Ronaldo scores two for Real but is sent off againJanuary 25th, 2010 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS
Madrid, Jan 25 (DPA) Cristiano Ronaldo again went from hero to villain for Real Madrid. The Portuguese winger scored both goals in the 2-0 home defeat of lowly Malaga, but was sent off 20 minutes from time for elbowing defender Patrick Mtiliga.
This is Ronaldo’s second sending-off and he faces a suspension of two or three matches. In December’s 4-2 thrashing of Almeria he scored a brace - then was sent off.
Defender Raul Albiol refused to criticize Ronaldo on Sunday, saying that “the important thing is that he scored both of our goals tonight.”
The unconvincing win, which keeps their perfect home record intact, keeps Real five points behind unbeaten leaders Barcelona, who hammered Valladolid 3-0 away on Saturday.
Real made an uncertain start, to the chagrin of the Estadio Bernabeu, and Malaga had chances to take an early lead. In the 36th minute, however, Kaka and Guti set up Ronaldo to make it 1-0 with a right-foot shot.
Just four minutes later Ronaldo made it 2-0 with one of his trademark long drives, after taking a pass from Guti.
The world’s most expensive player blotted his copybook in the 71st minute, when he angrily elbowed Mtiliga and got a fully deserved red card.
Even so, Real had few problems in holding out against their inoffensive opponents.
Earlier on Sunday, Valencia had been held to a 0-0 draw away to lowly Tenerife on Sunday, which leaves them third, five points behind Real.
“Los Ches” failed to dominate in Santa Cruz and needed veteran goalkeeper Cesar to keep lively Tenerife at bay.
Valencia coach Unai Emery opted to praise Tenerife rather than blame his own players. “The result is fair,” he said, “because they pressed us hard and were very ambitious.”
Valencia are five points ahead of fourth-placed Mallorca, who were relieved to battle out a 1-1 draw away to Espanyol on Sunday.
Mallorca needed a late penalty from Borja Valero to claim a draw, after Pablo Osvaldo had given Espanyol the lead.
Mallorca are level on 34 points with Deportivo Coruna, who beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 on Saturday, but who lost left-back Filipe Luis for the rest of the season with a broken leg.
Sevilla, who beat Almeria 1-0 on Sunday, are sixth with 33 points.
Later on Sunday Getafe beat capital city rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0, to move up to seventh. The only goal came in the 38th minute, when Manu del Moral skilfully turned in a centre from the energetic Pedro Leon.
Atletico, crippled by the sending-off of anchorman Paulo Assuncao, never looked capable of turning the match around.
At the same time as Assuncao and company were crashing in Getafe, Atletico were completing the sale of midfielder Cleber Santana to Brazilian club Sao Paulo.
Sunday’s other games all had relegation significance.
Bottom team Xerez crashed 2-1 at home to Osasuna, Zaragoza went down 4-2 in Villarreal. Racing Santander, meanwhile, pulled themselves above the danger zone with a 1-0 win away to local rivals Sporting Gijon.
Xerez, now under Argentine Nestor Gorosito, have just eight points. Then come Zaragoza on 14, and three teams on 17: Tenerife, Valladolid and Malaga.
- Real Madrid looking to bury the ghost of Tenerife - Feb 25, 2010
- Real Madrid held by Osasuna, stay in second place - Jan 04, 2010
- Mallorca ahead of Sevilla in battle for fourth place - Feb 08, 2010
- Messi doubtful for Catalan derby after Kiev injury - Dec 10, 2009
- Impressive Valencia stay third, solid Mallorca retake fourth - Jan 18, 2010
- Sevilla reclaim fourth place by beating Osasuna - Feb 15, 2010
- Barcelona to celebrate Guardiola's decision in Valladolid - Jan 21, 2010
- Valencia third after dramatic late win in Bilbao - Dec 07, 2009
- Deportivo next target for rampant Barcelona - Dec 03, 2009
- When the Barcelona cat is away, the Madrid mice will play - Dec 17, 2009
- Valencia cruise up to joint fourth in La Liga - Oct 26, 2009
- Valencia battle out draw in la Coruna and stay fourth - Dec 21, 2009
- Two-goal hero Negredo lifts Sevilla up to fourth - Feb 01, 2010
- Navarro guides Valencia back to fourth place - Nov 02, 2009
- Troubled Atletico Madrid face difficult trip to Barcelona - Sep 17, 2009
Tags: almeria, borja, chagrin, copybook, cristiano ronaldo, emery, estadio bernabeu, five points, four minutes, osvaldo, perfect home, raul albiol, real madrid, right foot, ronaldo, unai, valero, valladolid, villain, winger