Ronaldo scores 22nd goal of league campaign as Real Madrid beat Granada 2-0
Madrid assume top spot ahead of Barcelona and Atletico who both play Sunday
Napoli draw with Chievo Verona 1-1 in Serie A
He started the day clutching the Ballon d’Or trophy proudly in his hands and ended it, once again, with his footballing adversaries very much at the mercy of his multi-talented feet.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed why he was voted the best player in the world earlier this month with another sprightly showing on Saturday as Real Madrid beat Granada 2-0 at the Bernabeu to assume top spot in La Liga.
Inevitably, it was the Portuguese forward who broke the deadlock drilling a low shot home in the 56th-minute goal – his 22nd goal of the campaign.
The 28-year-old was intimately involved in Madrid’s second, setting Marcelo free down left before the Brazilian cut in and unselfishly rolled the ball across to Karim Benzema who slotted home.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have now dropped only two points and scored 40 goals in 11 league outings since losing to Barcelona at the end of October.
All of which means that Los Blancos leap from fourth to first with 53 points, two more than both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid who play Sunday.
The Catalans entertain Malaga at the Nou Camp in the late kick off while Atletico travel to second-from-bottom Rayo Vallecano.
Fellow strugglers Valladolid picked up what might be a valuable three points come the end of the season beating fifth place Villarreal 1-0. Jesus Rueda’s 40th minute strike lifts Valladolid to 17th, level on 19 points with Almeria who entertain Getafe on Sunday.
Over in Italy, Napoli dropped points for the second consecutive game, drawing 1-1 with relegation-threatened Chievo Verona at the Stadio San Paolo.
The visitors took the lead when Gennaro Sardo scored in the 18th minute.
Things were looking bleak for Rafa Benitez’s side until two minutes from the end when Spanish centerback Raul Albiol scored a last-gasp equalizer.
The draw means Napoli now have 44 points and ensures they retain third spot in the table for another week even if fourth-placed Fiorentina beat Genoa on Sunday night.
Chievo’s point lifts them to 16th in Serie A with 18 points, but they remain winless in six and have a battle on their hands if they want to keep a seat at Italian football’s top table.