Champions League

Ronaldo’s double takes down Malmö at home

Ronaldo's double takes down Malmö at home
Malmö players attempt to stop Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
Malmö coach Åge Hareide praised and criticized his team in equal measure after Real Madrid's top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo sent the Spanish giants to a convincing 2-0 win away in southern Sweden.

Ronaldo surpassed 500 career goals and tied Raul as Real Madrid's all-time leading scorer with his double in the first leg of their Champions League clash with Malmö FF.

The Portuguese star netted his 500th and 501st goals to propel Madrid to victory against the Swedish champions in the Group A match, also extending his record Champions League tally to 82.

“We clearly did not handle Cristiano Ronaldo well enough as he scored two goals,” Malmö coach Hareide told regional newspaper Sydsvenskan after the match.

Malmö, European Cup runners-up in 1979, made a reasonable start with skipper Markus Rosenberg and Anton Tinnerholm testing Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas from distance.

But Madrid gradually asserted their dominance as the first half wore on with Ronaldo, scorer of a hat-trick in an opening 4-0 win over Shakhtar, drawing a pair of saves from home keeper Johan Wiland in quick succession.

“As long as we kept our position they didn't create so many opportunities. Our defenders were good. And Johan Wiland. That's a 'must' at this level,” said Hareide.

Cristiano Ronaldo after netting his 500th goal in Malmö. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

However, Malmö failed to heed those warning signs and paid the price on 29 minutes when Isco slipped a ball through to an unmarked Ronaldo who calmly fired past Wiland.

Dani Carvajal was desperately unlucky not to add to the lead a few minutes before half-time as the right-back's half-volley with the outside of his foot bounced back off the crossbar with Wiland well beaten.

Mateo Kovacic fired just wide with the second half only five minutes old but Madrid were given a scare when Rosenberg sent a header skipping just wide of the target.

Malmö's hopes of salvaging something were dealt a big blow when Peruvian left-back Yoshimar Yotun was dismissed for a second booking on 78 minutes.

Only the heroics of Wiland prevented Ronaldo from adding to his haul shortly after as the Swede flung himself to his left to tip over a goalbound strike with another stunning one-handed saves denying the Portuguese again a few minutes later.

But Ronaldo eventually wrapped up the victory in the final minute of normal time, stabbing home a Lucas Vazquez cross from close range to write his name into Real's record books.

Malmö are next set to meet Shaktar Donetsk at home on October 21st.

But the match the fans are waiting for the most is their next leg against home son Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Paris Saint-Germain, who cruised past the Ukrainian side with a 3-0 win on Wednesday, later in November.