This day in history of Ronaldo
MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid kept up the pressure on league leaders Valencia thanks to Raul Gonzalez, who scored twice in the last 12 minutes to give Real Madrid a hard fought 3-1 victory over Racing Santander.
"You know that sometimes you are going to suffer in this game, and today was one of those days," said Real coach Carlos Queiroz.
Nevertheless, Real now have 19 points from eight games and lie in second place ahead of Saturday's late game which pits Deportivo, who started the weekend in second, against unbeaten Valencia.
Valencia have the same points as Real, but a better goal difference than the reigning Spanish champions, while Deportivo are just one point further back.
"It was a difficult game, we all know that. In the end we finished well and what I can say is that after we went a goal behind, we played with intelligence and patience," added Real's Portuguese boss.
Both of Raul's goals were easy strikes after others had done all the hard work but, to quote the old soccer saying, they all count.
He found the net from close range with 12 minutes to go after Luis Figo had managed to turn the ball back from the line.
Raul's fifth goal of the season came in the dying seconds of the game after Santiago Solari had his shot parried away by Racing keeper Ricardo Lopez and the ball fell to his feet for an easy tap into an empty goal.
However, it was the only mistake of the match by the former Manchester United man, who was ironcially playing under Real coach Queiroz at Old Trafford last season before his move to the Spanish capital.
Queiroz later put in a plea for his former player to add to his two Spanish caps.
"We could have had more goals but Ricardo was fantastic. He stopped strikes by Zidane Figo and Roberto Carlos in the last few minutes."
Racing's Israeli international Yossi Benayoun silenced the sell-out Santiago Bernabeu stadium by firing a Fernando Moran cross past Real goalie Iker Casillas on the half-volley after 15 minutes.
Zinedine Zidane levelled the scores 11 minutes later, with a right foot volley from a pass from Ronaldo, but Racing several times threatened to add a second goal before Raul got his brace of late goals.
Racing coach Lucas Alcaraz was naturally less-than-happy at the outcome, with Real often looking shaky in the midfield in the absence of the injured David Beckham.
"We deserved at least a draw. A scoreline like this leaves a sour taste in the mouth. We tried hard and I can't complain about the effort of my players," commented Alcaraz.
"Nor can I complain about the referee, and for once I am not being ironic," added the Racing coach.
Malaga won 2-1 over Real Zaragoza thanks to first half goals from Litos and Salva Ballesta, before the visitors got a late consolation two minutes from time from Goran Drulic.
However, the Costa Del Sol club's delight at getting three vital points was tempered by the fact that they are likely to be without their influential Portuguese midfielder Duda for several weeks.
Duda, who has started every Malaga game this season, was stretched off midway through the second half with a severely sprained right ankle.