Thursday 14 December 2017

Ronaldo double puts Real on verge of title

Real Madrid 4 Celta Vigo 1

Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice at Celta Vigo to ensure Real Madrid need just a point from their weekend game at Malaga to win the LaLiga title for the first time in five years.

Ronaldo, who in reaching 368 league goals for a top European club overtook Jimmy Greaves in the all-time scorers list, struck early in each half as Real held Celta at arm's length to claim a 4-1 victory.

Celta's star man Iago Aspas was sent off, but John Guidetti managed to make some amends for his late miss at Old Trafford last week with a response after the hour mark, but Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos made sure to protect Real's three-point haul.

Real head to Malaga on Sunday three points clear of Barcelona, who will retain their crown if they beat Eibar and Real lose on the south coast - on head to head.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with Isco. Photo: Miguel Vidal/Reuters
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with Isco. Photo: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

Ronaldo put the visitors ahead 10 minutes into this rescheduled clash, picking up the ball in what seemed like an unthreatening position but firing an unstoppable left-footed drive past Sergio Alvarez.

Celta created plenty of opportunities, but three minutes into the second period Ronaldo doubled the lead after receiving a clever pass from Isco, and Celta were further wounded when Aspas saw red for a second booking.

Guidetti cut the gap with a deft finish from a Pione Sisto assist.

Any joy was short-lived, however, as Benzema re-established Real's two-goal lead with a final touch on Marcelo's ball on 70 minutes.

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos in action with Celta Vigo's Hugo Mallo. Photo: Miguel Vidal/Reuters
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos in action with Celta Vigo's Hugo Mallo. Photo: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

Kroos claimed the fourth when Benzema exploited a mistake by Facundo Roncaglia.

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