The â‚¬ 94 million priced player was left out by Manuel Pellegrini from Los Blancosâ€™ starting XI. According to comments coming out from the camp of Real Madrid before the match, Cristiano Ronaldo was in a depressed and anxious mood following Portugalâ€™s delicate state in the World Cup qualifiers.
So the 24-year-old Portuguese winger had to watch the game from the sidelines just as his former teammate at Manchester United, Ruud Van Nilsterooy, did.
Thankfully enough for Manuel Pellegrini, his first eleven players were not affected by the absence of Ronaldo.
Esteban Granero opened the scoring on 39 minutes with a well-taken shot from inside the 18-yard box. In the second half, Kakaâ€™s excellent work down the left hand side powered Guti who slaughtered the ball home.
Deep into injury time, Cristiano Ronaldo â€“ who had come on as a substitute at the 66th minute â€“ ensured that the game was over for Espanyol. With only forty-five seconds remaining before the end of proceedings, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to mark his presence with a goal.
Ronaldo took the home sideâ€™s defense by surprise as he overcame the offside trap. The number 9 was left almost all alone at the right hands side of the pitch. He ultimately drove the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Kameni from quite an acute angle to put his name on the scoring sheet and round up a comfortable 3-0 away victory for Real Madrid.
This result moved Los Blancos up to second in La Liga and behind the leaders Barcelona on goal difference. Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored in each of Real Madridâ€™s league games. The 2007/08 EPL Golden Boot award winner took his tally to two goals in two matches like Barcelonaâ€™s Ibrahimovic, Sevillaâ€™s Luis Fabiano or Valenciaâ€™s David Villa. Ronaldo lacks behind Getafeâ€™s hat trick hero, Roberto Soldado, in the top scorersâ€™ chart.
Well, Saturday evening was an instant of relief for Portugalâ€™s captain Cristiano Ronaldo. The reigning world player of the year was left with a big grin on his face again.