Sunday 16 December 2018

Ronaldo and Ramos on target as Real attack delivers again

Ronaldo looked to have sealed the win with a net-bursting strike from a tight angle shortly after the hour mark. Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca
Ronaldo looked to have sealed the win with a net-bursting strike from a tight angle shortly after the hour mark. Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca

Jamie Holland

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos helped Real Madrid mount a stirring second-half comeback to beat Real Betis 5-3 away from home in a thrilling La Liga game last night, demonstrating their awesome power in attack as well as their vulnerabilities.

Marco Asensio headed the champions in front in the 11th minute but Aissa Mandi nodded in an equaliser in the 33rd.

Nacho Fernandez then diverted a fumbled save by Keylor Navas into his own net to give ninth-placed Betis the lead in the 37th.

A party atmosphere had gripped the Benito Villamarin stadium but locally-born Real captain Ramos punctured the mood by levelling with a towering header from a corner five minutes into the second half.

Gareth Bale spurned two good chances to score and it was left to hot-shot winger Asensio to put Madrid back in front with a strike across goal to complete a blistering counterattack.

Ronaldo looked to have sealed the win with a net-bursting strike from a tight angle shortly after the hour mark.

However, substitute Sergio Leon pulled a goal back for Betis in the 85th minute to set up a tense finish.

However, substitute Karim Benzema pounced in stoppage time for Madrid's 13th goal in three games after their 3-1 win over Paris St-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday and their 5-2 hammering of Real Sociedad last weekend.

Equal

Barcelona warmed up for tomorrow's Champions League trip to Chelsea with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Eibar to equal their best La Liga unbeaten run.

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba scored the goals which enabled full-strength Barca to extend their streak to 31 games.

Diego Costa scored his fourth goal since rejoining Atletico Madrid as they beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 to remain seven points behind Barca.

Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring and then Costa, making only his eighth appearance since his move from Chelsea, swept home a second from close range.

Alex Sandro scored a 33rd-minute winner as Juventus bounced back from their Champions League disappointment against Tottenham with a 1-0 derby victory at Torino.

Napoli clung on to top spot by their fingernails as lowly SPAL made them work hard for a 1-0 win at the San Paolo. It was Napoli's ninth Serie A win in a row - a club record in a single season.

Allan struck for what proved to be the winner after six minutes as a quick one-touch passing move ended with Jose Callejon playing in the Brazilian.

Robert Lewandowski converted a last-minute penalty at Wolfsburg to see Bayern Munich prevail 2-1 and clinch a 13th straight victory.

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