Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 18th 2015 Contents A44
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 18, 2015
MADRID---Neymar scored four goals
and set up another in Barcelona s 5-2
win over Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish
league yesterday, while Cristiano Ronal-
do led Real Madrid with a goal and an
assist in a 3-0 victory over Levante.
The results left the Spanish power-
houses provisionally atop the league
standings with 18 points from eight
matches, with Madrid ahead on goal dif-
ference. Villarreal is two points behind
but can regain the lead when it hosts
fourth-place Celta today.
Neymar converted penalty kicks in the
22nd and 32nd minutes after twice being
brought down inside the area, then added
two more from close range in the 69th
and 70th after assists by Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay striker netted Barcelona s
fifth goal with a shot from inside the
area after a cross by Neymar in the 77th.
Javi Guerra had opened the scoring
for the visitors at the Camp Nou in the
15th, and Jozabed Sanchez scored Rayo s
second goal in the 86th.
Neymar said it was one of his best
games with Barcelona since joining the
Catalan club two years ago.
"I m very happy because of the victory
and because of the way we played," the
23-year-old Brazilian star said. "It s never
easy to play against a quality team like
Rayo. We did our job and it was a great
It was Neymar s first four-goal per-
formance since Brazil s 4-0 win over
Japan in a friendly just over a year ago.
He now leads the Spanish league with
eight goals, two more than Ronaldo and
his Real Madrid teammate Karim Ben-
Ronaldo set up a goal and scored
another in a three-minute span at the
Santiago Bernabeu earlier.
He set up Marcelo s goal in the 27th
and scored his own with a well-placed
right-footed shot from just outside the
area in the 30th. Substitute Jese Rodriguez
closed the scoring in the 81st. Barcelona,
still without Lionel Messi and Andres
Iniesta because of injuries, had lost two
of its last three league games and needed
the victory to avoid losing ground to Real
Madrid and Villarreal.
Madrid also got the win despite playing
with a depleted squad because of injuries.
Coach Rafa Benitez was without defender
Sergio Ramos, midfielder Luka Modric
and striker Benzema, who had scored
six goals in as many league games this
"We can take a lot of positives out of
today s game," Benitez said. "We won 3-
0 despite all the problems that we were
facing and we leave with the team ahead
(in the standings)." Madrid was coming
off two consecutive draws in the Spanish
league, including a disappointing scoreless
result against lowly Malaga in its last
game at the Bernabeu.
"We were missing a lot of people and
Cristiano took on the responsibility,"
Ronaldo scored his 11th goal in all com-
petitions this season. According to UEFA,
it was Ronaldo s 324th goal with Madrid,
allowing him to surpass Raul Gonzalez s
mark as the club s all-time leading scorer,
but Madrid credited its player with the
feat when he scored in a game last month.
Although Madrid dominated from the
start under steady rain at the Bernabeu,
Levante had a few good chances on coun-
terattacks and Keylor Navas had to make
a few very difficult saves to keep a clean
sheet, including a remarkable one on a
close-range header in the first half.
Barcelona s Claudio Bravo also had to
work hard at Camp Nou, especially as
Rayo pressured in the beginning of the
second half and had a few good oppor-
tunities to tie the game.
Also, Eibar held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw,
halting the visitor s two-game winning
streak; Valencia beat Malaga 3-0; and
Real Betis fell 1-3 to Espanyol. (AP)
...Ronaldo leads Madrid
FC Barcelona's Neymar, from Brazil, reacts after scoring against Rayo
Vallecano during a Spanish La Liga football match at the Camp Nou stadium
in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday. Barcelona won 5-2. AP PHOTO
MILAN---Daniele De Rossi
marked his 500th game for
Roma with a goal as he
helped the capital side beat
Empoli 3-1 in Serie A yester-
day, while AC Milan s miser-
able season continued with
a 1-1 draw at Torino.
Two set pieces in three sec-
ond-half minutes undid
Empoli as Miralem Pjanic
scored with a free kick before
sending in a corner for De
Rossi to double Roma s lead.
Mohamed Salah sealed the
result 10 minutes later. Marcel
Buchel netted a consolation
for Empoli with his first goal
for the club.
"It was undeniably a great
night," De Rossi said. "When
you win it s always a perfect
one and then, if I score, which
I don t do very often, I am
Roma, which has now
scored 12 goals in its last three
league matches, moved pro-
visionally second ahead of
today s Derby d Italia between
Inter Milan and Juventus.
Empoli remained 16th, three
points clear of the drop zone
ahead of the rest of the week-
end s fixtures.
Roma was looking for a
third successive league win
ahead of its Champions
League trip to Bayer Lev-
erkusen --- a must-win match
following defeat to BATE
Gervinho had the ball in the
back of the net within 90 sec-
onds but it was ruled out for
Roma eventually broke the
deadlock shortly before the
hour when Pjanic curled a
trademark free kick into the
top right corner.
Empoli barely had time to
recover from going a goal
down before it found itself
two goals behind when De
Rossi sent Pjanic s corner
across into the far side of the
net with a glancing header.
Roma extended its advan-
tage in the 70th minute as
Gervinho ran onto a Radja
Nainggolan through ball and
pulled back from the byline
for Salah to fire into the mid-
dle of the goal from close
Empoli pulled one back
with 15 minutes remaining.
Buchel s low drive toward the
far corner appeared to be
comfortable enough for Woj-
ciech Szczesny to save but it
slipped under the Roma goal-
keeper s outstretched hand.
De Rossi scores in 500th game
...to help Roma top Empoli
Neymar scores 4
goals for Barcelona
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