MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldostruck twice as Real Madridwere thankful to a late missed penalty from Duje Cop to open up a seven-point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Ligawith a 2-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
Madrid looked set for an easy afternoon as Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot before he headed home a second inside 20 minutes.
However, Carlos Carmona halved Sporting’s deficit 10 minutes before half-time and the struggling visitors were handed a huge chance for an unexpected point 12 minutes from time when Nacho brought down Victor Rodriguez.
Yet, Cop sent his penalty high and wide as Real held on amidst a torrential downpour to extend their unbeaten run to 31 games in all competitions.
Barca can cut the gap back to four points when they travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday ahead of the first Clasico of the season between Spanish football’s two giants at the Camp Nou next weekend.
Fresh from netting a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid last weekend, Ronaldo continued his return to scoring form with a quickfire double to move ahead of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as La Liga’s top scorer.