Ronaldo: Real can´t drop another point

Cristiano Ronaldo has stressed Real Madrid cannot lose another point this season on the back of the club’s 5-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

The 27-year-old scored a hat-trick – including two penalties – after Real went a goal behind in Sunday evening’s clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho’s men face Barcelona next Sunday and Ronaldo is pleased the side could record a victory in the lead-up to the big clash.

“We were a bit lethargic [early] in the game,” he said.

“But after the Deportivo goal we woke up and we got a good comeback.

“Our team is good and we know we cannot lose more points. We have achieved an important victory [tonight].”

On the topic of squad rotation, Ronaldo insists he is not bothered by Mourinho’s alterations because of the length of their campaign.

We have to accept the decisions of the coach because he knows to do best for the team. The season is very long and you have to make changes,” he said.

With a clash at Camp Nou next up, the Portugal international admitted it would be tough to get all three points but remains positive that Madrid can get something from the match.

“We know it will be very difficult and complicated,” Ronaldo said.

“We have to stay focused and confident that we will play a good game.”

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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La Liga wrap: High five for Real Madrid

Real Madrid continued their La Liga resurgence with a 5-1 rout of Deportivo La Coruna thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

Jose Mourinho’s men were made to come-from-behind after Riki gave the visitors a shock 16th minute lead, however Ronaldo restored parity from the penalty spot seven minutes later.

Angel Di Maria put Real ahead from close range on 38 minutes and Ronaldo grabbed his second of match on the stroke of half-time.

Portuguese defender Pepe netted a fourth for the defending champions in the 66th minute before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick courtesy of his second spot-kick of the night.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Atletico Madrid extended their unbeaten run to six matches and climbed up to second on the table with a 1-0 win at cellar-dwellers Espanyol.

Raul Garcia’s 30th-minute effort was enough to hand Atletico their fifth win of the season and move Diego Simeone’s team within two points of league leaders Barcelona, while Espanyol remain rooted to the foot of the table with just a solitary point.

Real Valladolid trounced Rayo Vallecano 6-1 at the Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla.

Vallecano took the lead five minutes into the match thanks to an Alejandro Dominguez strike from close strange, but their joy was short lived.

Valladolid drew level five minutes later through Bueno before they opened up a three-goal lead at half-time courtesy of Manucho Goncalves, Oscar Gonzalez and Antonio Rukavina.

Gonzalez netted his brace after 56 minutes and Valladolid completed the demolition following Manucho’s second goal of the match.

Osasuna secured their first victory of the season with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Levante.

After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Osasuna went on a rampage with goals from Emiliano Armenteros, Roland Lamah, Timor and Nino.

Meanwhile, two goals in the opening 20 minutes from Guilherme Siqueira and Gabriel Torje guided Granada to a confidence-boosting 2-1 win at home to Celta De Vigo.

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Ligue 1 wrap: Valenciennes stun Marseille

Marseille’s perfect start to the Ligue 1 season came to a stunning end when they were trounced 4-1 at Valenciennes on Sunday.

Anthony Le Tallec netted a brace for the home side, while Gael Danic and Foued Kadir also got on the scoresheet at the Stade du Hainaut.

Jordan Ayew scored a late consolation for Marseille, who had won their opening six matches and conceded just one goal before travelling to Valenciennes.

“It’s a heavy defeat, when we went in at halftime 3-0 down the game was over for us,” Marseille manager Elie Baup said.

“After their first goal we had some chances, we could have got back to 1-1, but we couldn’t do it. When you lose like that, it means that very little went right.”

Lyon suffered their first defeat of the season after they conceded two second-half goals at home to championship rivals Bordeaux.

Following a goalless first-half, Bordeaux took the lead through Benoit Tremoulinas and the visitors maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign with a second goal courtesy of Cheick Diabate.

The results moves Bordeaux up to fifth, while Lyon drops down to third, four points adrift of leaders Marseille.

Elsewhere, Saint Etienne and Reims played out a 0-0 stalemate.

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Baup rues poor first half

Marseille coach Elie Baup rued his team’s poor start after they crashed to a 4-1 loss to Valenciennes in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The league leaders dropped points for the first time this season as Anthony Le Tallec netted a brace for the victors at Stade du Hainaut.

Former Liverpool striker Le Tallec, Gael Danic and Foued Kadir all netted in the first half as the hosts stunned Marseille.

Baup said his team’s efforts in the first half cost them, but dismissed suggestions they were complacent heading into the clash.

“It was not a question of overconfidence from us. We made a poor start today. They did some very efficient pressing on us,” Baup said.

“We could not move the ball around. We were in trouble every time we lost the ball.

“In the air, they were better than us. A lot of things did not work, especially in the first 15 minutes.”

Marseille were unable to recover from their lacklustre first half and fell further behind in the 63rd minute when Le Tallec completed his brace.

Jordan Ayew scored a late consolation for Baup’s side, but the coach said the damage had been done in the first half.

“At 3-0 down at half-time, it was complicated for us even though we tried some things,” he said.

“We were still in trouble on the counter-attacks though. The second half ended 1-1, but the three goals in the first half definitely left a mark on the group.”

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Chinese Super League wrap: Sainty take top spot

Cristian Danalache netted an injury time winner as Jiangsu Sainty leapfrogged Guangzhou Evergrande into top spot on Sunday.

The Romanian striker bagged a brace to help Sainty overcome a stubborn Dalian Aerbin outfit 3-2 at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center.

Sainty defender Ji Xiang opened the scoring after four minutes before Danalache doubled the host’s advantage within five minutes of the half-time break.

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Fabio Rochemback pulled a goal back for Aerbin seven minutes after the interval and Zhou Tong struck the all-important equaliser with just over 20 minutes remaining.

However, with the match set to finish all square, Danalache stepped up to convert a last-minute penalty, his 23rd goal of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou R and F bounced back from their defeat to Henan Jianye with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Guizhou Renhe.

Yakubu’s 80th minute strike was enough to separate the two sides and consolidate R and F’s third-placed position.

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Liga Sagres wrap: Academica notch first win

Academica continued their unbeaten start to the Liga Sagres season with a 2-0 win at Maritimo on Sunday.

Pedro Emanuel’s side jumped into fourth with their first win of the campaign, having drawn their opening four league outings, thanks to goals from Wilson Eduardo and Marinho.

Maritimo, who are in the Europa League after finishing fifth last season, sit 12th in the league, six points adrift of leaders Benfica.

The hosts made a poor start in front of their home fans, falling behind to an 11th-minute Eduardo strike.

Marinho doubled Academica’s lead just before half-time as they continued their strong start to the campaign.

Gil Vicente also registered their first win of the season, edging Moreirense 4-3 at Estadio Cidade de Barcelos.

Andre Cunha cancelled out Nabil Ghilas’ opener and then gave the hosts the lead on the half-hour mark.

But Moreirense hit back almost immediately through Vinicius and looked set to head into the break ahead after Ghilas gave them the lead for a second time.

Claudio completed an enthralling first half when he struck from the penalty spot to make it 3-3.

Halisson netted the winner with the only goal of the second half in the 78th minute.

Nacional moved out of the relegation zone as Mario Rondon scored a late winner in their 2-1 victory at Olhanense.

A Mauricio own goal handed Nacional the lead before Liban Abdi responded for the hosts, only for Rondon to pop up and score the decisive goal in the first minute of additional time.

Beira-Mar remain the only winless team in the league after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Vitoria Setubal.

Camara and Albert Meyong were on the scoresheet, while Nildo Petrolina was sent off late on for the hosts.

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Locadia delighted with ´dream´ hat-trick

PSV Eindhoven teenager Jurgen Locadia has described his Eredivisie debut as ‘a dream’ after coming off the bench and netting a hat-trick.

The 18-year-old, who scored in his first ever appearance for PSV in the KNVB Beker on Thursday, replaced Luciano Narsingh in the second half and scored three goals in 11 minutes to add to Dries Mertens’ hat-trick, as the Eindhoven giants beat VVV Venlo 6-0 on Sunday.

Locadia could not hide his delight after the match and admitted he could not quite believe he had scored three in his first league game.

“It was liberating. This is a dream. I scored my first goal in the Eredivisie and then it was three immediately after,” he said.

PSV coach Dick Advocaat said he was very happy for the teenage and added that he had enormous potential.

“He has shown that he is a true striker,” he said.

“He knows where to stand and where to go. He is a really good player who is good with both feet. If you can score three goals in 20 minutes, what can you say more as a coach?”

PSV are now third in the league, three points behind league leaders Twente.

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Dzeko happy to net ´important´ goal

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko was pleased to score an ‘important’ late goal in his team’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday.

The English Premier League champions showed considerable resolve to bounce back from going 1-0 down to an early penalty from Mladen Petric.

Sergio Aguero equalised before Dzeko pounced on a late mistake from John Arne Riise to fire City to the three points, just minutes after coming on as a substitute.

“It was an important goal – what else can I say? I got five minutes and I tried to do the best thing I can do,” the Bosnia international told the club’s website.

“It’s never easy to come in with five minutes to go, and even if I do expect to play more, I’m happy for that team that we managed to get the three points today.”

Strike partner Aguero, who was making only his third start this season due to a knee problem, was clearly delighted to be back among the goals after his injury lay-off.

Writing on his Twitter page, Aguero said: “We played well, we bested a tough rival on a tough field, and I found the net again – glad to be back on track.”

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Long happy to share the load

West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long insists his team have the firepower to be surprise packets in the English Premier League this season.

The 25-year-old replaced Romelu Lukaku in the starting line-up for Sunday’s draw against Aston Villa following the mid-week League Cup defeat to Liverpool.

Long staked a claim for a regular starting berth with a strong performance capped by his fourth goal of the season.

The former Reading man received a standing ovation from the West Brom faithful when replaced by Lukaku, and believes that along with Peter Odemwingie, Marc-Antoine Fortune and the Belgian forward, manager Steve Clarke has a wealth of striking options at his disposal.

Long said: “We have plenty of attacking options this season and you know that whoever starts has an able replacement to come on.

“The gaffer said that he will share the load. It seems that me and Romelu are alternating the scoring at the minute and that is working well.

“Whoever comes off the bench is a real threat. It means you can go full pelt for 70 minutes.

“Don’t forget there is also Peter Odemwingie and Marc-Antoine Fortune who weren’t involved today.”

Long praised Clarke for the way the manager had continued the good work of former West Brom boss Roy Hodgson.

“He has instilled a bit of confidence and you can see that in the way we get the ball down and pass it,” he said.

“What you see on the pitch is what we are doing in training, day in and day out.

“A lot of the success is down to the shape and the two rocks at centre-half (Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley) and one of the best goalkeepers (Ben Foster) in the Premier League.”

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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Gibbs enjoying injury-free run

Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs believes his impressive form can be attributed to finally putting his injury problems behind him.

Gibbs has been an ever-present for Arsenal in the English Premier League this season and has caught the eye with some rampaging forward play as well solid defensive play, finally cementing his place as first-choice left-back.

“I feel my performances have been positive this season,” the 23-year-old told the club’s website.

“I’ve kept fit which has been important for me – especially over the last couple of years where I struggled to stay fit.

“I always said if I can get a good run of games under my belt, I can always get stronger and hopefully be more consistent – which is what I’m doing at the minute.

“I’m happy to be fit and I’m happy to be playing.”

A feature of Gibbs’ play this season has been his ability to contribute in the attacking third wide on the left.

It was a tactic that particularly came to fruition in Arsenal’s 6-1 win over Southampton, as the newly promoted side were forced into two own goals from Gibbs’ crosses.

“The boss (Arsene Wenger) is always telling me, ever since pre-season, to play high and wide and stretch the team, to let the midfielders have more room,” he said.

“It’s part of my game as well and I feel I play the game how I think it should be played. That’s probably where that comes from.”

Sun 30 Sep, 2012
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