Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2015 Contents MADRID---Gareth Bale scored
four goals, Karim Benzema added
three and Cristiano Ronaldo two
as Real Madrid routed nine-man
Rayo Vallecano 10-2 to temporar-
ily get within two points of Span-
ish league leaders Barcelona and
Madrid was losing with both
teams at full strength at the San-
tiago Bernabeu Stadium, but it
took advantage of two early red
cards to Rayo Vallecano to get back
into the game and ease the pressure
on coach Rafa Benitez.
Danilo opened the scoring in
the third minute before Antonio
Amaya equalized in the 10th and
Jozabed Sanchez put Rayo ahead
in the 12th. But Rayo lost Roberto
"Tito" Roman to a straight red in
the 14th after a foul on Toni Kroos
and Madrid leveled through Bale
in the 25th.
Raul Baena was then sent off
for a second bookable offence in
the 28th after bringing down Sergio
Ramos in the penalty area. Ronaldo
netted the resulting spot kick to
give Madrid a 3-2 lead. The hosts
then made the two-man advantage
count with a flurry of goals.
Bale netted his second in the
41st and completed his hat-trick
in the 61st after Benzema and
Ronaldo had struck in the 48th
and 53rd, respectively.
Bale added a fourth in the 70th
before Benzema netted two more
in the 79th and 90th minute for
the game s second hat trick.
It was the first time Bale scored
four goals for Real Madrid. Ben-
zema had scored five times in
Madrid s previous two games at
home, including three in the 8-0
win over Malmo in a Champions
League game two weeks ago.
"We started well but we didn t
keep the same intensity," Real
Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas
said. "They took advantage of their
opportunities, but then we took
control of the game again and got
an easy win."
Madrid s victory made things
easier for Benitez, who has been
heavily criticized by fans and local
media despite having the support
of president Florentino Perez. Fans
loudly jeered the coach at the San-
tiago Bernabeu before the match,
and another setback on Sunday
could have meant the end of the
line for the manager.
"It s normal the fans jeer because
we are not in first place, which is
where we need to be," Navas said.
"We are with the coach. We need
contention at the end of the sea-
son. We can t put the blame on
Call for Benitez s departure
increased after the team s 1-0 loss
at Villarreal last weekend, which
kept Madrid from cutting into
Barcelona s lead. Former star play-
maker Zinedine Zidane has been
widely touted by local media as
Benitez s replacement, and rumors
of his imminent departure only
increased after Jose Mourinho and
Pep Guardiola became available
on the market.
Last week, Perez dismissed the
possibility of signing Mourinho
again right now and expressed his
full support to Benitez, saying he
is the right man to put Madrid
back on track.
Real Madrid has been in crisis
since a 4-0 home loss to Barcelona
a month ago, which was followed
by an embarrassing elimination in
the Copa del Rey for using an inel-
igible player in a match against
third-tier club Cadiz.
The win gives third-place Real
Madrid 33 points, two less than
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona had its game at Sporting
Gijon postponed because of the
Club World Cup in Japan, a tour-
nament it won earlier Sunday.
Atletico Madrid will play at Malaga
in one of the late matches.
Rayo Vallecano was coming off
three straight league losses in the
league and is only 18th in the
standings with 14 points.
Madrid routs nine-
man Rayo Vallecano
Monday, December 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
FRANKFURT---Hertha Berlin beat
Mainz 2-0 yesterday to consolidate
third place in the Bundesliga ahead
of the winter break and improve its
chances of qualifying for the Cham-
Vedad Ibisevic set up both goals
and had one denied in a close offside
call. He wasted a good late chance as
he tried to score with his heel.
In the late match, Borussia
Moenchengladbach rallied with 10
men to overcome Darmstadt 3-2 as
the Bundesliga closed for the month-
long winter break.
Vladimir Darida drove home from
the edge of the penalty area after a
pass from Ibisevic in the 34th minute.
Salomon Kalou secured the win in
the 54th, also after a pass from Ibi-
With 32 points, Berlin has played
its second best half of the season and
has three more points more than
Berlin was fighting against relegation
Mainz lost after seven matches
without a defeat.
In Moenchengladbach, the home
side fell behind to a goal by Marcel
Heller and then lost captain Granit
Xhaka to a red card for retaliating in
the 39th minute. Lars Stindl and Har-
vard Nordtveit scored either side of
the break to turn the match around,
before Sandro Wagner headed in the
equalizer for Darmstadt.
But Oscar Wendt used a good
through ball to score the winning goal
in the 87th.
Moenchengladbach snapped a
three-match losing streak across all
competitions and pushed past Lev-
erkusen into fourth place. Promoted
Darmstadt dropped to 13th.
PARIS---Lyon lost 2-1 away to Gaz-
elec Ajaccio yesterday, heaping the
pressure on beleaguered coach Hubert
Fournier after a fifth defeat in six
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas
recently said he was considering
whether to replace Fournier, and this
latest defeat could spell the end of his
reign after he guided Lyon to second
place last season.
Midfielder Mohamed Larbi scored
a goal in each half for Gazelec, while
Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier pulled
a goal back with 20 minutes left.
Earlier, Saint-Etienne beat third-
place Angers 1-0 to move up to sixth
place, with winger Benjamin Corgnet
grabbing his first league goal of the
Unbeaten leader Paris Saint-Germain
heads into the winter break with a
massive 19-point lead over second-
third place at Mainz
Real Madrid's gareth bale shoots to goal next to Rayo Vallecano's Nacho Martinez, right, during the Spanish
La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
Lyon loses to pile pressure on Fournier
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