Ronaldo brace sinks Celta; United record 15th league draw

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Ronaldo brace sinks Celta; United record 15th league draw

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SportsCafe Desk

05/18/2017

A Cristiano Ronaldo brace, followed by a goal each by Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, took Real Madrid to within a point of sealing their first La Liga title since 2012. Meanwhile, in the Premier League, Manchester United were held to their 15th draw of the season, by Southampton at St. Mary's.

Madrid finally played their game in hand against Celta de Vigo, which was postponed in early February, and got off to the perfect start as Ronaldo handed them the lead in the 10th minute with a powerful hit from outside the box. Although both teams created chances in the remainder of the half, they failed to add to the scoreline with both Benzema and Iago Aspas going close.

Three minutes into the second half, however, Ronaldo doubled the lead after finishing off a brilliant run by Isco to put Madrid in full control. Although Aspas was sent off in the 62nd minute, for simulation, John Guidetti's deflected goal gave the hosts some hope going into the final 20 minutes of the game. 

However, Benzema got at the end of Marcelo cross a minute later as Madrid regained the two-goal cushion and with two minutes to go Kroos put the game well out of Celta's reach. With the 4-1 win, Madrid are now just a point away from securing their first league title since 2012 and will get their chance against Malaga at La Rosaleda on Sunday.

Sergio Romero was the star of the show at St Mary's where the Argentine pulled off a series of saves, including a penalty, as Manchester United played out a goalless draw. It was the Saints who started the game as the better side and were given a chance to show their superiority on the scorecard as well when Eric Bailly handled in the penalty area. The United shot stopper, however, was up for the challenge as he saved Manolo Gabbiadini's weak effort to keep the score level. The first half proved to be a dull affair with neither team able to create any clear cut chances.

Following the interval, it was the hosts who started by piling on the pressure with shots from distance but found the United keeper impervious. United's best chance of the game came through youngster Anthony Martial whose curling effort beat Fraser Forster, in the Southampton goal, but not the woodwork. Even before the game kicked off, United had been guaranteed a sixth-place and will now aim to salvage the season in Stockholm in next Wednesday's Europa League final.

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