Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 24th 2013 Contents A60
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 24, 2013
BARCELONA---Cristiano Ronaldo struck again in
Real Madrid s 5-0 rout at Almeria before going off
injured, while Barcelona didn t miss sidelined star
Lionel Messi as it eased past 10-man Granada 4-
0 to retain the Spanish league lead yesterday.
Not to be outdone, Atletico Madrid bettered its
title rivals by demolishing Getafe 7-0 with Diego
Costa returning from injury to score with a brilliant
Barcelona leads Atletico by three points with Madrid
trailing the defending champions by six points.
Mexico forward Carlos Vela found the net four
times to rally Real Sociedad back from a two-goal
deficit for a 4-3 victory against 10-man Celta Vigo
to round out a free-scoring Saturday featuring 23
Fresh from scoring four to lead Portugal past
Sweden in their World Cup qualifying playoffs, Ronal-
do extended his scoring run to eight straight games
for club and country by grabbing Madrid s third-
Ronaldo walked off the pitch in the 52nd with a
suspected hamstring injury before Karim Benzema,
Gareth Bale, Isco Alarcon and Alvaro Morata added
"It was for precaution," Ronaldo said. "It s nothing
special. I was kicked in the first half and had the
muscle a little stiff."
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Ronaldo had
"a problem with his hamstring" and he would undergo
more tests on today.
Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas earned and con-
verted penalties to help injury-battered Barcelona
overcome the absence of Messi and four more first-
"Those of us who are left have to take care of our-
selves," Iniesta said. "When we reach April or May
it will be a question of having everyone doing their
Ronaldo and Messi are their teams undisputed
leaders and the two top scorers in the sport, but their
teammates showed they have more than enough
attacking talent to get by without them, especially
against the lesser league sides, by combining for eight
goals without the scoring aces.
Ronaldo is vying to end Messi s unprecedented
run of four straight Ballon d Or awards. While Messi
won t be back from a left hamstring tear until January,
Ronaldo, if fit, will have one more chance to impress
voters on Wednesday when Madrid hosts Galatasaray
in the Champions League before voting for the 2013
award closes on Friday.
Ronaldo had already directed two shots on target
when he ran forward to toe Isco s bouncing cross
inside the far post with his outstretched left
boot for his league-leading 17th goal in 14
The goal tied Ronaldo with former striker
Hugo Sanchez as the Madrid s fourth all-
time leading scorer in league play with 164
goals. Ronaldo did it in 149 games, while
Sanchez needed 207. Raul Gonzalez holds
the record with 228 goals.
With Almeria showing some fight, Ronal-
do left the match and went straight to the
Benzema curled in a pass from Ronaldo s
replacement, Jese Rodriguez, in the 61st,
Bale pounced on a defensive gaffe to seal
the result in the 72nd, and Isco placed a
long-range strike inside the post in the 75th.
Morata chipped the goalkeeper six minutes
Messi paraded his record third Golden
Boot for most goals in Europe s domestic
leagues last season before taking his seat at
Camp Nou. Without Messi, Xavi Hernandez,
Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, and goalkeeper Victor
Valdes, Barcelona still dominated a Granada
side that had lost only once away this season,
to remain unbeaten with a league record of
13 wins and a draw.
"Barcelona was missing players? I didn t
realize it," Granada coach Luis Alcaraz said.
Granada, 2-0 behind, played a man down
from the 66th after Manuel Iturra received
his second booking.
Vela started Sociedad s comeback against
Celta from 3-1 down by heading in a free
kick in the 61st, and Celta defender Andreu
Fontas was dismissed for his second yellow
card four minutes later.
Vela leveled at 3-3 in the 78th and held
off his marker to collect Antoine Griezmann s
lobbed pass to roll in the dramatic winner
in the 81st. (AP)
Ronaldo scores before injury in Madrid rout
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