Ronaldo grabbed two goals but left the
field on a stretcher in Real Madrid's 3-0 derby victory over local
The win sent Real to the top of the Spanish first division with 15
points from seven games although Getafe and Celta Vigo, who started the
weekend ahead of Real, could overtake them as they have a game in hand
and play on Sunday.
The game was almost over as a contest after just eight minutes.
Atletico defender Antonio Lopez brought down Real captain Raul Gonzalez
and the foul proved to be a double blow for the hosts.
Lopez got his marching orders and Ronaldo stepped up to score from the
The three-times World Player of the Year got his second goal, and his
seventh of the season, just after the hour after a wonderful pass from
inside his own half by Jose Maria 'Guti' Gutierrez.
Guti had only been on the pitch six minutes after coming on for a
lacklustre Zinedine Zidane.
However, the night was to end in pain for Ronaldo when the Brazilian
World Cup star collided with Atletico defender Luis Perea two minutes
into injury time.
Perea was trying to cut out a pass between Robinho and his fellow
Brazilian but only succeeded in putting the ball into his own net and
accidently cutting down Ronaldo, who was left clutching his left shin
and writhing in agony.
Reigning Spanish champions Barcelona squandered a two-goal lead with 20
minutes to go and had to settle for a 3-3 draw at Deportivo La Coruna.
"It's a shame but I think we left a good image. We played well but, of
course, it doesn't matter how well you play if you do not win," said
Barca coach Frank Rijkaard.
"When you are leading 3-1 it's normal to win, but not today. We deserved
more, because at 3-2 we still had control of the game."
One positive note for Rijkaard was the form of Ronaldinho, who had been
struggling to hit his stride in the league until Saturday.
He scored two of Barca's goals and helped create the other for Samuel
Barca got off to a bad start when Deportivo's Juan Carlos Valeron put
the hosts in front after just nine minutes before Eto'o equalized from a
wonderfully worked move by Barca five minutes from the break.
Ronaldinho sent the ball to the African Player of the Year's head on the
edge of the area.
Eto'o then nodded it back to Deco while continuing to surge through the
Deportivo defence and, after latching onto the return, he then finished
off the sequence with a right foot volley for his seventh goal of the
Ronaldinho then showed some more of the style that has, at times, been
missing this season by cleverly picking up an inch-perfect cross from
Eto'o in injury time at the end of the first half.
The Brazilian darted down the left edge of the box before sliding the
ball past Deportivo goalkeeper Juan Franciso Molina.
Barca's third goal came after six minutes of the second half when Molina
brought down a rampaging Deco and Ronaldinho slotted home the penalty.
However, Barca then threw away the chance of a morale-boasting away win
ahead of their visit to Panathinaikos in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Firstly, Pedro Munitis scored with an outstanding looping shot from just
inside the area after 71 minutes and then Ruben Castro engineered a draw
four minutes from time.
"At 3-1, almost every team would have thrown in the towel but we didn't.
That's the type of mentality we have. We were trying just as hard at 1-0
up as we were when we were 3-1 down," said Deportivo coach Joaquin
"We took the blows but emerged with our head held high."
Villarreal's mediocre domestic season continued when the Champions
League contenders had to settle for a 1-1 draw at struggling Alaves.
Roger Garcia gave Villarreal the lead after just three minutes, scoring
on his second attempt after Alaves keeper Franco Costanzo could only
kick his first shot back to him.
However, Alaves' Brazilian midfielder Nene levelled the scores just nine