Football

Majestic Madrid in seven heaven

Ronaldo collects his 2011 Golden Boot award prior to the game. (©GettyImages)
Ronaldo collects his 2011 Golden Boot award prior to the game. (©GettyImages).

It was a case of all or nothing in Spain this weekend, as Real Madrid hit Osasuna for seven, while Rayo Vallecano put four past Real Sociedad. Ten-man Getafe consigned Atletico Madrid to a late 3-2 defeat, and Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw at Bilbao after an injury-time Lionel Messi strike.

Meanwhile, Villarreal failed to break down Espanyol in one of four goalless draws in round 11, that also saw Granada and Racing, Real Betis and Malaga, and Mallorca and Sevilla all share the spoils.

Elsewhere, Levante suffered their second defeat in a row, and in the process lost their 100 per cent home record as they fell to Los Che in the Valencia derby, and Zaragoza scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Gijon.

GMF reflects on the best of the action in Round 11 of the La Liga review...
 




Real Madrid 7-1 Osasuna

Real Madrid cruised to an emphatic 7-1 victory over ten-man Osasuna at the Bernabeu, as Jose Mourinho's side extended their lead at the top of Spain's Primera Division to four points in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off.

Hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after 23 minutes, when he latched onto a perfectly weighted Angel Di Maria cross, only for Ibrahima Balde to equalise for the visitors just eight minutes later when he was slid in after a quickly taken Osasuna free-kick.

Madrid defender Pepe restored the home side's lead almost immediately, when he headed in a cross from that man, Di Maria, and Higuain made it 3-1 prior to the interval with a delightful curling effort.

Ronaldo netted his second from the penalty spot after Osasuna debutant Satrustegui brought down Mesut Ozil in the box, and his side's misery was compounded further when he was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for the foul.

The Portuguese winger wasted no time in grabbing his third, and Real's fifth, when he headed into the top corner from an Alvaro Arbeloa cross.

Karim Benzema added two goals of his own to complete the rout, and strengthen Real's position at the La Liga summit.


Athletic Bilbao 2-2 Barcelona

Barcelona's unbeaten run stretches to 24 games in all competitions, but Pep Guardiola's side fell further behind their el Clasico rivals at the top of La Liga after being held to a 2-2 draw by Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.

Ander Herrera gave the hosts the lead on the 20 minute mark, which ended Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes' 898 minute record without conceding a goal. Javier Mascherano's slip allowed Markel Susaeta to slide in the Spanish midfielder - who kept his composure to slot home.

Bilbao's advantage lasted less than five minutes though, as Cesc Fabregas headed an Eric Abidal cross into the top corner to send the side's in level at the break.

As conditions worsened in the second half, neither side dominated possession, and it took another error to bring about the game's next goal with little over ten minutes remaining.

An Iker Munian corner fell in the Barcelona box, and after several ricochets, it was Pique who inadvertently diverted the ball past a helpless Valdes to give Athletic the advantage.

But, in the 93rd minute up stepped Lionel Messi, who ended his San Mames hoodoo, by netting his first goal at the stadium with a left-foot swipe in the most dramatic of circumstances.

However, the goal could not prevent Barca from falling further behind leaders Real Madrid, who remain three points clear at the top going into the international break.


Levante 0-2 Valencia

A Javi Venta own goal and a set-piece strike from Tino Costa handed cross-town rivals Valencia a 2-0 derby win over Levante in La Liga on Saturday night.

The home side started the game more promisingly when Jose Barkero broke forward before crossing for an unmarked Juanlu - who fired in a fierce shot which tested Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Los Che responded almost immediately when star striker Roberto Soldado came a whisker away from connecting with a Jeremy Mathieu cross, but he failed to break the deadlock.

But on the half-hour mark, the visitors scored when Costa - who was in the side to replace Ever Banega - played a magical pass to split the Levante defence and find Jordi Alba, whose shot cannoned off Venta and past a helpless Gustavo Munua in goal.

Soon after the restart, it was Costa who made the difference again, when the Argentine midfielder hammered in a free-kick to double Valencia's lead, which means Unai Emery's side move up to third in the La Liga table, level on points with Barcelona.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

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