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Brace for Ronaldo

Real on track ahead of showdown

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Bayern set the pace on Saturday afternoon with a 5-2 win against Werder Bremen and Real Madrid followed suit in the evening. With three days to go before the decisive Champions League semi-final second leg the Madrid side produced a convincing performance in La Liga, as Carlo Ancelotti’s team coasted past relegation-threatened Osasuna at the Bernabéu. The match ended in a 4-0 win for the hosts even with a number of key players being rested.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring on six minutes with a fine long-range effort. The World Player of the Year doubled his tally on 52 minutes with his 30th goal of the season before Sergio Ramos (60) and former Bayer Leverkusen defender Daniel Carvajal (83) also found the back of the net. Real were impressive for long periods in the game but the lowly visitors offered little meaningful resistance.

“It was a great game for us. It wasn’t very intense, none of the team got injured and I was able to rest a few players,” said Ancelotti at the post-match press conference. Gareth Bale, who only came off the bench against Bayern after recovering from a bout of flu, was not even in the squad against Osasuna. Fábio Coentrão, Pepe and Karim Benzema were also rested and midfield dynamo Xabi Alonso came on as a sub late in the game.

Real, who moved into second spot in the Spanish top flight, are also preoccupied with the semi-final return leg in Munich. “I have full confidence in my players,” declared Ancelotti, “I’m convinced we’ll play with loads of passion and belief in our own ability on Tuesday.” The Italian announced that both Ronaldo and Bale would probably be in the starting line-up: “We want to score goals in Munich rather than just defend.”