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A dramatic night for Ronaldo

A dramatic night for Ronaldo
From ESPN - August 13, 2017

Three quick things as Sunday evening's Spanish Supercopa first leg at the Camp Nou finishes Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid.

1. Madrid in full control in dramatic night for Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo only needed 24 minutes to steal the show in Sunday's Spanish Supercopa first leg at the Camp Nou, scoring a dramatic lead goal for his team before being sent off.

After Gerard Pique's own goal was followed by Lionel Messi's controversial penalty, Ronaldo struck a superb goal to put his team in control of the tie, cutting inside Pique and finding the top corner from 20 yards. The Portugal international's night soon turned extra dramatic, as he went down claiming a penalty under minimal contact from Samuel Umtiti before being shown a second yellow card for simulation. His angry response, including a push on referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea, could lead to extra punishment.

Yet there was still time for Madrid substitute Marco Asensio to score the goal of the night, slamming the ball to the net on the run from 25 yards, and the 3-1 advantage means Zinedine Zidane's side are huge favourites to lift the trophy after Wednesday's second leg at the Bernabeu.

Such drama was far away during a scoreless first 45 minutes, which brought half-chances for Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez, but both teams mostly cancelled each other out in a physical opening period. Spain's emerging star referee, De Burgos Bengoetxea, had shown five yellow cards by the break in his first Clasico.

Four minutes into the second half came Pique's unfortunate intervention. The Barca defender himself cleared a corner, but the ball fell to Isco, who cleverly played Marcelo in down the left wing. When the cross came in, the Barca centre-back swung at the ball at the near post but only succeeded in directing the ball away from goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen, who was waiting behind him to easily collect.

The first Clasico own goal in 15 years was bad luck for the outspoken Pique, but his misfortune would have been especially enjoyed by Blancos fans and pundits who do not often enjoy his off-pitch interventions.

The game opened up from there, with chances at either end. Sergio Busquets fired over when unmarked eight yards out and then Suarez went to ground dramatically after Keylor Navas came off his line to challenge. The reaction looked exaggerated but De Burgos pointed to the spot, and Messi calmly rolled in the spot-kick to stretch his Clasico record to 24 goals in 35 games.

Ronaldo quickly gave his response, as the 32-year-old rolled back the years by screeching away on the break, easily cutting inside Pique and curling a right-footed shot into the far top corner from edge of box. It was a scene-stealing moment, but the shirt-off celebration brought a yellow card, which soon proved extra expensive.

2. Deulofeu does not take chance to replace Neymar

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