Football: Ronaldo double helps ease Real problems

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) and teammates celebrate Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos' goal (second from left) during the Spanish league football match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on Jan 27, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Cristiano Ronaldo converted two penalties as Real Madrid battled to a hard-fought 4-1 away win at Valencia in La Liga on Saturday (Jan 27), lifting the gloom of recent poor results for the defending Spanish and European champions.

Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all started together for the first time in 279 days, but this was no walk in the park for Zinedine Zidane's men, who had to fight until late strikes from Marcelo and Toni Kroos relieved the tension.

Real are still fourth in the table, 16 points behind Barcelona.

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