Cristiano Ronaldo was shown a straight red card only minutes before Gareth Bale slotted home a match-winning penalty against Cordoba today.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner had endured a frustrating day and clearly lost his composure in the 82nd minute of the contest. With the match tied at 1-1, Ronaldo was seen to have kicked Cordoba defender Edimar before taking a backhand swipe at Crespo only seconds later.
The Portuguese forward didn’t argue the decision, walked straight off the pitch and received a pat on the back from Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti – who will not be pleased when he sees replays of the incident.
Ronaldo will miss Madrid’s next match against David Moyes and Real Sociedad next Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
(Ronaldo’s kick on Edimar)
As for today’s contest, Cordoba put forth a tremendous effort against the league leaders. The home side were on the front foot from the moment the match kicked-off and were rewarded with a controversial penalty when on-loan Benfica forward Bebe (yes, the one who played for Manchester United) saw his cross handled by Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos.
Replays showed that although the ball struck the defender’s hand, his arms were close to his body and the ball only hit his hand because he had turned his body away from the attempted cross.
Cordoba didn’t waste any time taking advantage of the referee’s decision as Nabil Ghilas stepped up and calmly struck home the penalty to give the home side a lead after only three minutes.
Madrid would level the match in the 27th minute after Karim Benzema slotted in a close range attempt after a Gareth Bale corner. But Cordoba would continue to take the match to the league leaders into and after the halftime whistle.
While Carlo Ancelotti’s side would dominate possession, Cordoba were peppering Iker Casillas with attempted and really causing Madrid’s defenders problem down the right-side of the pitch.
But the match changed after Ronaldo’s sending off in the 82nd minute. Shortly thereafter, Madrid were awarded a free-kick just outside of Cordoba’s box. Gareth Bale stepped up and hammered a wonderful ball that would have just cleared the defensive wall. But Fede Cartabia blatantly knocked the ball down with his hand and a penalty was awarded to Madrid.
Cartabia was shown his second yellow card of the contest and Bale stepped up to become the hero on the day. The Welshman’s goal and assist against Cordoba moves his season tally to 10 goals and four assists in the Primera Division this season.
The win leaves Madrid on top of La Liga for another weekend. Cordoba remain on 18 points, and could be knocked into the relegation zone depending on later results from today.
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