La Liga wrap: Cristiano Ronaldo bags 25th Real Madrid hat-trick.
Awesome foursome as Ronaldo bags another hat-trick
Following up his treble against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday,Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational scoring record by bagging four against Elche. It was the striker’s 25th Real Madrid hat-trick, and his 12th goal in just eight games so far this season. Gareth Bale headed Madrid’s other goal in their 5-1 victory, coming after a softly awarded penalty had given Elche the lead. In the reverse fixture last season,
Spanish police reported several phone calls complaining about the standard of refereeing, and history looked to be repeating itself when Madrid were given a dubious spot-kick later on. Ronaldo stepped up and notched his first of the night, tucking away three more before the night ended. The Madrid crowd can’t get enough of Ronaldo at the moment despite rumours of a move away, and were similarly supportive of debutant Keylor Navas in goal. Sections of the Bernabeu have begun to heckle longstanding captain Iker Casillas over his loss of form recently, but Carlo Ancelotti used Navas only as a rotation with three games in one week, irrespective of the display from the Costa Rican.
Barca attack toothless as Suárez scores in warm-up game
Barcelona failed to maintain their 100 per cent La Liga record on Wednesday night as they drew 0-0 with Malaga. The result came on the same day that Luis Suárez scored twice in a warm-up game as Barca’s front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro drew a blank, failing to register a shot on target! At the other end however, Barcelona are impressive and still yet to concede after five games this season. That almost changed though as Claudio Bravo had to be alert to tip Luis Alberto’s free-kick onto the post. Malaga had lost their last 12 domestic games against Barca beforehand, but were finally able to end their torrid sequence of results.
et-pieces working wonders but Atleti desperately missing Costa
Centre-half Miranda scored for Atlético at the weekend in their 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, and was again on the score sheet as they beat Almeria 1-0. Yet again, Atlético scored from a set-piece, the sixth time out of seven this season as the replacements for Diego Costa struggle to get going. Antoine Griezmann started alone up front with Mario Mandzukic out injured, but even substitute Alessio Cerci couldn’t open his account for the club. It is a stark contrast to how Costa has been getting on in the Premier League, already winning the hearts of Chelsea fans with his consistent goals. Atlético had their core ripped out during the summer, but with the club struggling for goals, it is Costa the fans are missing most.
Celta stalwart Sergio the hero in Galician derby
Having kept Atlético Madrid at bay at the weekend, Celta Vigo goalkeeper Sergio shone again at Balaidos as Celta won their first derby in seven years. The lifelong Celta fan, a servant for 13 years, kept out a late penalty to ensure his side came out as deserved 2-1 winners. It compounded a bad few days for Depor, who were smashed 8-2 by Real Madrid at the weekend, and they were again second best against their fierce rivals. Nolito had given Celta the lead after two minutes, but Deportivo managed to hold on and grab an equaliser, courtesy of La Masia graduate Isaac Cuenca. Joaquin Larrivey nodded Celta ahead from a corner, and should have made the game comfortable when through one-on-one, but his tame lob was easily beaten away. Celta dominated but couldn’t put the game to bed, and but for Sergio’s heroics, would have had to endure more frustration from their rivals.