Ronaldo double lights up lackluster Real win

Cristiano Ronaldo wheels away after scoring within the first minute for Real Madrid against Xerez.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational scoring form as Real Madrid again flattered to deceive before overwhelming bottom club Xerez 5-0 to take top spot in Spain.

Ronaldo netted two more goals, the first after only 45 seconds, to maintain his record of having scored in every game for his new club following his world-record $130 million transfer from Manchester United. The Portugal forward followed up his brace from the midweek Champions League win in Zurich as he gave Real the perfect start, picking up a loose ball in midfield and firing in a low shot from the right edge of the penalty area. However, the home fans had to wait another 74 minutes for another goal as Real struggled to break down a side who have yet to win a point in their first season in La Liga. It was Ronaldo again who finally settled his side’s anxiety, rising high to powerfully head home a right-wing corner from substitute Esteban Granero. That opened the floodgates as three minutes later substitute Guti scored his third goal in three matches — matching his sum for the whole of last season — when he drove home a loose ball after Karim Benzema twice fluffed his attempted shots. Ronaldo made way for Ruud van Nistelrooy after that, with his former United teammate making his first appearance in 10 months due to injury. Summer signing Benzema finally scored his first goal for Real in the 82nd minute, with his fierce shot taking a slight deflection on its way into the net.

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Van Nistelrooy then capped his comeback in the 89th minute when he coolly slotted through the legs of the goalkeeper after being found in space by Guti, putting Manuel Pellegrini’s side top of the table on goal difference ahead of defending champions Barcelona, who crushed Atletico Madrid 5-2 on Saturday night. Both teams have three wins from three league outings — a record matched by Athletic Bilbao, who won 3-2 at home to Villarreal earlier on Sunday. Fernando Llorente headed home David Lopez’s cross in the 11th minute, and put Bilbao 2-0 ahead on 36 with a left-footed shot as the two players combined again. Ruben Cani reduced the deficit soon after the break, but Javi Martinez rose to head home Igor Gabilondo’s corner to make it 3-1, and Santi Cazorla’s free-kick came too late. Valencia dropped their first points of the season, drawing 2-2 at home to Sporting Gijon despite the visiting side being reduced to 10 men for more than an hour. David Barral put Gijon ahead in the seventh minute as he broke down the right and fired in at the near post, but Spain striker David Villa leveled 17 minutes later against the club where he started his career when he pounced after David Silva’s effort was blocked. Gijon had midfielder Michel sent off for a second yellow card soon after, but it took until the 61st minute before Villa made it 2-1 with a superb curled left-foot shot after he turned his marker in the penalty area. Center-back Gregory earned Gijon a point in the 86th minute when he headed home after the Valencia defense failed to deal with a lofted free-kick. Almeria beat Getafe 1-0 with Michel Macedo’s 47th-minute winner the club’s first goal this season, moving them up to four points in mid-table. Real Zaragoza suffered a second consecutive defeat, going down 2-1 for visitors Valladolid’s first win this season. Garcia Marquitos put Valladolid ahead after only four minutes after Da Silva Diego Costa battled to the byline and cut the ball back into his path, but Montana Jorge Lopez leveled on 26. Gonzalez Sisi put Valladolid ahead again 11 minutes after halftime, while Lopez missed two good chances to equalize.