Wins don't always come easy for Real Madrid, but come they do. After flirting with a tie late in the match, Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals gave Madrid a 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo in Sunday's La Liga match.
Ronaldo's two goals upped his league total to 26, equalling the amount of goals that Celta Vigo has scored as a club this season.
It took some time for Madrid to alter the scoreboard, but it came in the 60th minute in usual fashion. A deep rip couldn't find its way through a clump of players, but it just so happened to stop right in front of Ronaldo, who finished it past the goalkeeper.
Then, it seemed like Real Madrid would blister off three or four goals in the second half, like they're typically found to do.
Instead, the match got turned upside down. Celta came roaring back immediately after the goal, and Iago Aspas ripped a shot off a cross, which tipped off a defender, and goalkeeper Diego Lopez couldn't react in time to save it from trickling over the goal line to tie things up at one apiece.
But it didn't take long for Madrid to get on top again. Kaka was taken down in the box by the Celta Vigo goalkeeper's slide tackle, which resulted in a penalty call that Ronaldo easily turned into his second goal of the night to put the side up for good.
Celta Vigo nearly tied up the match in the 89th minute, when a Park Chu-Young header ricocheted off the crossbar.
Madrid's Lopez came up with two saves in extra time to keep three points secure for Jose Mourinho's squad.
Cristiano Ronaldo: B+
Ronaldo entered Sunday's match with just one less goal (24) than all of Celta Vigo this La Liga season (25), and he proved why.
Despite not controlling the game in his typical fashion, Ronaldo scored twice and had his footprints all over the pitch.
Diego Lopez: C-
In the wake of Iker Casillas' absence, Lopez has been protecting Madrid's net very well in huge matches. But he looked awfully rusty against the ultra-inferior Spanish opponent.
The goal he conceded wasn't all his fault, as the tip was hard to predict, but it still warranted enough time to react for a late save. Also, he nearly gave up a second goal in the 68th minute, when an easy ball slipped through his fingers.
Fortunately for Lopez and Madrid, a defender was there to kick it out and force a corner, but he may not be as lucky if he plays at this level against an elite club.
Iago Aspas: B+
Celta's notable forward proved to be pesky for the Madrid backs all throughout the second half, and it paid off as he got his side on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute with a shot that tipped in off a defender.
He had many chances later on to tie up the contest, but couldn't get one past despite having himself a solid match overall.
Madrid's defense was far from effective in the second half, as Celta Vigo were pushing the ball down their throats at will. Much of that has to fall on Pepe, the central leader of the defense.
The centre-back and his unit let the inferior side do what they pleased in the second half, and in turn, they flirted with a tie against the second-worst club in La Liga.
Madrid will play next against Mallorca at home Saturday, while Vigo travels to Deportivo to play a Friday match.