Liga

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a record 23rd La Liga hat-trick to guide leaders Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Ronaldo also became the fastest player ever to score 200 goals in Spanish League.

It also helped the European champions extend their club record winning streak to 18 matches in all competitions and equal the record run of victories set by Barcelona between October 2005 and January 2006.

With his latest treble Ronaldo overtook greats Alfredo Di Stefano of Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao’s Telmo Zarra and he has three more hat-tricks than his present day rival Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

“The statistics he is producing are madness,” team mate Sergio Ramos told reporters.

“To be honest it is a privilege to play at Real Madrid with a player like him. You have to invent words to define him. He is beating all the records and is possibly in the best form of his career.”

Ronaldo, the inspiration behind Real’s blistering form this season, struck the opening goal from the penalty spot nine minutes before the break after he was felled by Jonny Castro.

While Real constantly looked to push forward, they also found it tough against a well-organised Celta.

There was no stopping Ronaldo though as he blasted a volley from the center of the penalty area after 65 minutes to make it 2-0 before adding a third goal from close range nine minutes from the end.

“To have a player like Cristiano is a big advantage,” coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.

“He is playing very well at the moment. He has a extraordinary motivation and physically he is at his best.”

Real have 36 points from 14 games, four ahead of Atletico and five in front of Barcelona who host Espanyol on Sunday. Fortsätt läsa Cristiano Ronaldo hits his Record 23rd Hattrick in La Liga

Real Madrid 5-1 Elche. Cristiano Ronaldo hits four as Real ease past elche

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his prolific start to the season with four goals, including two penalties, as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Elche 5-1 in La Liga on Tuesday.

The Portuguese made a bad start by conceding a 15th minute penalty for a foul on Pedro Mosquera, with Edu Albacar sweeping the ball home past Keylor Navas making his official debut in the Real goal.

Gareth Bale quickly put Real back on track as he headed in a James Rodriguez cross five minutes later and then the referee pointed to the spot for a foul by Mosquera on Marcelo even though there was marginal contact.
Ronaldo fired in the 28th minute penalty and headed home a Marcelo cross four minutes later to extend Real’s lead.
He was then upended by Mario Pasalic with 10 minutes to go and slotted home his second spot-kick while there was still time for another goal from Ronaldo deep in injury time where he finished clinically in the box.
The World Player of the Year now has 7 goals in four days after the hat-trick he scored on Saturday in the 8-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Real Madrid vs Elche – Match Pictures: 

Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia: Ronaldo’s late Stunner keeps Real Madrid title hopes alive

A stunning backheel goal by Cristiano Ronaldo has kept Real Madrid‘s faint hopes of winning the treble this season. Real Madrid‘s La Liga title hopes seemed all but gone as they trailed Valencia 2-1 at home when the Portuguese superstar struck.

With fulltime looming, Ronaldo latched on to a cross by teammate Angel di Maria and with his back to the goal, volleyed it into the net with his heel.

League leaders Atletico Madrid‘s 2-0 defeat away at Levante, in a game overshadowed by fresh claims of racism at a Spanish game, leaves the fellow Madristas needing just four points from their last two games to win the Spanish title for the first time in 18 years.

Despite the disappointment, Real Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti did still take time to marvel at Ronaldo‘s backheeled finish deep into stoppage time to register his 50th goal of the season.

”It was a great goal and a very important goal one because to lose this game meant losing the league and the goal at least gives us a chance until the end.

”We have lost an opportunity today, but not a huge one because winning today meant Atletico had to win both games. As it is they still have to get four, including a draw at Barcelona.”

Ironically, Ronaldo‘s equaliser may also prove to be good news for Atletico as it prevented Barcelona having the chance to win the league back in their own hands.

And Atletico boss Diego Simeone is determined to enjoy the final three weeks of an enthralling season as his side face Malaga and Barca before meeting Real in the Champions League final on May 24.

”We have three fantastic weeks ahead, including the game on the 24th. Three finals await us and we have to concentrate on the first of those, which is at home to Malaga next Sunday.

”We have always maintained the same philosophy and our composure. We have always said that we are competing against two very powerful teams and it isn’t often that they lose games.

Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia: Ronaldo’s late Stunner keeps Real Madrid title hopes alive

Real Madrid 2-0 Granada. Ronaldo sends Real Madrid on top of La Liga

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd La Liga goal of the season to set Real Madrid on their way to a laboured 2-0 win at home to Granada on Saturday that lifted them above Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to the top of the standings.

Barca and Atletico, who play on Sunday, have drawn on their last two outings, including a 0-0 stalemate between the pair at Atletico’s Calderon stadium this month, allowing Real to close the gap in the three-team title race.

Saturday’s victory at the Bernabeu was Real’s fifth in a row in La Liga since a 2-2 draw at Osasuna in December and France forward Karim Benzema was also on target as Carlo Ancelotti’s side moved on to 53 points from 21 matches.

Barca and Atletico have 51 points ahead of their games on Sunday at home to Malaga and away at Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo showed off the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player he won this month before kickoff and the Portugal forward came close to scoring moments before the break after a frustrating first half for the home side.

Luka Modric floated a cross over from the right and Ronaldo connected with a spectacular overhead kick that forced a superb reaction save from Roberto.
Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 2-0 Granada. Ronaldo sends Real Madrid on top of La Liga

Real Betis 0-5 Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s Rocket sparks Madrid’s 5-0 rout at Betis

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a long-range thunderbolt worthy of the recently awarded Ballon d’Or to spark Real Madrid’s 5-0 rout at Real Betis, provisionally lifting his team level with the leaders of the Spanish league on Saturday.

Ronaldo netted one of his signature free kicks in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday to celebrate being named the world player of the year, and he topped that with a 25-metre blast on the run in the 10th minute in Seville.

Gareth Bale followed Ronaldo’s rocket with a delicately placed free kick in the 25th minute for his first goal since November 30, leaving the hosts demoralised and in tatters at the back. Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Alvaro Morata all scored before the demolition of bottom-side Betis was over.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Rocket Goal against Real Betis

 

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid can both regain their advantage over Madrid when they play their matches on Sunday.

‘‘Everything went our way,’’ Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. ‘‘It was an important opportunity to reach the top of the table. At least we can sleep well tonight.’’

Entering the match on a 12-game winless streak and showing no improvement since Juan Carlos Garrido replaced Pepe Mel as their coach, Betis desperately needed to repeat their 1-0 win over Madrid from last season. But Madrid dominated possession from the start, and the talent of Ronaldo and company soon crushed any hopes of an upset.

Ancelotti said he would ask Ronaldo ‘‘for more’’ after he won his second Ballon d’Or on Monday, and his star forward has certainly done that with two superb goals in a week to help his team advance past Osasuna in the Copa del Rey and tighten the league title race.

Ronaldo was aggressive as ever from the start against Betis and his effort paid off when he unleashed a right-foot strike while dribbling at full speed that sailed past goalkeeper Stephan Andersen. The shot increased Ronaldo’s league-leading tally to 21 goals in 20 rounds. He has 31 goals now in 26 appearances overall this season for Madrid.

Here are The Match Pictures [HQ]:

Fortsätt läsa Real Betis 0-5 Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s Rocket sparks Madrid’s 5-0 rout at Betis

Real Madrid 3-0 Celta. Ronaldo dedicates his 2 Goals to Euesbio

A late double from Cristiano Ronaldo put the gloss on a stuttering performance from Real Madrid as they beat Celta Vigo 3-0 yesterday to cut the gap at the top of the Spanish league to five points.

Real Madrid scored three goals in the last 23 minutes of their 3-0 home win over Celta Vigo on Monday night to remain in the battle for the BBVA Primera Liga title.

The pressure was on Real with leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid having already won their first matches of the year.

With Ronaldo unusually quiet and record signing Gareth Bale only on the bench Real were frustrated by a Celta side who had several chances to score before Karim Benzema finally broke the deadlock midway through the second half.

However, nobody should allow themselves to be fooled by the apparent ease of the victory, given that two of the goals came in the last eight minutes of a game in which Celta wasted numerous chances to take the lead in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for their wastefulness in front of goal to cost them the chance of taking a point.

Ronaldo poked in Real’s second after 82 minutes and then thumped in his second of the night from substitute Bale’s cross for his 400th career goal.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid lead the table on 49 points after beating Elche and Malaga, respectively.

Real survived an early scare when keeper Diego Lopez was forced into an excellent save from Charles after a long ball from Augusto fernandez had sent him clear of a napping defence.

The hosts dominated possession but they lacked precision and finesse and Celta’s rearguard defended doggedly.

Benzema had a shot deflected just wide by David Costas and along with speculative strikes from Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria they were all that Real could offer in the first half.

Bale came on during the second half to inject some life into Real’s attack but it was Charles who again came close for Celta, firing wide with only Lopez to beat.

It was another substitute, Jese Rodriguez, who crafted the opener with a cross that Benzema slid home from close range.

Ronaldo then came alive, pouncing to convert from Daniel Carvajal‘s pass. Then, in stoppage time, he combined with Bale to give the final scoreline a flattering look.

Ronaldo sealed the win and was able to dedicate his goal to former Portuguese star, Eusebio, who passed away on Sunday, when he stabbed home from the edge of Celta’s six-yard box with eight minutes to go and he added Madrid’s third in injury time, after a cross from Gareth Bale, who came into the game as a late substitute after three weeks out as the result of a calf injury. Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 3-0 Celta. Ronaldo dedicates his 2 Goals to Euesbio