Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th Goal!
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th career goal as Real Madrid laboured to victory over Celta Vigo and reduced the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Celta had wasted a number of chances before Karim Benzema capitalised on shoddy defending by prodding home.
Ronaldo, who had been largely anonymous, then made sure of victory by converting Daniel Carvajal’s cross.
And in the dying seconds of the match, Ronaldo added gloss to the scoreline after being put through by Gareth Bale.
Bale, a 65th minute substitute, found the former Manchester United man with a fine cross and Celta were helpless to prevent Ronaldo thumping into the roof of the net.
Ronaldo’s brace, which saw him become the fourth highest scorer in Real Madrid La Liga history, masked what had been a pedestrian performance by a Real side who are now five points adrift of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in third.
The Portugal captain has now scored 400 goals in 653 games in all competitions – taking his season’s tally to 28 – and it could be a memorable seven days for the Real forward as the Ballon d’Or award, for which he is favourite to win, is announced on 13 January.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off in memory of Portuguese great Eusebio. who died aged 71 from a heart attack at the weekend.
Ronaldo seemed to pay his own tribute to his much-loved compatriot by raising his arms to the sky after his second landmark goal.
It was not Ronaldo’s most polished performance, but he still managed to help Real clinch a handsome win.
Celta will look back and regret a number of missed opportunities, with Brazilian Charles the main culprit.
The striker hit the side netting early on and fluffed another chance after the break, shooting wide with just Diego Lopez to beat.
Moments later the visitors paid the price for their profligacy when Benzema took advantage of a mix up in the Celta defence to stab the ball home.
The goal lifted Real’s spirits with Ronaldo dragging a shot across goal before he found the target moments later with a toe-poke at the far post.
Celta’s threat diminished from there on and once again they failed to contain Ronaldo as he struck for the 400th time in a Real shirt.
Bale, who returned to training last week after recovering from a calf injury, was the provider with Welshman making another telling contribution for his new club.