Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 7th 2014 Contents A60
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 7, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo s record-breaking hat
trick helped Real Madrid equal another
Spanish league milestone with a 3-0 win
over Celta Vigo yesterday.
The Portugal forward s 23rd career hat-
trick in La Liga gave him one more treble
than greats Alfredo Di Stefano and Telmo
Ronaldo s 21st, 22nd and 23rd goals through
14 rounds also ensured Madrid claimed its
18th consecutive victory across all compe-
titions, matching a mark for Spanish teams
established by Barcelona in 2005-06.
Madrid maintained the league lead, four
points ahead of Atletico Madrid after the
defending champions won 2-0 at Elche.
Barcelona, trailing Madrid by five points,
hosts Espanyol today.
Ronaldo opened at the Santiago Bernabeu
from the penalty spot in the 36th minute
after he fell following light contact with a
defender. He struck again in the 65th and
"It s a privilege to play with (Ronaldo),"
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. "You
would have to invent words to describe him.
He may be in his best moment."
Ronaldo received a standing ovation when
substituted late, after taking his overall tally
to 29 goals in 21 games this season.
Ronaldo led the Spanish league with 31
goals last season. Lionel Messi holds the
record for the most goals in a Liga campaign
with 50 in 2011-12.
Ronaldo is already well on pace to repeat
not only as the league s top scorer---Neymar
is second with 11---but he is also making a
strong bid to defend his award for the world s
best player. Madrid s commanding win was
marred only by losing James Rodriguez, who
asked to be changed and walked off the pitch
in the 53rd.
Celta defender Gustavo Cabral suffered a
more painful injury later and had to be carried
off.Ronaldo flirted with the goal in the 18th
when he looped an acrobatic bicycle kick
onto the top of the net before he tested Sergio
Alvarez with a strike from Marcelo s pass.
Marcelo continued to torment Celta s
defense with his incursions from the left
flank, and his cross led to the opening goal
when Ronaldo collapsed after defender
Jonathan "Jonny" Castro touched his arm.
Celta s Fabian Orellana finally threatened
with a curling shot that missed the post one
minute after halftime, but Ronaldo sealed the
win by stabbing home the ball after Madrid
hemmed Celta into its box.
He got his third goal from another cross
by Marcelo, expertly using his left boot to
Atletico churned out the win at Elche with
defender Jose Gimenez firing in the first goal
in the 17th to end a dizzying series of one-
touch passes by Siqueira, Jorge "Koke" Res-
urreccion and Arda Turan from a set piece.
Striker Mario Mandzukic finished Elche
off in the 53rd by sprinting onto Gabi Fer-
nandez s lob and firing the ball inside the
Also, promoted Cordoba s 42-year wait for
a top-tier victory finally ended by beating
Athletic Bilbao 1-0.
Cordoba hadn t won in 13 league games
this season after returning to the top flight
for the first time since 1972.
Cordoba striker Nabil Ghilas pounced on
Ander Iturraspe s poor pass, leapt over Carlos
Gurpegui s sliding tackle, and beat goalkeeper
Gorka Iraizoz for what proved to be the winner
in the 23rd.
Cordoba s win pushed Elche to the foot of
the table. (AP)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, celebrates towards his team mate Gareth Bale after scoring a goal during a Spanish La Liga football match
against Celta de Vigo at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, yesterday. Real madrid won 3-0. AP PHOTO
MILAN---Roma rallied from two
goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw
against Sassuolo with a stop-
page-time equalizer from Adem
Ljajic but missed the opportunity
to close the gap on Serie A leader
Ljajic, who got Roma back into
the match with a penalty,
snatched a point for the hosts
with practically the game s last
After Juventus was held to 0-
0 at Fiorentina on Friday, Roma
knew it could cut the gap to one
point with a victory at Stadio
Olimpico, where it had won all
seven of its previous league
matches this season, conceding
just two goals.
But Zaza scored twice in three
first-half minutes---the first fol-
lowing a howler from goalkeeper
Morgan De Sanctis---and Roma s
chances diminished when Daniele
De Rossi was sent off at the start
of the second half.
Sassuolo defender Sime Vrsaljko
was also sent off in stoppage time
following two yellow cards.
"We started badly, then it was
only us in the game and we cre-
ated a lot but only managed a
draw," Ljajic said. "We re disap-
pointed because of the standings,
we had the opportunity to go a
point behind but the season is
long ... and we ll see at the end."
Roma remained three points
behind Juve, while Sassuolo
moved to provisional ninth after
extending its club record unbeaten
run to eight league matches.
"We were a bit naive at the
end," Sassuolo coach Eusebio Di
Francesco said. "But Florenzi was
offside for their second goal, and
the penalty was debatable. The
rules state that it s not a penalty
if it touches the knee or a part of
the body and then hits the arm."
Roma appeared to have half an
eye on Wednesday s crucial
Champions League match against
Manchester City, as Rudi Garcia
rested a number of players,
including captain Francesco Totti.
Gervinho, Douglas Maicon,
Davide Astori and Radja Naing-
golan also started from the bench
while Kevin Strootman got his
first start since injuring his knee
back in March.
In the late match, Torino held
Palermo to a 2-2 draw also. (AP)
PARIS---Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as a poor
Paris Saint-Germain rallied to beat Nantes 2-1 and
moved provisionally to the top of the French league
Four days before its trip to Barcelona in the Cham-
pions League, PSG struggled to create opportunities
against an organised Nantes, and relied on Ibrahi-
movic s class to come out on top.
Laurent Blanc s side improved after the interval
but Nantes will feel a sense of injustice over a dis-
allowed goal that would have put them into a 2-0
lead, and a refereeing decision that saw PSG midfielder
Marco Verratti avoid a direct sending-off in the first
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya put Nantes in front
in the eighth minute with a superb 25-meter (yard)
strike but the visitors were punished on a counterattack
that Ibrahimovic concluded from close range in the
Ibrahimovic, who has missed a large chunk of the
season with a heel injury, scored his eighth league
goal with a free kick into the top corner in the 48th.
PSG moved two points clear of Marseille, which
can reclaim the top spot by beating Metz on Sun-
Elsewhere, striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel fired
Saint-Etienne to a 1-0 win over bottom side Bastia
that lifted Les Verts to third overall, five points behind
PSG. It was Saint-Etienne s third consecutive win
in the space of a week.
Fourth-place Bordeaux stayed in the hunt for the
Champions League places after Cheikh Diabate scored
a brace and Wahbi Khazri bagged another goal in a
3-2 win over Lorient. Montpellier claimed its biggest
victory this season with a 4-0 away thrashing of
Rennes, and Nice won 3-2 at Caen.
As Bedoya silenced the PSG fans with his stunning
shot, and the home side started regulars Maxwell,
Gregory van der Wiel, David Luiz, Blaise Matuidi
and Edinson Cavani on the bench, PSG looked pow-
erless in the early stages.
Verratti was lucky to escape with a yellow card
following his high tackle to stop Nantes midfielder
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou s run in the 11th. Papy Mison
Djilobodi then thought he doubled Nantes lead with
a volley at the far post from a free kick, but his goal
was disallowed for offside.
PSG remained dangerous on the break, and leveled
at the end of a swift move ignited by Serge Aurier
and concluded by Ibrahimovic, who coolly finished
Lucas cross despite a challenge from bulky center-
back Augusto Vizcarrondo.
PSG tried to build on the momentum with strong
pressure yet could not add another one before the
interval. But Ibrahimovic, who was rested on Wednes-
day for the 1-1 draw at Lille, needed just three minutes
after coming back from the dressing room to put the
French champions ahead. His powerful free kick from
the same spot where Bedoya fired the opener took
the same route straight into the top corner. (AP)
Ronaldo breaks record with
hat-trick in Real Madrid win
Roma snatches 2-2 draw against Sassuolo
twice as PSG
edges Nantes 2-1
Links Archive December 6th 2014 December 8th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page