Real Madrid easily defeated Sevilla 2-0 during Tuesday's 2014 European Super Cup final in Cardiff, Wales, with both goals coming from the foot of star forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese Ballon d'Or winner returned to health just in time to make the starting XI for Los Blancos, and he looked like his old self carving up the Sevilla defence. As shared by Squawka, Ronaldo's performances against these Spanish challengers have been excellent of late:
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 9 goals in his last 5 games against Sevilla, in all competitions. pic.twitter.com/eP0dokujTr— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 12, 2014
His first goal came courtesy of a phenomenal cross from Gareth Bale, following some beautiful build-up play by Real, captured by Football Vines:
Quality cross by Gareth Bale and Ronaldo with the finish. 1-0 http://t.co/6fu3CYxoRW— Football Vines (@FootballVines) August 12, 2014
Sergi Dominguez was one of the few critical of his form early in the match, questioning his finishing:
Great cross from Bale to feed Ronaldo, who's finishing has been pretty questionable this game.— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) August 12, 2014
Ronaldo had failed to convert two good chances prior to the goal, but he was on point to connect with Bale's fantastic long ball.
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan thought Sevilla could have done better defensively, alluding to the absence of Alberto Moreno who was pulled from the starting XI before kickoff:
Sevilla [ahem] possibly could have done with more pace at LB to get back and cover Ronaldo at back post...— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) August 12, 2014
His ESPN FC colleague Nicholas Rigg thought Ronaldo looked as sharp as ever:
Great save by Beto to deny Ronaldo. Doubts over Ronaldo before the match but looked sharp/at it so far tonight. #SuperCup— Nicholas Rigg (@nicholasrigg) August 12, 2014
Ronaldo's second goal again followed some beautiful passing play from Real, leading to the Portuguese international finding some space and blasting home with his left foot. Here's a look at the Vine, via Football Vines:
Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal vs Sevilla. Brilliant http://t.co/iuyhepwlg8— Football Vines (@FootballVines) August 12, 2014
The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre was very impressed with the talent on display for Los Blancos:
is Real Madrid going to lose a game THIS YEAR? what a rocket by Ronaldo. Also, i like Benzema's game. is he even top 5 on that stacked team?— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) August 12, 2014
Former England striker Gary Lineker focused on Ronaldo, who made an excellent impression on the pundit:
Ronaldo is imperious! A delight to watch.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 12, 2014
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher liked how Carlo Ancelotti used the winger in a more central role, wondering whether the superstar could become even better with a permanent switch in position:
Ronaldo more central tonight like he was against Munich in CL can he become more dangerous there?— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 12, 2014
As shared by Infostrada Sports, Ronaldo is well on his way to smashing the European scoring record:
CR7 - 70 - 77: Ronaldo now has 70 goals in Eur comps, equal with Filippo Inzaghi. Only Raul has more (77).— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) August 12, 2014
Real Madrid looked very impressive as a team, with the new signings all making a strong impression in their first showing for the club. James Rodriguez looked out of sorts at times, but that was only to be expected in his very first match as a Galactico.
If Los Blancos can look this strong in their very first competitive outing with their strongest XI, the rest of Europe better beware. The reigning Champions League holders look like they've only improved since last year, and led by the mercurial Ronaldo, the sky truly is the limit.