Real Madrid went into Wednesday night’s game against Celta Vigo knowing that as long as they didn’t lose, the destiny of the La Liga title would remain in their hands.
They left Balaídos with a comprehensive 4-1 win, courtesy of two well-taken Cristiano Ronaldo strikes and singles from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos.
Zinedine Zidane’s men need just one point against Malaga on Sunday to secure the title.
Here, we focus on Ronaldo’s performance.
Goals – 2
Assists – 0
Shots – 3
Pass accuracy – 77%
Passes – 31
Key Passes – 0
Touches – 45
Dribbles – 2
Dispossessed – 3
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 367 goals in Europe's top five leagues, breaking Jimmy Greaves' record! pic.twitter.com/yISd4J2EKY— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 17, 2017
Given that Ronaldo has more or less become an out-and-out striker, there’s only one way to measure his effectiveness: goals.
The Madrid striker scored from his first two clear-cut chances, displaying lethal conviction and accuracy. He could have registered a hat-trick, but two goals from three shots is a formidable return.
If he continues in this form, not only will Real Madrid win the La Liga title on Sunday, but they’ll be well-equipped in their Champions League final against Juventus. Ronaldo won’t miss from the sort of chances that Monaco had across both legs of their semi-final against the Italians.
10th min: Ronaldo didn’t take long to have an impact on the game. Collecting possession from just outside the box, Ronaldo took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Celta Vigo keeper Sergio Alvarez – with his so-called weaker left foot. The strike took him past Jimmy Greaves for most goals in Europe’s top five leagues – this was his 367th.
48th min: Isco led an electric foray into the Celta Vigo half and slipped the ball in to Ronaldo with a perfectly-weighted pass, and from there, the Portuguese star slotted home his second of the game.
75th min: The moment Ronaldo should have sealed his hat-trick. He was picked out in plenty of space just 12 yards from game, tried dummying the keeper, and ended up missing the target altogether. The only blemish on his performance.
This reinvented Ronaldo doesn’t quite get the pulses racing the way he did ten years ago, but he’s arguably even more dangerous at present.
Against Celta Vigo, he showed again that if he gets even a sniff of goal, he’s likely to score. It’s the sort of performance he’s been putting in consistently over the second half of this season, with 13 goals in his last eight games to put Real Madrid on the brink of an historic double.
Ronaldo man........ Delivering the league when it matters. That Ballon d'Or stamp. Legit.— 'Zatore (@Cerebrone) May 17, 2017
Ronaldo has now scored 50 goals or more for the 7th consecutive season (for club and country) GOAT🐐— BallonDor #5 (@HaIaRonaldo) May 17, 2017
Ronaldo most clutch player of all time💉💉💉💉💉💉— BallonDor #5 (@HaIaRonaldo) May 17, 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo’s left foot is better than your favorite player’s preferred foot— Saksham (@GolazoCristiano) May 17, 2017