Cristiano still full of attacking firepower
Cristiano Ronaldo was back in action again last night and took only 12 minutes before finding the back of the net. APOEL lined up with the classic defensive formation featuring two banks of four but this was soon punctured as Isco found Bale on the left flank and the Welshman delivered a sublime through ball for Cristiano to slot home. The fine assist from Bale reminded me of the ball that Sergio Ramos delivered to Morata in the recent Spain-Italy game. Cristiano, was of course lurking in the area, eager to mark his comeback with a goal and one could sense his thirst for for more throughout the match. In the end he had to make do with just another strike from the penalty spot and had a goal ruled out for a correct offside decision.
Goal scoring machine
A striker has goal scoring in their DNA and a natural born striker can intuitively sniff out where the goal is coming from. This is integral in making Cristiano the remarkable marksman that he is and it's no coincidence that for five seasons running he's the top scorer in the Champions League with an overall total of 107 strikes in the competition. This is also why Real Madrid have noted his absence in the opening LaLiga games and why the five match ban was received so poorly at the Santiago Bernabeu offices when formally announced (despite the player being in the wrong). This is why Madrid have seen four points escape at home and why they look at Sunday's visit to San Sebastian with trepidation with the Portuguese player having to sit out the last match of his ban.
The Cardiff Express
It was interesting to watch Gareth Bale too last night with the Welsh international playing the first half in his natural left win position. In the second period, he moved to a more central role and was a target man for crosses. He performed in an orderly fashion as did the Real Madrid team in general but once again as he left the pitch one could sense a division in opinion to his contribution with applause from the active supporters in the south stand and whistles from random areas of the stadium. The problem being is the is ongoing feeling that he still receives preferential treatment after all these years. If he was handled by both coach and president as just another player this wouldn't occur but the aura that he is an untouchable is his undoing as he has still yet to attain that badge of honor and that goes some way in explaining the fans reaction.
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