- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo made amends for conceding a penalty by scoring four times as he led Real Madrid to a 5-1 rout of Elche in the Spanish league on Tuesday.

Ronaldo fouled Pedro Mosquera while disputing a ball in the box in the 15th minute, allowing Edu Albacar to stroke the penalty beyond goalkeeper Keylor Navas - who was making his debut for Madrid.

Gareth Bale leveled for Madrid four minutes later, and Ronaldo did the rest by scoring in the 28th, 32nd, 80th and in stoppage time.

Ronaldo’s latest scoring burst gave him 12 goals in all competitions this season, including a league-leading eight goals after five rounds. After losing back-to-back matches in the league, he has now helped Madrid outscore its opponents 18-4 in its last three games in all competitions.

“It was a question of the team, now things are going well,” said Ronaldo. “Thanks to my teammates for helping me reach this number of goals. Now we have to continue fighting to reach the top of the table.”

Madrid’s win provisionally pulled it to within one point of Valencia and Sevilla in joint second, with Barcelona another two points ahead before all three play this round.

Also Tuesday, Celta Vigo goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez saved an 89th-minute penalty to secure a 2-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna, keeping his team undefeated and level on points with Madrid.

Elche showed some unexpected verve to start the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, with its forwards drawing bookings for Madrid backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo either side of its opening goal.

“We were playing well at the start and went in front, but our celebration didn’t last very long,” Albacar said.

Bale’s glancing header from a cross by James Rodriguez equalized, and Marcelo’s questionable penalty when he appeared to dive sent Ronaldo to the penalty spot.

Ronaldo drilled in the spot kick for the lead and moments later the Portugal forward headed in Marcelo’s cross for another goal.

He converted a second penalty after Mario Pasalic fouled him in the box, and the insatiable Ronaldo struck again after 90 minutes were up from a pass by Bale.

Navas played his first match for Madrid after Iker Casillas had started the season’s first eight games. Navas joined for €10 million ($12.85 million) after impressing last season with fellow Spanish club Levante and for Costa Rica at this summer’s World Cup. Besides Albacar’s penalty, he wasn’t tested.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said his decision to play Navas over Casillas had nothing to do with the jeers Casillas had received from some sections of Madrid’s fans during the previous two home games.

Ancelotti did not say who would start in goal for Saturday’s match at Villarreal.

“On Saturday we will see who plays at Villarreal,” he said.

In the night’s other game, Manuel “Nolito” Agudo took Joaquin Larrivey’s headed pass and fired in Celta’s opener in the fourth minute. Isaac Cuenca made it 1-1 in the 55th before Larrivey headed in Nolito’s corner kick for the winner in the 72nd.

Haris Medunjanin had a chance to snatch a late equalizer when Celta’s Gustavo Cabral blocked Sidnei’s cross with his arm, but Alvarez pushed his spot kick wide to ensure Celta claimed the regional derby.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide