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Played
October 20, 2012 12:00 PM EDT
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 70000‎
 
 
67′ (PG) Cristiano Ronaldo
 
Top of the Match
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Flop of the Match
Gustavo Daniel Cabral
Gustavo Daniel Cabral
Celta
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo: Higuain & Ronaldo clinch straightforward win

Jose Mourinho's men close the gap on Barcelona with goals from the Argentine and Portuguese attackers

By Martin Macdonald

A goal each from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo in the Spanish Primera Division on Saturday evening.

It was by no means a vintage performance from Los Blancos, but a dominance of the ball throughout the match enabled the Argentine and Portuguese attackers to net in what was a largely forgettable encounter at Santiago Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho’s men controlled the play in the opening stages of the match, but although plenty of possession was held in the midfield area, there was a lack of goalmouth action to get the Santiago Bernabeu faithful off their seats.

However, Madrid's dominance of the ball paid off in the 11th minute in fortuitous circumstances. Higuain found space on the left-hand side and attempted to get the ball into the box, but his attempted cross floated over the head of Celta goalkeeper Javi Varas, who appeared to be fooled by the flight of the ball.

The host side continued its patient buildup play for the first quarter of the match, and should have doubled the advantage when Higuain found himself on the wing again to dink a cross into the center for Ronaldo, but the Portuguese powered his header over the bar from just outside the six yard box.

Celta began to grow more into the match as the second half went on, and Iago Aspas looked the most likely to grab a goal back for the visitors. The 25-year old had a couple of decent strikes at goal from the edge of the box, with one attempt forcing Iker Casillas into a smart save in 26th minute

Madrid’s play in the first 20 minutes of the second period was lackluster to say the least, with passes going astray too often and Ronaldo in particular guilty of languishing in possession too often when the ball was in the final third.

Despite playing within itself, the home side was gifted an opportunity to double its lead in the 67th minute when Gustavo Cabral got the wrong side of Mesut Ozil inside the area and brought the German to the floor with a push to the back. A penalty kick was awarded and Ronaldo stepped up confidently to dispatch into the bottom left corner.

Having withdrawn Kaka at halftime for Angel Di Mara, Jose Mourinho flexed his squad muscles further with just under 20 minutes to go when he introduced Jose Callejon in place of Ozil, and the substitute almost made an immediate impact when he latched on to a Higuain pass down the inside right channel only to see his shot flash by the left-hand post.

The 25-year old was impressive after coming on, and had another opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet in the 78th minute when he drifted beyond the Celta defense and took down Sergio Ramos’ pass over the top before turning swiftly and lashing a strike at goal, but his attempt was stopped by the legs of Javi Varas.

Real Madrid now moves within five points of league leader Barcelona, with the Catalan side facing Deportivo on Saturday evening. Celta Vigo remains in the bottom half of the table with nine points taken from eight matches.

 

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Real Madrid

1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
69′
3.50
2
Raphaël Varane
Defender
3.50
3
Pepe
Defender
3.50
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
76′
3.50
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
72′
2.50
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
54′
3.50
-
Michael Essien
Midfielder
3.50
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
3.50
7
Cristiano Ronaldo
Midfielder
67′
4.00
22
Kaká
Midfielder
11′ 46′
3.00
9
4.00

Celta

2.50
1
Sergio
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
Hugo Mallo
Defender
3.00
-
3.00
3
2.50
22
3.50
4
Oubiña
Midfielder
3.50
8
Alex López
Midfielder
3.00
7
3.00
23
3.00
24
3.50
9
Iago Aspas
Striker
58′

Substitutes

1
Adàn
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
33
 - 
18
 - 
22
3.50
9
 - 
7
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
13
Javi Varas
Goalkeeper
 - 
16
Bellvís
Midfielder
 - 
-
Samuel
Defender
 - 
20
Toni
Midfielder
3.00
9
Bermejo
Striker
52′
3.00
10
3.00
-
De Lucas
Striker
77′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

3.50
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0