Cristiano Ronaldo would have scored 4 goals with no ban - Zinedine Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo would have scored 4 goals with no ban - Zinedine Zidane
From ESPN - September 13, 2017

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Cristiano Ronaldo might have had four goals after the Portuguese had to make do with just two in Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League victory over Apel Nicosia at the Bernabeu.

In his first competitive club game for a month, Cristiano Ronaldo took just 12 minutes to open the scoring by steering home Gareth Bale's left-wing cross, in what was the double competition holders' only shot on target of a quiet first half.

Ronaldo made it 2-0 from the penalty spot early in the second half after a harsh handball call against APOEL left-back Roberto Lago, with captain Sergio Ramos extending Madrid's lead with an untidy bicycle kick just past the hour mark.

As Madrid dominated completely Ronaldo was denied another by an offside flag, had a clear penalty appeal turned down, and hit the bar from just three yards out with the officials rejecting his claim the ball had crossed the line.

"[Cristiano] is the best in the world, he is always there, always scoring goals," Zidane told reporters afterwards.

"If he had been on form today, he scores four. We know what Cristiano can do. We are happy with the second half, and with the clean sheet."

It was a more mixed night for Ronaldo's strike partner Bale, who was involved in two of Marid's three goals and did his best work when drifting to a left-wing position, but was again whistled by some of the more demanding home fans.

"I did not hear whistles, I just heard applause," was Zidane's way of closing down that theme postgame. "Bale can play in many positions. After four months out he needs time to get back to his best. We will all see Gareth at his best, for sure."

Happier for Madrid was Ramos entertaining the crowd with a trademark bust forward in open play and then acrobatic chilena (bicycle kick) finish to the net.


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