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Real Madrid 4-3 Sociedad

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Ronaldo: Saves Madrid's bacon

Ronaldo: Saves Madrid's bacon

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace rescued Real Madrid as they edged a seven-goal thriller against Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening.

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Madrid boss Jose Mourinho caused controversy before the winter break when he dropped long-term first-choice goalkeeper Iker Casillas from the starting lineup and the defeat to Malaga didn't seem to change his mind as Antonio Adan continued between the sticks.

The hosts made the perfect start when Karim Benzema stroked home after just two minutes, but they haven't had it easy this season and just three minutes later Casillas was on the field after Adan was dismissed for a professional foul having given the ball away with a sloppy pass.

There was nothing the Spanish stopper could do about Xabi Prieto's well-struck penalty that levelled the scores.

Despite having a numerical advantage the visitors struggled to emerge from their shell and Los Merengues were back in front just after the half hour.

Sociedad failed to clear a corner and Sami Khedira was on hand to turn the ball home from close range.

The goal sparked a response from the Basque outfit and Prieto pounced just before half-time when Carlos Vela's shot had been blocked by Ricardo Carvalho.

The story continued along much the same path during the second half, but it was Ronaldo once again who took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Two goals in three minutes midway through the second period proved to be just enough for the La Liga champions to claim all three points.

First, Benzema clipped a delicious ball over the top and Ronaldo finished with typical aplomb.

It wasn't long before the Portuguese star had his hands raised in victory once more as a trademark free-kick blasted beyond the attempted punch of Claudio Bravo.

That wasn't the last of the drama as Daniel Estrada was dismissed for a second bookable offence with ten minutes left on the clock.

Erreala had the final word though as Prieto raced away to clip a delightful finish beyond Casillas but the home team held on for the three points.

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Posted: 06/01/13 18:40

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