Real Madrid punished Shakhtar Donetsk for their mistakes and that is what it came down to. Shakhtar Donetsk gave a good account of themselves last night but just could not keep it up for the duration of the whole game.
Real Madrid scored four goals and none of them were particularly technical goals. Shakhtar Donetsk did work hard but did not make Real Madrid work hard for their goals.
On of their mistakes was getting a player sent off when the score was 1-0 in Real Madrid’s favor. Stepanenko did deserve the two yellow cards. He tried to boss the midfield but you just cannot do that at the white house.
After that red card, the game was really about how much punishment Real Madrid would afflict on Donetsk than anything else.
The first goal was a howler from Donetsk’s goalkeeper when he mishandled a cross and sort of, placed the ball perfectly for Benzema to side foot it into the back of the open, unguarded, net.
The second goal came by shear luck. Ronaldo turned and took a shot from his left foot inside the area which struck the back of a Donetsk defender. The referee thought the ball hit his arm and hence gave penalty after much insistence from Ronaldo himself.
On first sight the decision might seem harsh and probably unfair but in real time, the action is happening at such a rapid pace that it is difficult for the referee to be certain on any decision.
The third goal was a confirm handball and Ronaldo slotted the penalty away with ease. People do accuse Ronaldo of scoring too many of his goals in the form of penalties but the question that arises is, what else should he do?
It is the job of the opposing team to not foul/tackle/handle/cheat their way to victory against Real Madrid and when they do trip up, Ronaldo is always ready to pounce on the opportunity. As he should do.
The fourth goal came from a rebound when Marcelo struck a long range shot after receiving the ball directly from a corner. The keeper got the first shot away only to see the ball in the air waiting for Ronaldo to head it in. Ronaldo did head it in to score another hat trick in the space of four days.
That is two in two for Ronaldo and all the premature talk of a ‘goal drought’ for Ronaldo should end now.
Ronaldo Scores A Hat Trick Again (Times 33)
Ronaldo scored a total of three goals again for Real Madrid in a single given match. Two from the spot and one with his head from six yards out with the keeper struggling to maintain his balance after a rebound.
That puts Ronaldo three goals ahead of Lionel Messi in all time European goal scorers. That is a fantastic achievement especially if you consider the fact that Ronaldo started out as a out and out wide player at Sporting and Manchester United. Eleven years ago it would have been inconceivable for anyone to count Ronaldo as a player who would go ahead and become the greatest goal scorer of all time in any competition.
Ronaldo is now on 499 goals in club games for his whole career and considering that he has five years at the very least of quality football left ahead of him, a thousand goal mark doesn’t seem that distant.
I don’t know what it is but Benzema’s luck inside the penalty area is something that cannot go unnoticed anymore. May be he has been taking lessons from Raul or Inzaghi (Who has a Phd in penalty area positioning for strikers) but lately, Benzema always finds himself with a comfortable position in the penalty area whenever there is a rebound.
That is the mark of a true striker but for Benzema to be at this level at a young age is amazing.
A weak flick shot from Gareth Bale was pretty cute.That was about his only contribution to the game. He came off in the 31st minute of the game and that means that the injury is serious enough no matter what Real Madrid medical staff put out in the press conference tomorrow or today.
Real Madrid will miss Bale because he was on a good stretch of form and it is just sad to see him get injured when he was playing so well, for once.
Bale has had injury problems throughout his career and something tells me, Real Madrid medical staff would make a note of that since this looks like to be the third time Bale would miss a good chunk of action in the coming months.
Bale’s injury would mean that James (nope, he is injured too), Isco,Jese,Cheryshev,Lucas and Casemiro would get to play a lot more and that too in positions they are suited for. Finally, a strong bench paying off for Real Madrid.
Messi will now look to return the favor
Barcelona plays Roma tonight and Lionel Messi would be looking to score, at least, a hat trick. Even though both players say things otherwise, the fact is that there is a huge rivalry between them. When Ronaldo doesn’t score, Messi doesn’t score and vice versa. This has happened so many times now that it is hard to believe it as just coincident.
I think both players find it hard to get themselves going in a football match (or to get up early in the morning for training) when one knows the other is injured or not performing well. I think Ronaldo and Messi both need each other to continue to do things that were once considered impossible (like score a goal in every game).
Both Men got beat
Manchester United and Manchester City both got beat by the minnows of Champions League. Another occasion where EPL lack of adaptability to Champions League style was brutally exploited by other European teams (PSV and Juventus this time around).
Final (Random) Thought
Real Madrid win did not give me much glee because (as I point out so many times in case of Barcelona and Lionel Messi) it was a worthless win. Ronaldo’s goals would be good for his morale and his tally but these goals are truly worthless. It’ll be better if Ronaldo scores with this frequency in Semi or Quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Di Maria,a former Real Madrid player (who left Real Madrid for Manchester United but later got himself into a rut and handed a transfer request to Manchester United and ended up at PSG this season. ), scored a ‘Messi’ goal against Malmo.
Who’s Malmo you ask? Well, don’t worry, the same question could be asked (and actually was asked) about the countless goals Lionel Messi has scored in his career and no one got an answer then, so why now?
Anyway, the match up between Real Madrid and PSG this season in the UEFA Champions league would be mouth-watering to say the least.