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Primera División

  • May 15, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Camp El Madrigal, Villarreal
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 22000

Villarreal 1-3 Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo's 51st goal ends Yellow Submarine's hopes of third place

Villarreal 1-3 Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo's 51st goal ends Yellow Submarine's hopes of third place

The Portuguese ace scores a brace of free kicks to move on to 51 goals for the season and ensure victory for the capital club

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Cristiano Ronaldo broke two milestones as his free kick brace and a Marcelo goal helped Real Madrid to a 3-1 win over Villarreal in La Liga. The result left the Yellow Submarine without automatic Champions League qualification as they had to settled for fourth place and a spot in the play-off.

The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening stages, but it was the home side who came closest to taking the lead in the first 15 minutes. Marco Ruben took advantage of some indecision from Pepe and Iker Casillas to sneak in and lob the ball into the net, but the Argentinian was unaware that he had been flagged offside.

Giuseppe Rossi should have put Villarreal ahead in the 15th minute after evading challenges to drive into the box and dance around Casillas, only to take a heavy touch and allow Pepe in to make the interception on at the near post.

The scoring began in the 17th minute, however, when Madrid counter-attacked at high pace with Kaka surging forward and slipping a ball into the bath of Marcelo, who ran through on goal and delightfully chipped the ball over Diego Lopez.

Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead of the away side four minutes later with a trademark free kick from 20 yards that evaded Diego Lopez and found its way into the top left corner. It was his 50th goal this season in all competitions, joining Lionel Messi to become the only players in Spanish football to crack that mark.

Mourinho's troops looked in cruise control and went into the break with a healthy two-goal lead over the hosts.

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Villarreal did not waste much time after the interval, though, and clawed a goal back in the 51st minute when Mario Gaspar outmuscled Marcelo on the Madrid byline and pulled a pass back to Cani who tucked the ball away in the corner after making a late run into the box.

As the second half went on it became more of an even contest and both sides came close to adding to their tally as Mario shot just wide of the right hand post from distance and Diego Lopez denied Ronaldo after a left footed shot from the right flank.

But Ronaldo would eventually get his 51st goal of the season, and a record equalling 38th La Liga goal, just seconds before the final whistle with an identical free kick that flew in the top corner and left Diego Lopez rooted to the spot.

This victory leaves Real Madrid on 89 points and they remain runners up to champions, Barcelona. Villarreal settle for fourth place and will have to go through a two-legged play off next season in order to progress to the Champions League group stage next season.


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