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Sunday, 27 January 2013 17:49

Ronaldo hits hat trick; Valencia overcomes 10-man Deportivo

Portuguese in La Liga Round Up

As Ronaldo banged in yet another Real Madrid hat-trick, despite two first half goals from Riki, Deportivo fell in their second straight La Liga defeat to remain at the bottom of the table. Nathan Motz runs the rule over the best and worst of Portugal's performers in La Liga this week.

Real Madrid 4-0 Getafe

Cristiano Ronaldo tormented visiting goalkeeper Miguel Moya en-route to scoring his 2nd hat trick of the month as Real Madrid flattened Getafe on Sunday afternoon. It was perhaps a harsh result given that Moya had demonstrated breathtaking skill to deny the hosts throughout the first half.

Ronaldo was the first to test the keeper with a fierce 25 yard free kick that Moya did well to parry wide. Getafe showed little in the way of attacking threat, but were successful in preventing the hosts from creating decent chances in the opening 45 minutes. Even so, Moya was called upon to deny Ronaldo, Ozil, and Coentrão before the halftime break, the latter two with a spectacular double save.

With Ricardo Carvalho putting in another all action display in the heart of defence, Madrid finally found the opening goal courtesy of Sergio Ramos despite vociferous protests from the visitors who claimed there had been a foul.

Madrid could smell blood and were able to increase their lead through Ronaldo in the 62nd minute. After being released beyond the backline by Mesut Ozil, Ronaldo outran his marker and finished neatly just inside the far post. Minutes later, Ronaldo had his second of the match when he finished off Di Maria's cross with a thumping header, and seven minutes after that Ronaldo completed his hat trick with a penalty kick before being withdrawn to a standing ovation.

Deportivo La Coruna 2-3 Valencia

Defensive frailty continues to be the Achilles heel for Deportivo as they were defeated on Saturday by an opportunistic Valencia side in an exhilirating match at the Estadio Riazor. In all fairness, the hosts looked to be on track for an important victory until Sílvio was sent off for his second yellow of the night in only the 52nd minute.

Domingos Paciência started five Portuguese internationals, with Diogo Salomão and Nélson Oliveira on the substitutes bench. The match started poorly for the hosts as Jonas scored for Valencia off the first corner kick of the match. The goal sparked a thoroughly entertaining half of football as Deportivo pressed relentlessly for an equalizer while still trying desperately to defend Valencia's marauding counterattacks.

Riki's first goal came courtesy of Pizzi's pinpoint free kick delivery in the 32nd minute, and his second just before the half appeared to have put Deportivo in control, but it was sadly not to be as Valencia struck back through Nelson Valdez and a heartbreaking game winner from Ricardo Costa in stoppage time. João Pereira also played a full 90 minutes for the visitors, who move into 5th place pending other results.

Postiga goal drought continues

Hélder Postiga and Real Zaragoza were once again held scoreless, this time by a resurgent Espanyol side at home on Saturday. Zaragoza continue to slip down the table and now lie just five points north of the relegation zone. Postiga has failed to score in six straight matches and is stuck on eight goals for the season.

by Nathan Motz

Comments (8)
8 Tuesday, 29 January 2013 17:45
"If there's any consolation about Messi going out and scoring 4 goals after Ronaldo's hat trick, it's that Ronaldo was subbed out with about 20 minutes left in the match."

That's a good point. In any case, Mou was smart to pull him early. He'll need all the rest he can get ahead of tomorrow's Classico.
Some thoughts
7 Tuesday, 29 January 2013 15:26
I for one would take Cristiano above Messi. But let's not be foolish and dismiss or devalue Messi in any way.
Both been amazing.
It will be ineteresting to see what takes place at the Copa. Real is without a ton of people. It would be a huge feather in Mourinho's cap if he could even come away with a draw.
Of course everyone will remain unhappy.

All Portuguese, including manager, will be blamed for Deportivo going down. They'll all be looking for work, come next season.

I wouild like to mention how bad Spain's economy has become. Yes Portugal is in dire straights as well, but Spain is at a whole different level.
In keepuing with futebol, numerous teams haven't had a jersey sponsor for some time and the ones that due it's not much in ways of money.
With attendance's shrinking, it's just going to get worst. Get ready for the Big Boys at smaller leagues to maybe actually excell. Meaning Russia, Netherlands, Belgium and even maybe Portugal. The clubs with sustained income, could continue to elevate themselves further. Which will seem odd.
Ronaldo performance
6 Tuesday, 29 January 2013 12:26
If there's any consolation about Messi going out and scoring 4 goals after Ronaldo's hat trick, it's that Ronaldo was subbed out with about 20 minutes left in the match. The way he was playing, I wouldn't have been surprised if he had managed to score at least one more goal in that final 20 minutes. He was unplayable, as he often is.
5 Monday, 28 January 2013 17:51
An absolute beast again and one of Real's few bright spots this season. I'm really impressed with how he's been able to rise above all of the controversy that's dogged Real this season. Of course Messi always has to stay one step ahead, by scoring 4 against Osasuna. Not cool.
Ugggh Deportivo
4 Monday, 28 January 2013 13:35
In a week with Malaga played Mallorca and Barca played Osasuna (both teams u are trying to catch, this was a must win for Deportivo and they had the game until they got red cards in the 2nd half, which turned the game on its head.

Silvio's 2 yellows were silly, he didnt need to do it and cost his team the game.

All three goals by Valencia were headers......

Pizzi was the standout Portuguese player. The card to Asunciao at the end was garbage, invisiable "elbow".
@Mitch/Aus Ha ha. No offence meant Ricardo!
3 Monday, 28 January 2013 08:29
Well spotted. Honest mistake. What a difference a "v" makes! Now corrected.
Ricardo Carvalho
2 Monday, 28 January 2013 04:13
I don't know if Nathan's making a dig at Ricardo after the PB bust up but he does not deserve to be called a caralho ;)
1 Monday, 28 January 2013 03:51
Just when you think Ronaldo has a great game, Messi has to one up him. Sure is frustrating.

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