Football Football

Ronaldo’s magical backheel gives Real win


MADRID, Spain, February 26 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored a wonderful backheeled goal to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over neighbours Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Sunday to extend their lead to 13 points over Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

The second half was eight minutes old when the Rayo defence failed to clear a corner at the first attempt.

Portuguese superstar Ronaldo, facing away from the goal, then backheeled the ball so powerfully from 15 yards out that it evaded at least four Rayo defenders on its way into the left hand corner of the net.

Germany- Ribery double sinks Schalke

France winger Franck Ribery scored both of Bayern Munich’s goals as they bounced back from their shock defeat at Basel with a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 on Sunday to move up to second in the German Bundesliga.

Bayern suffered a 1-0 defeat in Switzerland on Wednesday in the first-leg of the Champions League Round of 16 clash and the result dented their already creaking confidence.

The defeat came on the back of a goalless draw at the Bundesliga’s bottom team Freiburg the previous Saturday which saw them slip to third behind leaders Dortmund, but Ribery helped restore some confidence with an impressive display.

“It’s not easy for us at the moment, this was a good result and we showed we are still up there,” said Ribery.

“We have to take our chances now and hope Dortmund slip up.”

Having refused to shake hands with Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes when he was substituted in Basel, Ribery revealed the pair had enjoyed a constructive clear-the-air meeting before the Schalke game.

“I had a good chat with the coach in our hotel,” said the Frenchman.

“I said to him that I hadn’t played much this year despite a good training camp during the winter break in Qatar and I need regular games to get my rhythm and keep my form.

“I explained that he can substitute me whenever he wants, but I told him that he needs to communicate that.”

With Germany hosting France in a pre-Euro 2012 friendly on Wednesday, Ribery served French coach Laurent Blanc with a timely reminder of his talents.

The three points sees Bayern swap places with Borussia Moenchengladbach who were held 1-1 at improving Hamburg on Friday while Schalke are fourth.

Ribery struck first in the 36th minute when team-mate Luiz Gustavo poached the ball from Marco Hoeger and then chipped the ball through to the Frenchman.

With a deft touch, the Frenchman flipped the ball out of reach of Schalke’s ex-Germany goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand and then rolled the ball into the empty net for a superb individual goal.

Hildebrand made an excellent reflex save to deny Bayern’s Thomas Mueller from point-blank range moments later.

Schalke midfielder Joel Matip squandered a great chance when he fired wide of an empty goal with Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer beaten just two minutes after the break.

Ribery made it 2-0 when he played a one-two with Mueller and slotted home from inside the penalty area after the ball took a deflection off Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos on 55 minutes to cap a fine display.

Leaders Borussia Dortmund host Hanover on Sunday night and can open a four-point lead if they pull off their seventh straight win.

Elsewhere Hertha Berlin’s relegation problems weren’t eased by the arrival of former Greece coach Otto Rehhagel, who took over last Sunday.

He got off to a losing start on Saturday as Hertha Berlin were beaten 3-0 by Augsburg, who moved out of the bottom three while Hertha dropped to third from bottom.