Real beat Alaves 3-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored twice in the second half to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory away to promoted team Alaves on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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Real Madrid were looking to put their below-par start to the season behind them, when they travelled to Vitoria to take on bottom-of-the-table Alaves on Sunday. Real started the match in seventh place in the standings, following two wins and two defeats. Their supporters and the Real Madrid board would surely not tolerate anything less than victory over the last-placed team in the league. Under pressure Real started the game like a team under pressure and Alaves were first to carve out a few goal scoring opportunities. Real striker Ronaldo produced a terrible pass towards his own goal which was intercepted by Rodolfo Bodipo. Unfortunately for Alaves, the striker shot wide when through on goal with just Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas to beat. Real eventually started to threaten the Alaves goal and Julio Baptista latched onto a loose ball just outside the penalty area and fired a shot that Alaves goalkeeper Franco Costanzo did well to push wide. Free kick Real continued to press for the opening goal and, after captain Raul was brought down, David Beckham curled a free-kick that Costanzo punched away from just under the crossbar. After the teams turned with the match still goalless, Real took the lead 15 minutes into the second half. The Alaves defence failed to deal with Raul's long pass and the loose ball fell to Ronaldo who thumped a powerful shot past Costanzo from just outside the penalty area. It was a stunning goal, which seemed to lift Real after they had struggled to break down a stubborn Alaves outfit. Ronaldo should have had a second minutes later, but after Robert Carlos's pass found him in the penalty area, his shot bounced back off the post. The Brazilian did eventually grab his second goal of the game. Good pass Beckham picked up the ball in midfield and threaded a well-weighted pass to Ronaldo, who rounded Costanzo and slipped the ball into the empty net. The seal was put on a convincing victory when midfielder Guti scored the game's third goal just before the final whistle. Ronaldo was involved again. He tried to set up substitute Robinho, who had been rested for Wednesday's Champions League game against Olympiakos. Robinho's shot was blocked and the rebound fell to Guti, who gratefully accepted the opportunity. The 3-0 victory saw Real climb from seventh into provisional second place on goal difference. Alaves remained bottom of the table with two points from five games. (AP)