Cristiano Ronaldo produced yet another stellar performance as Real Madrid cemented their place at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Malaga at La Rosaleda, stretching their unbeaten run to 30 matches.
The 2013 Ballon d'Or winner scored the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute, giving Malaga the unwanted record of being the La Liga side that Ronaldo has scored the most goals against. According to OptaJose on Twitter, that's 13 goals in 12 appearances against the Costa del Sol outfit, who struggled to handle the 29-year-old forward from the first whistle.
12 - Only vs Getafe (13) Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than against Malaga in La Liga. Punisher— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 19, 2013
Ronaldo caused endless problems for Malaga cutting in from the left wing and had a few sniffs at goal before his wonderfully taken strike midway through the first half. Gareth Bale played an inch-perfect cross-field pass to former Manchester United man, who cut onto his right foot and slammed the ball home in textbook Ronaldo fashion.
It was a goal that meant that Ronaldo became the first player in the history of La Liga to score 25-plus goals in five consecutive seasons, indicated by InfoCristiano via Twitter.
HISTORY - Cristiano Ronaldo is the 1st player in all history of La Liga to score 25+ goals in 5 consecutive seasons.— InfoCristiano (@InfoCristiano) March 15, 2014
When you think of the players who held the crown as the king of La Liga before Ronaldo, it makes that statistic even more astounding.
Ronaldo had 10 shots at goal during Saturday's victory and recorded an 86 percent pass-completion rate, but it was his link-up play with Bale that really caught the eye, as depicted by statistics via WhoScored.com.
The duo appeared as one throughout the contest and carved chances out against a stubborn Malaga side with ease, including for Ronaldo's all-important strike. In truth, Ronaldo and Madrid could have had a few more goals.
Angel Di Maria was preparing his acceptance speech for the assist of the century award when his volleyed cross was headed over by Ronaldo just before the interval (celebrated by SocialRMadrid on Twitter below), and the forward uncharacteristically stabbed the ball wide from six yards moments after putting his side ahead in a match that Madrid could have had wrapped up before half-time.
Amazing cross from Di Maria!— SocialRMadrid (@SocialRMadrid) March 15, 2014
It was another successful day in the office for Ronaldo, though, whose goal sees Madrid open up a temporary six-point lead at the top of La Liga ahead of city rivals Atletico. With such a crucial El Clasico tie coming up next weekend, having Ronaldo in imperious form is truly a sight to behold for Real fans.