Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 2nd 2013 Contents A67
Monday, September 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Ronaldo helped Real Madrid
roll to a 3-1 win over Athletic
Bilbao yesterday hours before
the Spanish club announced it
had signed Gareth Bale to pair
him with the Portugal forward
in one of the most formidable
attacks in football.
Madrid said Bale was leaving
Tottenham to join the Spanish
club for six seasons, ending the
longest transfer saga of the off-
season one day before the mar-
After not scoring in Madrid's
first two wins to start the Span-
ish league season, Ronaldo
headed in Madrid's second goal
in first-half injury time to add
to Francisco "Isco" Alarcon's
26th-minute opener from Karim
Benzema assisted Isco again
in the 73rd for his third goal in
as many games since joining
from Malaga this offseason.
"Things are going well con-
sidering we have just started the
season, three for three so far,"
said the 21-year-old Isco. "We
are getting better game by game.
That's our goal."
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti
started Diego Lopez instead of
Iker Casillas for the third
straight match, but the goal-
keeper could do nothing to stop
substitute Ibai Gomez from get-
ting Bilbao's consolation goal in
Ancelotti said that defender
Fabio Coentrao was staying at
the club after changing his mind
over a transfer.
Bilbao midfielder Ander Her-
rera did not play a day after his
club said it had rejected an offer
for him from Manchester Unit-
ed. Coach Ernesto Valverde said
that his benching had nothing
to do with the interest from
United and that he expected
Herrera to stay.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid
also stayed perfect through three
rounds by winning 2-1 at Real
Sociedad thanks to David Villa's
goal and assist for Jorge "Koke"
Resurreccion to add a second.
remained unbeaten after draw-
ing 0-0 at home with the win-
less Real Betis.
Before the match started,
Madrid dismantled a stage it
had set up inside the Santiago
Bernabeu Stadium last weekend
supposedly for Bale's presenta-
tion. It will go back up early on
Monday for the Wales winger's
arrival to the Spanish capital.
Isco poked his first goal under
goalkeeper Iago Herrerin after
Benzema set him up with a
scooped pass made easier by
Bilbao's Andoni Iraola who failed
to move forward with the rest
of the defensive line, leaving
Isco onside to take the ball alone
in the area.
"Isco is playing very well, it
looks like he has been playing
here a long time," Ancelotti said.
Benat Etxebarria almost lev-
eled for Bilbao with a free kick
on the half-hour mark, but a
misplaced pass Madrid threaten
on the counterattack with Isco
and Benzema leading the way.
Ronaldo extended the hosts'
lead by running free to head
Angel Di Maria's dipping free
kick into the corner of the net.
Ronaldo was denied another
goal by Herrerin in the 68th
when he made a one-handed
parry to push Ronaldo's driving
free kick around his post.
Isco fired in Madrid's third
after controlling Benzema's
short cross with one touch and
scored to ensure Bilbao would
suffer its first loss of the season
following two victories.
MILAN---Substitute Adem Ljajic
scored on his debut to help Roma to
a 3-0 victory over newly-promoted
Hellas Verona in Serie A yesterday.
Verona had started the season well
with a victory over AC Milan on the
opening day, but was overturned by
an impressive second-half perform-
ance from Roma.
Roma took the lead in the 56th
minute when Verona defender Fabrizio
Cacciatore deflected Maicon's cross
past his own goalkeeper.
There was no doubt about the
goalscorer of Roma's second goal three
minutes later as Miralem Pjanic spot-
ted Rafael off his line and placed a
delightful 25-meter chip into the top
left for an early contender for goal of
Ljajic, who had come on 14 minutes
earlier, sealed the result in the 66th
with a low drive into the bottom left
MILAN---Italy coach Cesare Pran-
delli has recalled Paris Saint-Ger-
main midfielder Thiago Motta to the
squad for the World Cup qualifiers
against Bulgaria and the Czech
Motta, who has made 13 interna-
tional appearances, has been absent
from the squad for more than year,
and last played for Italy in the 2012
European Championship final loss to
Prandelli has also recalled Samp-
doria striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who
made his only appearance for Italy in
the friendly against England in 2012.
Mario Balotelli, Pablo Osvaldo and
Riccardo Montolivo have been includ-
ed despite being suspended for the
Italy plays Bulgaria on Friday in
Palermo and the Czech Republic four
days later in Turin.
The Azzurri are top of Group B with
14 points from six games, four more
Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina, right, is tackled by Athletic Bilbao's
Ander Iturraspe during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu
stadium in Madrid, Spain, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Ronaldo helps Madrid win before Bale joins
Roma blasts Verona
3-0 in Serie A
Thiago Motta back in
Italy squad for qualifiers
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