Tue, Apr 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Ronaldo scores 650th goal, but Real are held


Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, center, shoots against Atletico Madrid in their La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday scored for the 650th time in his career, but Antoine Griezmann responded with a goal of his own to leave Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid even in a city derby that allowed Barcelona to move closer to the title.

Atletico held Real 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu to keep a four-point lead over their city rivals in the fight for second place.

Valencia later defeated RCD Espanyol 1-0 to move past Real into third place, within three points of Atletico.

The draw benefited La Liga leaders Barcelona, who defeated CD Leganes 3-1 on Saturday with a hat-trick by Lionel Messi to stay 11 points in front of Atletico with seven matches left.

Atletico won La Liga in 2013-2014, but have finished third behind either Barcelona or Real in all other years since 2012-2013, which was the team’s first full season under coach Diego Simeone.

“I’m not happy because we wanted to win, we wanted the three points to try to stay close to Barcelona,” Simeone said. “We needed more. Our goal is always to try to do the best we can against the powerhouses of Real Madrid and Barcelona. As an Atletico fan I would have been proud of how we have been competing against them.”

Real have not finished worse than second since 2013-2014, when they trailed Atletico and Barca.

Before then, the last time they failed to finish in the top two was in 2003-2004, when they were fourth behind Valencia, Barca and RC Deportivo de La Coruna.

Ronaldo opened the scoring with his 650th career goal — for clubs and country — early in the second half with a shot from near the far post after a cross by Gareth Bale from the left flank.

Griezmann equalized less than five minutes later with a strike from near the penalty spot after a move started by Vitolo inside the area.

“We deserved more, it’s a shame, but in the end we also could have lost the match,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said. “This is how it goes in football.”

Of Ronaldo’s 650 goals, 446 came with Madrid, 118 with Manchester United, 81 with Portugal and 5 with Portuguese side Sporting.

Zidane rested some of his regular starters ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Juventus at the Bernabeu tomorrow, including midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro.

Striker Karim Benzema also started from the bench, replacing Ronaldo in the 64th minute.

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