Late goals keep Real Madrid in title hunt

Madrid, Jan 7 (IANS) Real Madrid scored three goals in the last 23 minutes of their 3-0 home win over Celta Vigo Monday night to remain in the battle for the BBVA Primera Liga title, Xinhua reported.

However, nobody should allow themselves to be fooled by the apparent ease of the victory, given that two of the goals came in the last eight minutes of a game in which Celta wasted numerous chances to take the lead in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium only for their wastefulness in front of goal to cost them the chance of taking a point or perhaps more.
With the Celta defence holding firm, visiting striker Charles Cias saw a close range shot deflected by Madrid goalkeeper, Diego Lopez. Charles was put clean through on goal, but the Madrid keeper got a touch to send the ball into the side netting.
Shortly afterwards Rafinha, on loan at Celta from FC Barcelona, curled a free kick just wide of the Madrid goal
With Madrid looking sluggish, Celta saw other good chances go to waste as Borja Oubina shot just wide, before Rafinha saw a goal-bound effort deflected wide by Pepe.
The home side appeared to wake up in the second half and Cristiano Ronaldo fired over after 50 minutes, although the home side continued to show few ideas in attack until Jese Rodriguez replaced Isco with just under 30 minutes remaining.
The youngster has been one of the Madrid players most in form in recent weeks and his entry into the game also sparked a reaction from the crowd, who had been very quiet for most of the night as their team huffed and puffed to little effect and Charles missed another golden opportunity to open the scoring, chipping wide when clean through on goal.
Two minutes later Jese gave the pass which set up Karim Benzema to score Madrid’s first goal of the game after 67 minutes after good work from the youngster saw him square the ball across the face of goal to leave Benzema just needing to stick out a leg.
Ronaldo sealed the win and was able to dedicate his goal to former Portuguese star, Eusebio, who died Sunday, when he stabbed home from the edge of Celta’s six-yard box with eight minutes to go and he added Madrid’s third in injury time, after a cross from Gareth Bale, who came into the game as a late substitute after three weeks out as the result of a calf injury.