Friday, 27 September 2013 00:10
Reuters: An unconvincing Real Madrid needed a controversial Cristiano Ronaldo penalty deep into stoppage time to snatch a 2-1 win at promoted Elche on Wednesday that kept them hard on the heels of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
The Portugal forward smashed home a free kick to put Real ahead in the 51st minute against a plucky Elche side before substitute Richmond Boakye looked to have secured a point when he headed past Diego Lopez in the 91st minute.
There was more drama to come, however, as Real won a final corner and the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Pepe tangled with midfielder Carlos Sanchez in the area.
Television replays showed the pair grappling with each other before tumbling together to the floor and the Elche players’ fury with the decision appeared justified. However, as the match ticked into its 96th minute, Ronaldo calmly struck the ball into the corner for his sixth goal in six matches this term.
Real’s late winner was desperately hard on Elche, who created the clearer chances in the first half and refused to throw in the towel even after going behind against a club which dwarfs them in wealth and prestige.
Their entire squad is worth less than half the world record 100 million euros Real paid for Wales winger Gareth Bale this month and their budget of 6 million last season is dwarfed by Real’s of more than half a billion.
The victory put Real on 16 points, two behind Barca and Atletico, who are the only teams with a perfect six wins in six games this season.