Big summer signings Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo were on target as Real Madrid maintained their perfect start to the Spanish season with a 2-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo repeated the magic he showed against Xevez at the weekend by scoring almost immediately after the kick off to give Real a flying start. Kaka slotted home a second-half penalty to seal the Madrid giants their fourth successive win of the La Liga season, matching arch-rivals Barcelona at the top of the standings. Villarreal were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes as captain Gonzalo Rodriguez was controversially sent off in the 35th minute and the home side are still seeking their first win of the season. Madrid have enjoyed an almost perfect start under new coach Manuel Pellegrini, who left Villarreal this summer, and Ronaldo took less than a minute to break the deadlock. A brilliant turn on the halfway line saw the Portugal international escape marker Angel Lopez, and no Villarreal player could get close enough to put in a challenge as he raced towards the penalty area, stepped inside two defenders before drilling a low 20-meter shot past Diego Lopez. It was the fifth goal in the league already for the World Player of the Year and set Real on the way to victory as they dominated the first half.
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A rampant Ronaldo almost scored a second just before the break as the ball flew just over from a volleyed effort. Real; captain Raul, who matched Manuel Sanchis’ club record of 524 league appearances when he entered the action in the second half, had been on the pitch for only a few moments when his side scored the second. Referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez awarded a disputed penalty against Angel after Marcelo’s cross had struck the full-back’s arm. Kaka stepped up to roll home his maiden competitive goal for the club and Ronaldo almost added a third when his 20-meter free-kick brought a good diving save out of Lopez. The visitors comfortably saw out time to join Barcelona, who beat Racing 4-1 on Tuesday, on 12 points. Athletic Bilboa could have joined them on that mark, but were beaten 1-0 by Tenerife in the late kick off.