Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win
Real Madrid 4-0 Alaves

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win

24/02/2018

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were on the scoresheet as a Real Madrid side shorn of several stars continued their impressive form with a 4-0 victory over Alaves.

Ronaldo took his 2018 goal tally to 12 with a brace either side of a cool finish from Bale, whose long-term future at Madrid has been the subject of speculation this week.

Ronaldo could have completed his hat trick after Bale won a last-minute penalty, but the Madrid captain instead allowed Benzema -- who like Bale has had to deal with growing criticism -0 to take the kick and he fired into the corner of the net.

With the brace, Ronaldo took his career tally in La Liga to 299 goals, though Madrid claim he's already reached his landmark 300. The discrepancy is a 2011 goal that is officially credited to Pepe after Ronaldo's free kick deflected off of the defender's back. But Real Madrid have always credited the goal to Ronaldo in their own records.

The result means Zinedine Zidane's men have now accumulated 18 points from their last seven games, during which run they have scored 29 goals, to boost their hopes of getting back into the top two in La Liga.

It took a while for the defending champions to break Alaves' resistance though, with the in-form visitors showing the qualities which had seen them win four of their previous six games to escape the relegation zone.

The hosts dominated possession in the first half but, perhaps missing the influence of key quintet Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, found it difficult to create chances.

Benzema slipped with only the goalkeeper to beat following a four-on-one breakaway while Bale had two half-chances but could not find the back of the net either.

Reports in Spain claimed this week that Bale has "run out of credit" at the Bernabeu, but he almost answered his doubters with an audacious overhead kick which went just wide.
Gareth Bale PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

The Wales international's second opportunity came after he intercepted an attempted pass by Fernando Pacheco just outside the six-yard box, but the Alaves keeper managed to save his own blushes.

With Alaves giving as good as they got on the counter-attack -- Alfonso Pedraza and Alexis both drew vital saves out of Keylor Navas in the first half -- Madrid knew an 11th victory in their last 12 meetings with the Basque side was far from certain.

However, with half-time fast approaching, Madrid made the breakthrough. Benzema created the opportunity with a clever back-heel which allowed Ronaldo to spin in the area and drill home.

That was tough on an Alaves side who have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround under coach Abelardo -- going from six points adrift of safety when he took over in December to 10 points clear of the drop zone -- but they shot themselves in the foot as Madrid made it 2-0 moments after the restart.

Benzema robbed Ruben Duarte of possession in Alaves territory before racing forward and playing in Bale, who side-footed past Pacheco.

Alaves briefly threatened to pull a goal back through Ruben Sobrino but Navas saved that and Madrid then moved up through the gears.

Benzema had an effort disallowed for offside, Bale skimmed the crossbar with a 20-yard effort before Ronaldo made it 3-0 in the 61st minute.

The impressive Lucas Vazquez picked up a pass from Bale on the right before playing the ball into Ronaldo's path for the Portugal superstar to side-foot past Pacheco.

Another Ronaldo hat trick looked there for the taking when Bale was scythed down in the area by Rodrigo Ely late on.

However, instead of taking the kick himself as would normally be the case, Ronaldo deferred responsibility to Benzema and the under-pressure Frenchman got the goal his performance deserved.

Related news

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

Andres Iniesta shines as Barcelona down Villarreal, stay unbeaten

Andres Iniesta shines as Barcelona down Villarreal, stay unbeaten

Andres Iniesta provided two world-class assists and Ousmane Dembele added two late goals as La Liga champions Barcelona saw off Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday to maintain their quest for an unbeaten domestic league season.

Real Madrid rally for draw against 10-man Barcelona with late Bale goal

Real Madrid rally for draw against 10-man Barcelona with late Bale goal

Gareth Bale's equaliser helped Real Madrid rally for a 2-2 draw against 10-man Barcelona in a combative affair on Sunday night at the Camp Nou.

RELATED NEWS

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Eibar

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw
Villarreal 2 - 2 Real Madrid

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss
Levante 5 - 4 Barcelona

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise
Real Madrid 6 - 0 Celta Vigo

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place
Getafe 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun
Sevilla 3 - 2 Real Madrid

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

Andres Iniesta shines as Barcelona down Villarreal, stay unbeaten
Barcelona 5 - 1 Villarreal

Andres Iniesta shines as Barcelona down Villarreal, stay unbeaten

Andres Iniesta provided two world-class assists and Ousmane Dembele added two late goals as La Liga champions Barcelona saw off Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday to maintain their quest for an unbeaten domestic league season.

Real Madrid rally for draw against 10-man Barcelona with late Bale goal
Barcelona 2 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid rally for draw against 10-man Barcelona with late Bale goal

Gareth Bale's equaliser helped Real Madrid rally for a 2-2 draw against 10-man Barcelona in a combative affair on Sunday night at the Camp Nou.