Real Madrid defeat Granada 3-0, Barcelona edge out Valencia 1-0
By Joseph Wilson ,AP
September 4, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
BARCELONA -- Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice before injuring his leg to steer Real Madrid to a 3-0 home win over Granada on Sunday, the defending champions' first victory after three rounds of the Spanish season.
Barcelona, meanwhile, edged out Valencia 1-0 thanks to Adriano's first-half screamer to remain perfect after three games and lead the standings.
Madrid displayed little of the attacking flair it unleashed to topple Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup earlier this week, but Ronaldo's first league goals this season proved more than enough against the modest talents of Granada.
Ronaldo scored in the 26th and 54th minutes before leaving the pitch grimacing and favoring his left leg following a tackle by Borja Gomez that cost the Granada defender a second booking.
The Portugal striker didn't celebrate his goals.
“I am a little sad. When I don't score goals I am not happy,” Ronaldo said, enigmatically adding that he was displeased for “professional” reasons with “people inside the club.”
With Granada down a man, Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 76th to seal the much-needed win. Madrid had only one point after the first two rounds. It trails Barcelona by five points.
“Ronaldo is an important player for us, he is our goal-scorer,” Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. “I hope he takes advantage of (this week's) international break and gets better soon.”
Barcelona had the chance to decide the game after Adriano's goal, but Cesc Fabregas missed two clear chances and the hosts struggled to protect their slimmest of leads in the final minutes.
One of the few bright spots for Barcelona was former Arsenal player Alex Song, who fit in seamlessly with his new team, not erring in passes and providing a defensive presence in midfield.
Also Sunday, Athletic Bilbao beat Valladolid 2-0 for the Basques first win of the season. Sevilla drew 0-0 at Rayo Vallecano, and 10-man Levante came from behind to win 3-2 against visiting Espanyol.
In his first start for Madrid since joining from Tottenham, Luka Modric looked eager to justify his 35-million-euro (US$44 million) price tag. The Croatia playmaker drew an early save from Antonio “Tono” Rodriguez and combined well with his new teammates.