Real Madrid notched their first
victory of the La Liga campaign at the third attempt when
Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice in a 3-0 win for the champions at
home to 10-man Granada on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho's side badly needed a good performance after
taking only a point from their opening two games and Ronaldo
stepped up with his 149th and 150th goals for the club on his
149th appearance in all competitions.
The victory left Real five points adrift of arch- rivals
Barcelona, who won 1-0 at home to Valencia thanks to a screamer
from full-back Adriano and are the only team to have a perfect
record after three games.
Mourinho voiced rare public criticism of his Real players
after last weekend's shock 2-1 defeat at Getafe and he was still
not satisfied after Sunday's success.
The Portuguese said he had been hoping to see the same
intensity they showed in the opening 20 minutes of Wednesday's
Spanish Super Cup against Barca, when they scored twice and held
on for a 2-1 success.
"Today the team had little ambition, little rhythm, little
intensity and I did not like it," Mourinho told a news
"It's not enough just to get the points, the team has to
play more and work more," he added.
Ronaldo's opening goal came in the 26th minute when his
deflected left-foot strike from a narrow angle arrowed between
the legs of Granada goalkeeper Tono.
Tono saved Ronaldo's first-time shot nine minutes into the
second half and he tapped the rebound into an empty net before
limping off after he was felled by Borja Gomez.
Gomez was booked for the challenge, a second yellow card for
the Granada defender that left the Andalusians with 10 men.
Substitute Gonzalo Higuain added a third for Real 14 minutes
from time when he was set up by strike partner Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo left reporters scratching their heads after the
match when he said he had not celebrated his goals because he
was feeling "sad" for "professional" reasons.
He refused to elaborate and added that he should have
recovered from Sunday's knock in time for Portugal's World Cup
2014 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan next week.
Barca saw off Valencia with a dominant but uninspired
display at the Nou Camp distinguished by Adriano's brilliant
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi had a quiet night and
Cesc Fabregas, who has failed to produce his best form this
season, fluffed two chances either side of half-time.
"It was important to win this game as well before the
international break," midfielder Andres Iniesta, who replaced
Fabregas midway through the second half, told Spanish
"We probably should have scored more goals given the chances
we had but we're happy with the win and this is the path we have
to follow," added the Spain international, who presented the
Best Player in Europe award he won on Thursday to fans before
In the earlier kick-offs, Athletic Bilbao ended a dreadful
early-season run when Aritz Aduriz and Markel Susaeta scored in
a 2-0 win at home to Real Valladolid that lifted the Basque club
off the bottom of the table.
Aduriz pounced on a loose ball to fire Bilbao ahead in the
69th minute at a sun-drenched San Mames and Susaeta curled the
ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area six
It was a morale-boosting victory for Marcelo Bielsa's side,
who had struggled to reproduce the sparkling form that took them
to the final of both the Europa League and the King's Cup last
season and had conceded nine goals in losing their opening two
La Liga matches to Real Betis and Atletico Madrid.
Rayo Vallecano, who won their opening two games, drew 0-0 at
home to Sevilla but were lucky to escape with a point after
goalkeeper Ruben was dismissed in the 69th minute.
Rayo are third on seven points, level with Real Mallorca and
Malaga, who won 1-0 on Saturday against Real Sociedad and Real
Zaragoza respectively. Valladolid have six points in fifth.
Levante shrugged off the 81st-minute dismissal of Vicente
Iborra to snatch an-added time winner in a 3-2 comeback win at
home to Espanyol, leaving the Barcelona-based side, who were
leading 2-0, without a point.
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