Ronaldo leads Real Madrid rout

ON THE UP::While Gareth Bale was forced to wait for his home debut for Real, striker Jonas scored twice to ease the pressure on Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic

Reuters, MADRID

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - Page 18

Gareth Bale injured himself in the warmup and was forced to wait for his Santiago Bernabeu debut, but Real Madrid did not miss him as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win over Getafe in La Liga on Sunday.

The world’s most expensive player was set to start against Getafe, having featured in only two away games since joining for 100 million euros (US$135 million) three weeks ago, but was forced to make way for another new recruit, Isco, just before kickoff.

Getafe’s Angel Lafita made the most of another sluggish start from Real, though normal order was soon restored when Pepe equalized in the 19th minute and Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot in the 33rd as the chances fell thick and fast.

Isco grabbed his fourth of the campaign after the break and after Getafe were reduced to 10 men, Ronaldo grabbed his second at the end with a clever back-heel.

“Bale has a small problem, nothing more. They will do tests tomorrow,” Real director Emilio Butragueno told Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus. “The team created a lot of chances and the result doesn’t do us justice. Ronaldo’s last goal was marvelous, but Isco’s skill for the third was rather special.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s side moved up to third, two points behind joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who both maintained perfect starts to the season with victories on Saturday.

Promoted Villarreal remained unbeaten on their return to the top flight, but slipped to fourth after being held to a 0-0 draw at RC Celta de Vigo.

Brazilian striker Jonas scored twice to help Valencia to a 3-1 home win over bottom side Sevilla, easing the pressure on new coach Miroslav Djukic after four straight defeats in all competitions.

Jonas stroked in the opener late in the first half and after Sevilla equalized just after the break, he struck a wonderful low shot from outside the penalty area. Victor Ruiz looped in a header for the third in the 82nd minute.

“We came into this game under pressure after recent results, but today we proved we are Valencia, a strong team, who are going to fight for the top spots in the table,” Jonas told Canal Plus.

Valencia climbed to ninth, one point ahead of Real Betis Balompie in 12th, who drew 0-0 at home with Andalusian rivals Granada.

A third goalless draw in four outings for Pepe Mel’s Betis showed they continue to struggle without last season’s injured top scorer Ruben Castro.

Getafe stunned the home crowd by scoring after only five minutes, as the visitors played on amid appeals for a possible foul on Ronaldo and Lafita’s long-range shot was deflected past a wrong-footed Diego Lopez.

It was only a brief respite for a side who had conceded four times on each of their past three visits and Real were soon level when Pepe bundled in after Miguel Angel Moya could only parry Ronaldo’s close-range shot following a free-kick.

Getafe were trapped in their own half and fell behind when a Ronaldo free-kick struck a Getafe player on the arm in the wall and the Portugal international fired home from the penalty spot.

The game was put beyond doubt when Ronaldo took a quick free-kick out on the left flank, setting Isco clear in the penalty area and the Spain international curled a shot inside the far post.

A section of Madrid fans have given striker Karim Benzema a tough time this season and a couple of wayward headers from good chances did little to help his cause, though the majority applauded the France international when he was substituted late on.

“The important thing is to have goalscoring chances and he had them,” Butragueno said.

“He has enormous talent and no one doubts that. The other day [against Galatasaray] he scored and helped us win a tough game. He should feel he has our confidence because he has proven himself,” he said.

Ronaldo flicked home Sami Khedira’s low cross in stoppage-time for his 13th goal against Getafe, making them his favorite victims in La Liga and moving his tally to 208 goals from 205 games with Real.