Critics have complained that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t perform in the big games. That when his team really needs him, that he shrinks from the pressure.
Well tonight’s Real Madrid’s season was about to collapse and Ronaldo took the team on his back and led them to a huge in the Madrid derby against Atletico.
With Barcelona’s 4-0 thrashing of Getafe last night, Real’s once ten point lead atop La Liga had been cut to a single point.
Could Real keep its nerve and counter Barca’s win, with a win of their own? Everything seemed to be going according to script when Ronaldo scored a trademark dipping free kick after 25 minutes.
But when Falcao headed in from Adrián López’s cross ten minutes into the second half, you could could feel the nerves in the stadium and on the pitch.
But that is when Ronaldo took over. First, he scored with a dipping, right-footed effort from outside the penalty area, and then he completed his seventh Liga hat-trick of the season from the penalty spot after Diego Godín had brought down over Gonzalo Higuaín.
While Messi is having a simply magical season, Ronaldo’s season has been pretty good also. His hat-troick tonight gave him 40 league goals for the season, and he helped complete the Real scoreline when he turned provider for José Callejón late on.
Elsewhere in La LIga, Jonas scored twice as Valencia climbed into third courtesy of a 4-1 defeat of Rayo Vallecano, while fifth-placed Levante wasted the chance to move into fourth, losing 3-2 at strugglers Sporting Gijón. Granada and Athletic Club finished 2-2.
This is how the top of La Liga looks with six games to go>
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