Sunday 17 December 2017

Video: Watch as Cristiano Ronaldo blazes penalty over the bar in Real Madrid win

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo takes a penalty
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo takes a penalty

Cristiano Ronaldo scored and missed a penalty as Real Madrid cut the gap to neighbours Atletico in second place in the Primera Division to a single point by thrashing Sevilla 4-0 at the Bernabeu, although the scoreline did not fairly reflect the balance of play.

Kevin Gameiro missed a spot-kick in the first half with the score at 1-0 and then had an equalising goal wrongly ruled out in the second half, just after Ronaldo had missed the target from 12 yards.

Karim Benzema had given Madrid the lead after just six minutes and Ronaldo finally doubled the hosts' advantage midway through the second half, while Gareth Bale and substitute Jese completed the rout.

Madrid remain third in the table and 10 points behind leaders Barcelona, who they face in their next league game in a fortnight's time at the Nou Camp, while Sevilla slip down to sixth place.

Sevilla made a better start and had two attempts on goal within five minutes but Madrid made their first effort count. Bale dribbled down the right and spotted Benzema lurking near the penalty spot, and the Frenchman swivelled to meet his team-mate's cross on the half volley, sending it high into the net.

Once Madrid went ahead they were in the mood for more. Bale's shot was turned onto the post by Sergio Rico, and a minute later the Wales international flicked a Ronaldo header into the net from close range, but had the goal wrongly ruled out for offside, as Seville defender Timothee Kolodziejczak, who was kneeling on the floor, was playing him onside.

Rico then made two more brilliant saves, first denying Benzema and then Ronaldo, and a moment later Sevilla were offered a golden opportunity to get back into the game, the referee punishing Raphael Varane for tugging the shirt of Adil Rami while trying to defend a set piece.

But Keylor Navas came to Madrid's rescue, guessing correctly and parrying Gameiro's spot kick, making his third penalty save of the campaign.

Ronaldo was given the chance to get on the scoresheet from the spot in the second half when Jose Antonio Reyes was penalised for tripping Luka Modric in the area, but the Portuguese blasted over the bar.

Bale then headed onto the bar from a corner but just a minute later Sevilla looked to have punished Madrid for their wastefulness when Gameiro latched onto a long ball and shot past Navas, but the Frenchman was harshly judged offside.

Ronaldo finally got the goal he craved to calm Madrid's nerves, arriving at the far post to knock in a low pass from Danilo, and the Portuguese puts his hands together in a gesture of apology to the fans.

Bale then grabbed the goal he had been denied earlier by the woodwork and the linesman, turning in Benzema's chipped pass from inside the six-yard area.

And Jese completed the scoring as injury time approached, finishing off a one-two with fellow substitute James Rodriguez.

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