Ronaldo rage in Madrid as goals dry up for Cristiano
The Portuguese reacted petulantly to Alvaro Arbeloa's late strike and cut a frustrated figure as he was unable to add to his tally in the 3-0 win over Almeria
Cristiano Ronaldo was not a happy man. The Portuguese forward failed to hit the target in Wednesday's win over Almeria and was visibly vexed by Alvaro Arbeloa's late goal when he had been following up behind the defender for a simple tap-in.
James Rodriguez gave Madrid the lead with a brilliant volley just before half-time which was as good as any of the stunning strikes netted by Barcelona in the Catalans' spectacular 6-0 success at home to Getafe on Tuesday. But Madrid's football was a million miles from the slick stuff seen at Camp Nou - and Ronaldo was clearly not enjoying himself.
The Portuguese looked to have scored his goal early in the second half, but Almeria's Mauro dos Santos was the last man to touch the ball and Ronaldo waved his finger in the air to indicate he had not been the scorer - even though his name was called out over the loudspeaker system at the Santiago Bernabeu.
His finishing was wayward after that and one fine run was followed by a wild effort which flew well over the bar in the second half and was greeted by groans from the Madrid fans. Those same supporters attempted to lift their man after that with chants of "Cristiano Ronaldo" and "Balón de Oro", but to no avail.
And the evening ended with Arbeloa's strike - only the eighth of his entire career -, but instead of being happy for his team-mate, Ronaldo smashed the ball back into the net with anger and trudged to the centre circle shaking his head.
"I'm not upset about Cristiano's reaction after my goal," the right-back said in the mixed zone afterwards. "It just shows you his ambition to score. No-one can be upset about that. He is fighting with Leo Messi for the Pichichi."
Asked afterwards about Ronaldo's rage and his inability to channel his fury at times on the pitch, coach Carlo Ancelotti said he was pleased with the Portuguese.
"If Cristiano doesn't score, I'm happy," he said. "He has already scored 50 goals this season, so I am happy not only when he scores but also when he doesn't. He didn't score today, but he can score on Saturday."
And he added: "Cristiano worked well. He didn't score, but he was fresh and he is fit. I don't need to rest him."
Having failed to net against Almeria, the Portuguese has now scored only once in his last five appearances for Madrid and he looks to be missing the creative input of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and, in particular, Luka Modric.
Ancelotti confirmed that Bale will resume training on Thursday ahead of Madrid's tough trip to Sevilla on Saturday, while Benzema should be in shape to face Juventus in Turin next week. Modric, though, will be out for several more weeks and may not feature again in 2014-15.
But whoever is available, Madrid need their players rowing in the same direction - not producing petulant gestures. If they are to win any trophies at the end of this season, the whole squad has to pull together. And that includes Ronaldo.
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Real Madrid 3-0 Almeria
Real Madrid CF