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Ronaldo Double Keeps Real In Title Race

Real Madrid completed their 11th consecutive La Liga win with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Valencia on Sunday.

The hosts started the clash strongly and opened the scoring in the 26th minute. Marcelo attacked down the left before directing a neat pass towards Cristiano Ronaldo who took a stride past Abdennour before firing home.

Real continued pressuring the visitors as Danilo marauded down the right before whipping in a cross to the far post. Karim Benzema was in position to stick it away but Barragan took it away at the last moment.

Three minutes before the break the Frenchman was given another chance and on this occasion he obliged to put Real in front. Diego Alves initially made a great save to keep Benzema out, but the ball came back to the striker and he placed his shot home.

The hosts took their 2-0 lead into the break and forced Alves into another save five minutes into the second half. After a mistake from Perez the ball came to Benzema who striked towards the bottom corner, but the goalkeeper saved.

Despite struggling for chances, Valencia pulled one back in the 55th minute. Varane's poor attempted clearance fell for Rodrigo who produced a brilliant strike to make it 2-1.

However, Los Blancos were two goals clear once again just shy of the hour mark. James threaded the ball through for Ronaldo who made no mistake as he lifted a deft strike into the roof of the net.

Casilla was called upon to maintain the two-goal cushion shortly thereafter when Parejo struck a shot towards the bottom corner and he did so with great athleticism.

In the 81st minute the game got its fifth goal as Valencia reduced the deficit again. Andre Gomes produced a gem of a strike to make it 3-2.

Rodrigo was bizarrely sent off in the 83rd minute with a red card after what could only have been due to some dissent aimed at the linesman. It had no real impact on the game and the home side claimed all three points.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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