Tuesday 12 December 2017

James hits stunner as Real close gap at top

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez celebrates his stunning goal against Almeria
Real Madrid's James Rodriguez celebrates his stunning goal against Almeria
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

James Rodriguez scored a stunning goal to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Almeria last night that kept his side two points behind leaders Barcelona in the final stretch of the Spanish league title race.

Rodriguez volleyed home a long-range strike seconds before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Almeria defender Mauro Dos Santos deflected a pass meant for Cristiano Ronaldo into his own goal in the 49th to put Madrid in complete control.

Defender Alvaro Arbeloa sealed the win from Javier Hernandez's pass six minutes from time.

With four games left, Madrid next face a tough visit at Sevilla on Saturday, while Barcelona play at bottom club Cordoba.

Barca's Champions League opponents Bayern Munich are counting the cost of their German Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund with Arjen Robben ruled out for the season with a torn calf muscle.

Robert Lewandowski, who scored in the first half, was hit from behind by Dortmund goalkeeper Mitch Langerak when he went off the line to punch away a cross late in extra-time.

Lewandowski is now a major doubt having suffered a broken nose, broken jaw, and concussion.

Meanwhile, in Serie A last night, Carlos Tevez scored twice to give Juventus a 3-2 win over Fiorentina but Lazio prevented them from celebrating the title by thumping bottom club Parma 4-0.

Leaders Juventus stayed 14 points clear of Lazio with five games to play and need a draw at Sampdoria on Saturday to clinch a fourth successive Serie A title.

Gonzalo Rodriguez put Fiorentina ahead with a penalty, Fernando Llorente headed Juve level before Tevez scored twice, taking his league tally to 20. Rodriguez missed a second penalty in between and Josip Ilicic replied with a late goal.

Marco Parolo, Miroslav Klose and Antonio Candreva scored in a six-minute spell to set up a comfortable win for Lazio. Milan's miserable season continued when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Genoa.

Irish Independent

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