La Liga review

Ronaldo, Bale lead Real's rout

January 18, 2014
By ESPN FC staff

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a long-range goal worthy of his Ballon d'Or to spark Real Madrid's 5-0 rout at Real Betis, provisionally lifting his team level with the leaders of La Liga on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after firing Real Madrid ahead early on against Real Betis.
GettyImagesCristiano Ronaldo celebrates after firing Real Madrid ahead early on against Real Betis.

• Train: Saturday stroll

Carlo Ancelotti said he would ask Ronaldo "for more" after he won his second Ballon d'Or on Monday, and his star forward has certainly done that with two more superb goals this week to help his team advance past Osasuna in the Copa del Rey and tighten the league title race.

Ronaldo topped his free kick in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday with a 25-meter blast taken on the run that sailed past goalkeeper Stephan Andersen and into the roof of the net in the 10th minute in Seville.

Gareth Bale followed Ronaldo's rocket with a delicately placed free kick in the 25th for his first goal since Nov. 30, leaving the hosts demoralised and in tatters at the back.

The shot increased Ronaldo's league-leading tally to 21 goals in 20 rounds. He has 31 goals in 26 appearances overall for Madrid.

Luka Modric then set up Karim Benzema in first-half stoppage time when he pounced on a loose ball, drew three defenders to him, changed direction and crossed for the striker to slot home. It was Benzema's 100th goal in his fifth season at Madrid.

Andersen denied Ronaldo one-on-one after halftime, but he couldn't stop Angel Di Maria from sending a rebound from outside the area skidding just inside the upright in the 62nd minute.

Substitute Alvaro Morata scored the fifth in the 90th.

Elsewhere, Espanyol beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in Barcelona thanks to Sergio Garcia's late goal to move into the upper half of the standings.

Garcia plucked a high ball out of the air, evaded the challenge of Gustavo Cabral and despatched an emphatic left-footed finish into the bottom-left corner.

Elche earned a first win in six rounds by beating 10-man Rayo Vallecano 2-0 at home.

The outcome of the game was never in doubt once the visitors went a goal and a player down after 19 minutes, Raul Baena shown a red card for bringing down Coro in the area and Edu Albacar scoring from the spot.

Paco Jemez's side could only seek to limit the damage for the remainder of the game and did a good job of it until Javi Marquez doubled the lead on 79 minutes.

Osasuna were outplayed at Granada but held on to draw 0-0 and stay undefeated in five rounds.

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