Monday, May 29, 2017

La Liga Review: Barca maintain lead after Ronaldo inspires Real blitz

SoccerNews in La Liga 5 Apr 2015

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Barcelona remain four points clear at the top of La Liga as they and Real Madrid posted starkly contrasting victories on Sunday.

Real featured in the early kick-off at The Santiago Bernabeu, and promptly ran riot against a beleaguered Granada side, triumphing 9-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the main scourge, netting five times in a ruthless display of clinical finishing in Madrid.

Having seen Gareth Bale open the scoring in the 25th minute, Ronaldo scored three times in eight minutes to net his fastest hat-trick for the club.

After the break, his fourth was sandwiched by a brace for Karim Benzema and after Robert Ibanez’s consolation for Granada, a Diego Mainz own goal and Ronaldo’s fifth – his 300th for Real on his 287th appearance – sealed the most emphatic of victories.

In comparison, Barca’s 1-0 triumph at Celta Vigo was anything but convincing.

Celta, who won 1-0 at Camp Nou in the reverse fixture earlier this season, looked dangerous for long periods but were eventually beaten when Jeremy Mathieu headed in Xavi’s free-kick with 17 minutes to go.

Late on, Celta saw Fabian Orellana bizarrely sent off for throwing a lump of grass at Sergio Busquets, which struck the midfielder in the neck.

Elsewhere, Getafe defeated Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 to pull themselves seven points clear of danger and leave their opponents just a point above the drop zone, while Valencia missed out on the chance to climb back into third as they were held 0-0 at home by Villarreal.

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