Real Madrid edge seven-goal thriller, keep Barcelona waiting

Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal against Real Valladolid during their Spanish first division match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium. (Reuters)

Real Madrid forced Barcelona to delay their title celebrations as two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo helped them to a 4-3 win over Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Yesterday's result cut Barcelona's lead at the top to eight points and although they can't now mathematically seal the title with a win over Real Betis on Sunday, they can restore their 11-point lead with just four games remaining.

The visitors had taken a shock lead early on as Oscar Gonzalez slotted past Diego Lopez from a narrow angle.

However, Marc Valiente's own goal and a Ronaldo header put Madrid 2-1 in front before Javi Guerra finished off a flowing Valladolid move to ensure they went into half-time on level terms.

Kaka restored the hosts' advantage just after the break and Ronaldo looked to have sealed the points when he again found the net with his head 21 minutes from time.

Valladolid were given a late lifeline though when Oscar scored his second of the evening with a sensational long-range volley that found the bottom corner.

But Real held on to ensure a disappointing week given their failure to reach the Champions League final on Tuesday did end with some consolation.

Defender Pepe said it is important to keep going until the end of the season just in case Barca, who were also dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, struggle to get across the line.

"We need to do our job and then see what happens," he told Canal Plus.

"We are representing a very big institution that is Real Madrid and we need to have respect for that. Therefore, we need to face every game like this even if theoretically it doesn't matter.

"We conceded a lot of goals, we didn't start the game well and I think we have to pressure a little more, but in any case we managed to react."

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.