| Real Madrid stars Ronaldo and Luis Figo take a break from practice in Madrid on Monday, ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Belgian side Genk in which the Brazilian is expected to make his debut for the Spanish giants. (AFP)
Paris: Mighty Real Madrid went on a four-goal rampage to maintain their perfect start to the Spanish season and immediately handed coach Vincente del Bosque a selection headache over his 45-million-euro striker Ronaldo.
The Brazilian World Cup winner has yet to play for his new club after his summer move from Inter Milan and has been tipped to make his long-awaited appearance in Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Belgian side Genk.
However, Real provided plenty of evidence that they can perform without the Brazilian superstar in their 4-1 victory over Osasuna. Ivan Helguera struck twice with Guti and Raul completing the job as real made it two wins from two in their domestic campaign — a victory achieved without the services of the injured Zinedine Zidane.
“One thing is clear — I won’t have any excuses for not scoring because there will be passes from the right, the left, from behind,” was Ronaldo’s view as he looked ahead to Wednesday.
Celta Vigo are still the leaders in Spain with three wins in three games, the only 100 per cent record in the league so far, after beating Recreativo 3-0 with goals from Alexander Mostovoi, who was on target twice, and Benni McCarthy in the last minute.
Champions Valencia are second after a 2-2 draw at Malaga on Sunday where they had to come back from 2-0 down with Miguel Angel Angulo handing his side a point in the last minute.
Barcelona also have seven points from three games after Patrick Kluivert and Luis Enrique scored the goals in a 2-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.
AC Milan blank Perugia
In Italy, Filippo Inzaghi, Paolo Maldini and Clarence Seedorf gave AC Milan a 3-0 win over Perugia while Juventus striker Alessandro del Piero grabbed both goals in the 2-0 win at Empoli to leave the champions second.
Piacenza’s Dario Hubner and Enzo Maresca got the goals in their 2-0 victory over Udinese to keep them up with the pacesetters in third spot while Inter Milan won 2-1 at Reggina with goals from Christian Vieri and Uruguayan Alvaro Recoba.
But while they were celebrating, there was misery at the Olympic Stadium where AS Roma suffered their second league defeat losing 2-1 to promoted Modena.
Fabio Capello’s former champions also lost at Bologna in the opening day last weekend and then were crushed 3-0 by Real Madrid at home in the Champions League.
Skipper Francsco Totti gave Roma a fourth minute lead from the penalty spot but Modena hit back with an Omar Milanetto spot-kick just before the break with Giuseppe Sculli clinching a 79th minute winner.
To make matters worse, Roma also had Christian Panucci sent off for dissent in the 44th minute.
Bayern consolidate lead
Bayern Munich fought back to beat Energie Cottbus 3-1 to consolidate their lead at the top in Germany.
Munich, beaten 3-2 at home by Deportivo la Coruna in the Champions League midweek, bounced back from a goal down to add another three points as they go for their 18th domestic league title.
Energie Cottbus went ahead in the 19th minute through Paulo before Alexander Zickler, Michael Ballack and Brazilian Giovane Elber made sure of the points.
Meanwhile, Hansa Rostock lost to visitors Borussia Dortmund 1-0 through a 13th minute Jan Koller goal but stay in second spot on goal difference from Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen.
Schalke 04 had a 2-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach with Christian Poulsen and Victor Agali on target.
Werder Bremen beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 with all the goals coming in a whirlwind first half.
Nice stay ahead
In France, Nice stayed ahead of Auxerre as both remained unbeaten in six matches.
The demands of midweek Champions League duties appeared to have taken its toll on champions Lyon after they went down 1-3 to a spirited Monaco side.
Shabani Nonda opened the scoring for Monaco with a spectacular lob before Ludovic Giuly made it 2-0.
Lyon finally reduced the arrears when defender Florent Laville headed home a corner by Brazilian midfielder Juninho.
However, Souleymane Camara of Senegal humiliated the champions with some nice play to score the visitors’ third in the final minute.
Nice snatched a 1-0 home win against Troyes with Christophe Meslin scoring the penalty spot winner.
Auxerre beat Sedan 3-1 with Zimbabwean Benjamin Mwaruwarua on target twice.