Moving closer to another La Liga title requires remarkable performances from Real Madrid’s main men.
Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo leads that list. Then count Marcelo in, too.
A trademark header from Ronaldo and a late strike from Marcelo lifted Real Madrid to a pulsating 2-1 win over Valencia in the La Liga last Sunday. Ronaldo’s opening strike came after Dani Carvajal’s cross in the 27th minute.
The reigning World Player of the Year could have added to his production but his second-half penalty shot was saved by Valencia’s spot-kick specialist Diego Alves.
Alves is proving to be a thorn on Ronaldo’s side as the former has now saved three of four Ronaldo penalty kicks.
But Ronaldo had the last laugh. Aside from the win, he has added another all-time record to his collection after becoming Europe’s top scorer.
He now has 366 goals, passing the 367 league goals made by Jimmy Greaves, who played for Chelsea, AC Milan, Tottenham and West Ham. Ronaldo also moved just four points off 400 in eight seasons at Real.
Valencia tied the score at 1-all when former Madrid midfielder Dani Parejo curled home a sensational free-kick eight minutes from the end, but as fate would have it, it was Real’s moment.
Veteran defender Marcelo may have then said “it’s my time to shine.’’
He came to the rescue in the 86th, firing into the far corner on his weaker right foot for the final count as Real fans erupted in wild cheers at the Bernabeu.
Thus, for the seventh time this term, Real Madrid needed a goal in the last 10 minutes to salvage a win in the La Liga.
Aside from Marcelo, previous “saviours’’ for the Los Blancos include Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Morata and Isco.
Real Madrid are a close second to leaders Barcelona. Both have 81 points, but Barca have a better goal difference.
One thing good for the Los Blancos is they have a game in hand.
If they turn this advantage into gold in the final reckoning, Real could very well be lifting the trophy again.
And Ronaldo, as well as Marcelo, will proudly chorus that they were key components in getting the job done.