MADRID, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo were enough to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win away to struggling Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Ronaldo scored his two goals, the second of which was a penalty in the second half, while Iago Aspes gave hope to Celta after momentarily leveling the scores.
However, although Madrid took the points Celta had chances to take a point after Ronaldo's second goal and would be disappointed with their lack of efficiency in front of goal which has left them second from bottom of the league table.
While not exactly making wholesale changes to the side that qualified for the last eight of the Champions League, Real Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho totally altered his side's defense with Raul Albiol, Pepe, Marcelo and Michael Essien coming into the side.
Meanwhile Xabi Alonso, who has a groin problem was rested although Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema provided plenty of threat in attack.
Celta meanwhile knew what it was like to defeat Real Madrid in front of their fans this season after a 2-1 Copa del Rey win earlier this campaign and coach Abel Resino put his faith in Iago Aspes and veteran Quique de Lucas, who returned to the starting 11.
The home side kicked off second from bottom of the table after Mallorca's 2-1 win at home to Sevilla, but were quickly on the attack with Madrid keeper, Diego Lopez needing to maintain the form he had shown in Manchester on Tuesday to deny De Lucas and Alex Lopez, who produced a powerful volley from a corner kick.
De Lucas then curled a free kick just wide of the corner of the Real Madrid goal as the home side controlled the weight of the play in the opening 20 minutes, although they had a massive let off when Ronaldo opted to pass when through on goal when it looked easier to score.
Javi Varas then blocked from Benzema as the visitors showed some signs of life, before Albiol fired over the bar and Varas again did well to deny Javier Callejon with five minutes left in the first half, just before Benzema rattled the Celta bar with a header.
Celta were looking groggy and Varas had to make another low save from Ronaldo before the break.
Madrid had looked likely to score in the closing minutes of the first half and the big surprise after the break was that it didn't come until the 63rd minute and when it came it was with a large dose of fortune.
Callejon's shot rebounded off Ronaldo and fell kindly for the striker to fire past Varas. However, the lead lasted just two minutes as Aspas' shot deflected Pepe to level for the hosts.
Mourinho brought Kaka into the game and the Brazilian justified the change provoking the decisive penalty as he was brought down by Varas, who probably didn't need to make the challenge.
Ronaldo sent the penalty into the middle of the goal to decide the game, although both sides had chances to add further goals, with Gonzalo Higuain guilty of two bad misses and Celta substitute Park Chu Young hitting the bar in the last minute of the game.