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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Football

Ronaldo leads Madrid win with Bale injured
AP
Barcelona, Spain, September 23, 2013
First Published: 03:52 IST(23/9/2013)
Last Updated: 03:55 IST(23/9/2013)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a double and set up another goal for Real Madrid in a 4-1 comeback win over Getafe on Sunday in the Spanish league, as new teammate Gareth Bale couldn't make his home debut after injuring his leg before the match.

Bale was dropped from Madrid's starting lineup minutes before the match after the club's medical staff examined his left thigh during warm-ups at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The club said it was for "precaution" and that he would undergo tests Monday.

Things only got worse for Madrid's disappointed fans when Getafe forward Angel Lafita opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

But Pepe scored from a rebound in the 19th before Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 33rd, set up Francisco "Isco" Alarcon in the 59th, and added another goal in injury time after Getafe had been reduced to 10 men.

"Overall we played a good game. We were unlucky to start a goal behind, but I think our reaction was good," said Madrid's first-year Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti. "Sometimes we play too far back in defense, but 'piano piano' we are improving."

Madrid remained undefeated through five rounds and is in third place in the standings, two points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Villarreal also stayed unbeaten in its return to Spain's top flight after drawing 0-0 at Celta Vigo.

The same lack of finishing touch condemned Real Betis to a 0-0 finish against visiting Granada, leaving both teams with one win.

Valencia enjoyed a much-needed 3-1 victory at home over Sevilla, breaking a four-game losing streak that included a 3-0 defeat to Swansea in the Europa League on Thursday.

Brazilian forward Jonas scored twice for Valencia, netting in the 32nd and then again in the 73rd after Kevin Gameiro had leveled for Sevilla in the 52nd. Substitute Victor Ruiz headed in Valencia's last goal in the 82nd and sparked the same Mestalla crowd that had protested after the Swansea loss into chants of "Yes! That's the way!"

Valencia president Amadeo Salva said after the match that new coach Miroslav Djukic will finish out the season "no matter what happens."

The result left Unai Emery's Sevilla winless and in last place.

Ronaldo's 207th and 208th career goals for Madrid in 205 games moved him ahead of Hugo Sanchez as the club's fifth all-time leading scorer. Raul Gonzalez holds the record with 323 goals.

Ronaldo has scored seven goals in his last four games in all competitions for Madrid.

If losing Bale for what was supposed to be his highly-anticipated first game in front of Madrid's fans wasn't a big enough blow, Carlo Ancelotti's side soon fell behind to their modest crosstown rivals.

After Ronaldo had squandered back-to-back scoring chances, the Portugal forward lost the ball and Getafe struck when Lafita's resulting shot took a deflection off Pepe before landing in the net.

But Ronaldo helped Madrid level when he drew a save from goalkeeper Miguel Moya, with the rebound falling for Pepe to tap in.

Ronaldo put Madrid in front by driving a low spot kick just inside the post after Getafe's Miguel "Michel" Marcos blocked his free kick with his arm inside the area.

Ronaldo's quickly taken free kick left Isco alone in the area to curl in his fourth goal in the league play.

"It didn't matter that Bale wasn't there, Isco took his place," said Getafe coach Luis Garcia. "All their players are good. With Madrid you can't talk about them missing players."

Getafe played the final five minutes with 10 men after Michel was sent off with a direct red card for fouling Jese Rodriguez with only Moya to beat.

Ronaldo, who had clipped the post in the 79th, got his well-earned brace when he used a brazen back-heeled shot with his right boot to redirect Sami Khedira's cross into the net.

Madrid paid Tottenham a world-record 100 million euros ($132 million) for Bale at the close of the summer transfer market.

Ancelotti said Bale's injury didn't appear to be serious.

"(Bale) wasn't comfortable or calm. I preferred to prevent any problems," said Ancelotti. "He isn't happy because he was very excited to play in the Bernabeu."

The next chance Madrid's fans will have to see Bale at home will be next Saturday against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital derby.


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