Ronaldo scores twice as Madrid beats Malmo 2-0
MALMO, Sweden (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 500th and 501st goals of his career to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win over 10-man Malmo in Group A of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Swedish side held off Madrid for nearly half an hour before they were caught off guard by a counterattack as Ronaldo gathered a pass from Francisco “Isco” Alarcon and made no mistake with only goalkeeper Johan Wiland to beat.
Ronaldo got his second goal of the night in the 90th when he tapped in a pass from Lucas Vazquez in front of goal. Real Madrid said it was his 324th goal for the club, overtaking Raul as the club’s all-time top scorer. UEFA, however, said they were level at 323.
The discrepancy stems from a goal which the club has awarded to Ronaldo, but which was officially recorded for Pepe.
“I’m very happy,” Ronaldo said. “First of all because the team won. But I won’t lie to you. I really wanted to beat Raul’s record.”
Ronaldo said Raul had sent him a message of congratulations.
The match wasn’t as lopsided as many had expected with a tough-tackling Malmo shutting down Madrid’s attack. Dani Carvajal’s shot in the 42nd hit both the crossbar and the post, leaving Madrid with a one-goal lead at half-time.
Malmo chased an equalizer in the second half and captain Markus Rosenberg’s header narrowly missed the post in the 74th as Madrid started feeling the pressure. But the home side’s hopes dimmed four minutes later when left back Yoshimar Yotun was sent off for his second yellow card.
Wiland denied Ronaldo with two one-handed saves before the Portugal striker surged into the area and sealed the win for Madrid, which has six points after two games.
“I think that to win away, to get three points, a clean sheet and two goals from Ronaldo, another record, so I have to be really pleased,” Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez said.
Madrid was missing Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos and Pepe due to injuries. Benitez also left Marcelo and Luka Modric out of the starting lineup, with an important league derby coming up this weekend against Atletico Madrid.
Malmo coach Age Hareide praised his team’s performance, though they failed to create any clear chances besides Rosenberg’s attempt.
“Our players worked very hard. As long as we kept our positions they didn’t create that much,” he said. “As long as it was 1-0 there was always a chance.”
Paris Saint-Germain also has six points from two games in Group A after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 on Wednesday.
The first showdown between the two group leaders follows on Oct. 21, with PSG hosting Madrid in the French capital.