Sunday , October 1 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready for Milan

Cristiano Ronaldo showed that he is ready for the Champions League final, scoring twice in a 3-2 win against Valencia on Sunday.

The Portuguese striker missed three matches in April with a hamstring injury, but looked close to his old self at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Here were the keys to the match.

Of note – Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is already in Champions League-final mode.

The striker had his first multi-goal La Liga match since March 5th, helping Real Madrid keep pace with Barcelona heading into the final week of the season.

The 31-year-old is still not fully fit, but he is rounding into form just in time for the May 28th date in Milan.

The star – Kiko Casilla

The Spanish goalkeeper started ahead of Keylor Navas for just his sixth appearance since returning to Real Madrid last July.

It was only his second game of 2016, but the seldom-used 29-year-old was excellent for the hosts.

Casilla’s season may have mostly consisted of some stretching and a bucket of popcorn, but he demonstrated that he is more than ready if need be.

A tearful goodbye – Alvaro Arbeloa

The full-back played in his final match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Los Blancos’ supporters may have said farewell to Arbeloa, but the 33-year-old will never say goodbye to Real Madrid.

The controversy – Benzema’s goal

The French striker scored the host’s second goal, but it should not have counted.

The 28-year-old was clearly offside, but the whistle was not blown, and Real Madrid took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room at half-time.

The coward – the linesman

“I told the linesman he was a wimp,” Valencia striker Rodrigo told Canal + after the match.

The Spaniard was shown a red card in the 83rd minute after voicing his disagreement with a call.

“When you get tired, you say things that aren’t necessary at all.”

The finish – Andre Gomes

The 22-year-old drilled a laser into the far corner from some distance, cutting Real Madrid’s lead to one with nine minutes left.

Los Blancos held on, but the Portuguese midfielder rightfully earned a place in this week’s highlight reel.

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