Spanish Primera Liga – Ronaldo double steers Real Madrid to tense win | Pakistan Today

Spanish Primera Liga – Ronaldo double steers Real Madrid to tense win

MADRID – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 18th and 19th league goals of the season as Real Madrid started 2011 with a tense 3-2 win at derby rivals Getafe on Monday to close to within two points of champions Barcelona at the league summit. Portuguese star Ronaldo smashed home an 11th-minute penalty to open the scoring before Angel di Maria set up German international Mesut Ozil for a second on 19 minutes.
Ronaldo grabbed his second on 57 minutes after Getafe had got a foothold in the game with a goal from Madrid old boy Daniel Parejo and Real notched their sixth consecutive win in all competitions, surviving a late scare after Juan Albin pulled another goal back for Getafe six minutes from time. Barcelona had defeated Levante 2-1 at home on Sunday to record an 11th straight league win with Pedro Rodriguez scoring both goals.
Real had first choice centre-backs Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho suspended so Spanish internationals Raul Albiol and Sergio Ramos were the makeshift partnership in central defence. With Argentine sriker Gonzalo Higuain out injured for the season, French forward Karim Benzema has a lifeline to resurrect his Real career and started against Getafe. Getafe pulled a goal back on 28 minutes through Madrid old boy Daniel Parejo.
The 21-year-old Parejo, who Real farmed out to English side QPR on loan before selling him to Getafe, sneaked past two Real players before curling in a fine shot.
Real were reduced to ten men when defender Alvaro Arbeloa collected a second yellow card for handball on 80 minutes and four minutes later Albin scored for the hosts following a mistake from Marcelo. Earlier on Monday Villarreal made it eight league wins from nine at home defeating lowly Almeria 2-0 at El Madrigal to move five points clear of fourth-placed Valencia. Centre-back Jose Catala finished off a Borja Valero set-piece on 22 minutes and Valero curled in a 58th free-kick to get himself on the scoresheet to seal a win that keeps them nestled in third.
Almeria, who have scored just five goals on the road, fall to second from bottom, two points from safety. Villarreal have a challenging week ahead of them, facing Valencia on Thursday in the last 16 of the Kings Cup and then travelling to Real Madrid at the weekend for a crunch league test at the Santiago Bernabeu. In other matches, Atletico Madrid dropped two points in their bid for a Champions League place drawing 0-0 with Racing Santander on Monday. Atletico go up to sixth in the table but lose pace on Valencia, 2-1 winners over Espanyol,
who are four points ahead in fourth. Elsewhere Real Zaragoza moved off the bottom with a sensational late 2-1 home win over Real Sociedad on Monday. It was a first win in charge of Zaragoza for Mexican coach Javier Aguirre with Braulio’s 90th-minute winner lifting the club two places as Sporting Gijon replaced them at the bottom.

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