Football

Ronaldo scores twice as Real swells lead

more-in

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid marked Jose Mourinho's 100th match in charge by opening up a 13-point lead in the Spanish League with a 3-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday, its 11th victory in succession.

But it was a tough night for Mourinho's men who had to come from behind before they could celebrate a 21st victory in 22 games.

Jorge Molina scored after nine minutes for Betis before Gonzalo Higuain drew Real level. La Liga's top-scorer Ronaldo then put Madrid ahead after the break. Betis refused to roll over and Jefferson Montero equalised before Ronaldo secured the win with his 32nd goal of the season after 72 minutes.

Ronaldo had a shot saved by the keeper in the opening exchanges but Betis went ahead from a counter-attack with Ruben Castro's defence-splitting pass setting up Molina who fired home past helpless goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Real responded with its first clear-cut chance with Mesut Ozil lofting the ball over the defence for Higuain to run onto and the Argentine finished clinically.

Before half time, Salva Sevilla hit the crossbar with a free-kick for Betis while Higuain and Ronaldo also went close with openings at the other end.

Real looked like it had asserted its authority on the match with Ronaldo spinning and slotting the ball home after 51 minutes but minutes later Betis was level. The visitor failed to clear a corner and Montero, which had been a threat all game, pounced with a drive from the edge of the area. Ronaldo restored Real's lead when he was quickest to react inside the area after Agosto parried a Sergio Ramos header.

The results: Spanish League: Real Sociedad 3 (Agirretxe 18, 39, Vela 21) bt Real Zaragoza 0; Malaga 1 (Rondon 51) bt Levante 0; Sporting Gijon 1 (Castro 32) bt Sevilla 0; Real Betis 2 (Molina 10, Montero 55) lost to Real Madrid 3 (Higuain 25, Cristiano Ronaldo 52, 73).

Italian League: Palermo 0 lost to Roma 1 (Borini 3).

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Sport Football
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:30:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/ronaldo-scores-twice-as-real-swells-lead/article2985593.ece

Next Story