MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer as Los Blancos moved to the top of La Liga thanks to a 3-0 win over Levante on Saturday.
Ronaldo struck his 324th goal for the Spanish giants in just his 310th game with a fine shot from outside the area after he had set up Marcelo to open the scoring for the hosts. Jese Rodriguez added a third nine minutes from time.
Madrid had to name a bench with seven academy graduates due to the absence of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema through injury and coach Rafael Benitez was happy to secure a comfortable win in the circumstances.
“We had a bit of a handicap and to win 3-0 with some very good phases of the game for me is very positive,” said the former Liverpool manager.
Benitez was also quick to praise the Portugal captain for stepping up. “Cristiano took on the responsibility because we lacked forwards,” he said.
Enrique hails four-goal Neymar
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique labelled star striker Neymar “unstoppable” after he scored four times as the European champions roared back from a goal down to beat Rayo Vallecano 5-2.
In the absence of the injured Lionel Messi, the Brazilian converted twice from the penalty spot in the first-half after he had been felled inside the area and then slotted home twice in a minute after the break before teeing up Luis Suarez for Barca’s fifth of the evening.
“Since the start of the season he has been electric,” said Enrique. “He was very effective and practically unstoppable.”
However, the Catalans didn’t have it all their own way against an attack-minded Rayo side that often left themselves way too exposed against the Barca frontline.
“I told my players and the press during the week that to play against Rayo is always difficult,” added Enrique.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.
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