Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to action didn’t go as planned.
The Portuguese star made his comeback from a five-match ban in Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Real Betis on Wednesday.
Worse still was the fact that Ronaldo missed an open goal as Real fell seven points behind Barcelona in La Liga.
Rusty? Not quite. Ronaldo was allowed to play in the Champions League and scored twice in Los Blancos’ 3-0 win over APOEL Nicosia last week.
The 32-year-old simply had an off day.
Ronaldo was back in action on Saturday as Real got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Alaves.
He wasn’t on the scoresheet but that hardly mattered to Zinedine Zidane, who watched summer signing Dani Ceballos score either side of Manu Garcia’s goal.
So a return to winning ways for the Spanish champions and just what was needed ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund.
Ronaldo produced a horrendous dive
Here’s hoping we see Ronaldo give BVB’s defence nightmares instead of the dark arts he was up to on Saturday.
The Portugal international was spotted attempting to con the referee into giving a penalty with a horrendous dive against Alaves.
He initiated the contact by leaning into the defender before falling to the ground and appealing.
Not cool Ronnie, not cool.
Zidane: The season is still young
Real will now hope that Girona can do them a favour by taking points from Barcelona in this evening’s fixture.
Yet Zidane is fully aware that the title won’t be decided on this weekend.
"If I had a seven-point lead, I would not be saying the season is over,” he said ahead of today’s matches, per ESPN.
“Each team will have a bad period over the season. In football, everything can happen. This is long - we have 33 games left to play."
We’re yet to see Real’s much-vaunted attack in full flow this season but Ronaldo’s return surely means that day is inevitable.
And Barcelona will be all too aware of what can happen when CR7 and co. get going.