Saturday, July 22, 2017

Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 6: Five-star Ronaldo makes history in rout

SoccerNews in La Liga 12 Sep 2015

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Cristiano Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer in La Liga after finding the net five times in a 6-0 rout of Espanyol on Saturday.

After notching a first-half hat-trick, the Portuguese star turned home Gareth Bale’s cross in the 61st minute to score his fourth and take his tally to 229 goals, moving him past previous record holder Raul on the club’s scoring charts before he struck again late on.

Ronaldo has achieved the feat in just 203 appearances for the capital club. To put his scoring record in perspective, Raul’s haul of 228 came in 550 games.

Karim Benzema also found the net as Madrid ran riot on their travels, meaning Rafael Benitez’s side have now taken seven points from three outings at the start of the new domestic season. 

Espanyol, meanwhile, must be sick of the sight of Ronaldo. The forward struck a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last year and needed just 20 minutes to repeat the feat this time.

After drawing a blank in his side’s opening two games this season, Ronaldo ended a barren spell by breaking the deadlock after seven minutes. Luka Modric’s pass over the top caught out the Espanyol defence, allowing him to draw out goalkeeper Pau Lopez before slotting into the bottom right corner.

He was then gifted the chance to double both his and Madrid’s tally from the spot after Alvaro Vazquez clumsily upended Gareth Bale as he burst into the area. The Portugal international made no mistake from the spot, slotting it into the right corner despite Lopez’s best efforts.

Welshman Bale also had a hand in Ronaldo’s third, putting in a sharp cross from the left wing that his team-mate volleyed in with his left foot.

Ronaldo turned from scorer to provider for Madrid’s fourth, squaring the ball across the face of goal to present Benzema with an easy tap-in. The Frenchman was only denied a second before the interval by the woodwork, his shot from the edge of the area striking Lopez’s right post before rebounding straight back to the keeper.

However, Madrid’s fifth eventually arrived just after the hour mark, with Bale once again getting the assist. His low cross from the right with the outside of his left boot allowed Ronaldo to get his record-breaking 229th Liga goal from close range.

He didn’t have to wait too long for number 230 with substitute Lucas Vazquez, who was playing against his former club, this time providing the pass for Ronaldo to slam a shot beyond the hapless Lopez.

A sixth should have been forthcoming when he was given another sight of goal late on. But, for once, Ronaldo failed to hit the target, firing wide with his left foot. Still, it was a rare failure for the 30-year-old on a record-breaking day.

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