Tuesday , December 12 2017

Despite goals and win, Ronaldo still wanted more

Munich’s Juan Bernat (left), and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (right), challenge for the ball during the Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, in Munich, Germany on April 12. Real won 2-1. (AP)

MADRID, April 13, (Agencies): Not even a pair of goals and an away victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League were enough to keep Cristiano Ronaldo happy. Despite scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win to become the first player to reach 100 goals in European club competition, Ronaldo lamented the chances squandered by his team in the first leg of the quarterfinals. “He was happy, but not too happy because he could have scored the third goal, too,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

“That is how ambitious he is.” Ronaldo’s second-half goals allowed him to end a six-game scoring drought in the Champions League, and left Madrid on track to defend its European title. It also helped end Bayern’s 16-match winning streak at home.

Madrid could have taken an even bigger advantage into next week’s second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium if they hadn’t missed so many chances. The team also had a goal from Sergio Ramos disallowed for offside not long before the final whistle. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was key to keeping Wednesday’s game close as the hosts played the final 30 minutes with 10 men following the sending off of Javi Martinez with consecutive yellow cards.

“We did well to earn the comeback,” Ronaldo said. “But we leave with a sour taste because we could have scored more goals. I think if Neuer hadn’t been on such a good night we would have scored more.” Neuer made two remarkable saves on shots by Ronaldo and Karim Benzema a few minutes apart toward the end of the match in Munich. Ronaldo scored in the 47th and 77th minutes after Bayern had taken the lead in the 25th on Arturo Vidal’s goal. Vidal then missed a penalty kick late in the first half.

The goals were the 99th and 100th for Ronaldo in European club competition, giving him the milestone nearly seven months after he had scored his last Champions League goal in a 2-2 group-stage draw at Borussia Dortmund. He hadn’t scored for Madrid in three matches, since a 2-1 win over Real Betis in the Spanish league last month. “I trained hard to be playing well in this final month-and-a-half of the season,” Ronaldo said. “The results are going our way and I’m happy for that.” Madrid have gone 53 straight games scoring at least one goal and are closing in on Bayern’s European record of 61 consecutive games with at least a goal, from March 2013 to April 2014.

The last time Madrid failed to score was in April, in a 0-0 draw at Manchester City in the Champions League semifinals. Zidane didn’t say whether he will rest Ronaldo or any other regular starter for the team’s away game at relegation- threatened Sporting Gijon on Saturday in the Spanish league. The return match against Bayern is on Tuesday. “Now we must rest because the game in La Liga is just around the corner,” Zidane said. “We will suffer in the second leg and we know it.”

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