Ronaldo scores two on debut
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Brazilian superstar finally declared himself fit and Vicente Del Bosque gave him a place on the bench.
Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo gave Ronaldo the perfect platform with goals on two and 31 minutes.
The Frenchman showed no mean skill to skip past his marker before curling his shot home, while the Portuguese ace slotted home a penalty after Portillo was felled by Abelardo.
Alaves briefly rallied when Magno scored but it only provided Ronaldo with something to aim at.
The marksman did not disappoint, as he climbed off the bench to net the crucial third on 65 minutes, controlling a cross on his chest and firing past Richard Dutruel, before Figo slotted home his second 20 minutes from time.
If Ronaldo needed to impress, then he did not let the watching Madrid fans down as he netted his second with ten minutes remaining, latching onto a Steve McManaman pass, although Ivan Alonso did save some face for Alaves with a late consolation.
This was not a bad effort from a man who had not played a competitive match since Brazil lifted the World Cup in the summer, and will give the Samba star a lot of confidence following a series of niggling injuries in the last couple of months.
The spoils were shared in the Seville derby on Sunday evening, as Real Betis were pegged back by a spirited second-half fightback from Sevilla.
Betis starlet Joaquin opened the scoring on 18 minutes and they threatened to overwhelm their hosts.
They could not fashion a second goal, though, and Sevilla came out with renewed purpose after the break.
They showed passion and endeavour, and almost got themselves level at the start of the second period when they hit the woodwork twice in the space of five seconds.
Capi and Joaqiun were both denied for Betis, and it came as no surprise when Sevilla levelled the match.
The excellent Jose Reyes sent in a fine cross that caused panic in the Betis defence and Juanito turned the ball into his own net.
Real Sociedad have surprised many, and their fine run continued with a 2-1 home win over Valladolid.
Nihat Kahveci has started the season in fine form and he scored the opener on 65 minutes, with Valeri Karpin adding the second shortly afterwards.
Gonzalo Colsa gave the visitors hope with a goal on 71 minutes, but Sociedad held firm to claim the points.
A brace of goals by Javi Guerrero stunned La Riazor, as Racing Santander snatched a 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
Valencia surrendered their unbeaten record and top spot to Celta Vigo, who snatched a 90th-minute winner from Vagner. The match was a particularly hard-fought affair, with 11 players cautioned.
Valencia ace Ruben Baraja had penalties saved in both halves, while Vagner saw his spot kick saved by Santiago Canizares but fortunately was able to slot home the rebound.
Barcelona lost more ground in the Liga chase, as they were held to a 2-2 home draw by lowly Osasuna. Patrick Kluivert and Thiago Motta scored for the home side, but Osasuna were stubborn opponents and goals by Gerald Rivero and Leonel Gancedo frustrated the Camp Nou faithful.
Mallorca played the second half with 10 men after Fernando Nino was dismissed, but goals by Harold Lozano and Samuel Eto`o gave them a deserved 2-0 home win over Espanyol.
Atletico Madrid came down to earth with a bump, losing their unbeaten record with a 3-1 mauling at Malaga.
Malaga themselves are unbeaten and they produced a professional display to see off Atletico, with goals by Dely Valdez, Fernando Sanz and Manu.
Jose Mari netted a consolation for Atletico, a notable achievement as they had three men, Esteban, Demetrio Albertini and Emerson, sent off as the game descended into chaos.
Rayo Vallecano showed great spirit to come from two goals down to take a point from their home clash with Villarreal.
To view a match summary, click on a link below
Barcelona v Osasuna
Deportivo v Racing Santander
Malaga v Atletico Madrid
Mallorca v Espanyol
Rayo Vallecano v Villarreal
Real Madrid v Alaves
Real Sociedad v Real Valladolid
Sevilla v Betis
Valencia v Celta Vigo
For La Liga table click here