Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo closed the gap on leaders Barcelona and Atletico on an emotional night at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid sealed a 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo but the win wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline implies. The highlights of the match were the return from injury of record signing Gareth Bale and Ronaldo scoring his 400th career goal, but there was little else to lift the spirits of Los Blancos.
Celta Vigo, in a relegation battle near the foot of La Liga, gave the match a real go. They created chances early on but found it difficult to test Lopez in the Madrid goal, their enigmatic Brazilian striker Charles being profligate when the chances came.
The score remained nil-nil at half time. Ronaldo in particular seemed to be on the ‘periphery of the match’ wrote Football news from YouWin but his mind was at home in Portugal where the legendary Eusebio had earlier been laid to rest.
Madrid played with more pace and attacking threat in the second half and Celta Vigo became more and more defensive. In the 67th minute the breakthrough finally came – a shambolic mix up in the Celta defence allowed Karim Benzema to stab home his 9th goal of the campaign. The floodgates had been opened but the threatened drubbing never arrived.
It was another twenty five minutes before the subdued Ronaldo scored from a Carvalho cross. By that point Bale had taken to the field and his attacking play added an extra dimension to the Madrid team. A precision cross from Bale in the 90th minute allowed Ronaldo to grab his second of the game and secure a three nil victory for Madrid.
It was Ronaldo’s 400th career goal and his 20th in La Liga this season but there was only one thought on his mind – raising his eyes and arms upwards an emotional Ronaldo dedicated his goal to the great man whose passing has left Portugal in a state of mourning.