Sports / Soccer

Ronaldo back in peak form

By Reuters in Madrid (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-28 06:37

Real Madrid's rampant Cristiano Ronaldo looked to be back at his best as he scored at the start of each half to set up a 4-0 victory over lowly Osasuna and put the pressure back on La Liga leader Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Sergio Ramos and Daniel Carvajal also netted for Real which is second on 82 points, three behind Atletico before its trip to Valencia on Sunday with both teams having played 34 games.

Barcelona, mourning the death of former coach Tito Vilanova, is now in third place with 81 points from 34 matches and travels to Villarreal on Sunday.

Real did not risk Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema against Osasuna ahead of its Champions League semifinal second leg at Bayern Munich on Tuesday in which it holds a 1-0 advantage.

But there was no holding Ronaldo, who only returned from injury in Wednesday's first leg against Bayern at the Bernabeu having been out since early April, as he cut in from the left wing and fired into the corner of the net after six minutes.

The prolific Portuguese forward then cracked home a fine long-range drive after 52 minutes before being substituted; leaving Ramos and Carvajal to wrap up the win with headers.

"Cristiano is fine and he played with more assuredness and confidence than on Wednesday. It all went well for him and us," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

"We were able to rest some players and it was a good game."

The Italian said Bale and Benzema will be fine to face Bayern, saying: "Benzema is improving and won't have any problems for Tuesday. He will train normally tomorrow.

"Bale had a cold that has left him very weak and we have preferred that he trains on his own but he will also be ready to play," he said.

(China Daily 04/28/2014 page24)

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