Real Madrid beat Sociedad

Ronaldo scored twice in the final seven minutes to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Ronaldo scored twice in the final seven minutes to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad and narrow FC Barcelona's lead atop the Spanish league to three points. Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez, who entered the game in the 60th minute to replace Santiago Solari, set up both goals by Ronaldo, who increased his season total to 18, three behind league leader Samuel Eto'o of Barcelona. It was Real's sixth straight victory, a streak that has rallied it from nine points back in less than a month. Despite reports that an injury to Michel Salgado might cause Madrid manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo to employ David Beckham at right back, the England international played at deep right midfield with Albert Celades used on the defensive wing. Beckham had a chance early, curling a shot in the 17th minute just wide of the right post, and Sociedad goalkeeper Asier Riesgo thwarted serious chances by Michael Owen and Ronaldo in the 75th. It wasn't until the 83rd that Madrid finally scored, with Guti sending in Ronaldo on goal with a perfectly timed pass that the Brazilian striker converted. Guti fed Ronaldo in front of the goal again in the 90th minute, but the ball seemed to surprise the Brazilian, who tripped over the ball, fell to the ground but still managed to beat Riesgo. Elsewhere, Vicente Rodriguez returned from a three-month injury layoff to help defending champion Valencia draw with Numancia. The Spanish international winger converted a penalty in the 84th minute to counter a goal scored nine minutes earlier by Numancia striker Luis Tevenet. In Madrid, Joseba Etxeberria gave Bilbao the lead in the 66th minute but Gonzalo Colsa pounced on a rebound in the 78th minute after goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia blocked a powerful strike by Garcia Calvo and rallied Atletico to the draw. (AP)