Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo’s first ever five goal haul in the one match saw Real Madrid move to within a point of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a stunning 9-1 thrashing of Granada yesterday. Gareth Bale continued his fine form after bagging a brace for Wales last weekend by opening the scoring after 25 minutes.
Ronaldo then took over as he scored three times in eight minutes just after the half hour mark. Karim Benzema struck twice either side of Ronaldo’s fourth as Real added three more in a four-minute spell just after the break. Robert Ibanez grabbed a consolation for the visitors, but Diego Mainz’s own goal made it 8-1 before Ronaldo rounded off the scoring with a towering header.
Ronaldo’s quintuple takes him four clear of Lionel Messi in the race to be La Liga’s top goalscorer. “Cristiano has improved as the team has,” said Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti. “What more can I say about him? It is the first time he has scored five goals with Real Madrid which is great for him and for us looking forward to the next game.”
Madrid had only won one of their last four La Liga games before the international break, but Ancelotti was able to welcome back James Rodriguez for the first time in two months after recovering from a foot injury.
Atletico up to third with 2-0 win
La Liga champions Atletico Madrid moved up to third thanks to a routine win 2-0 away at Cordoba yesterday. Antoine Griezmann latched onto a poor pass from Bruno Zuculini to drill home the opener after just five minutes before Saul Niguez made it 2-0 six minutes before half-time on his return after a lengthy injury layoff.
Cordoba remain rooted to the foot of the table after a 10th consecutive defeat and there seemed little doubt that Atletico would secure their first away win since January from the moment Griezmann drove at the Cordoba defence and slotted home his 18th goal of the season.
Recounting Ronaldo’s high 5
>> A half-clearance falls to Ronaldo who passes to James Rodriguez. The latter flicks the ball back to Ronaldo, who finishes with his right foot
>> Real’s Marcelo runs down the left flank before crossing. ’keeper Oier’s weak clearance finds Ronaldo, who volleys home from 12 yards.
>> Ronaldo drives inside from the left before unleashing a 20-yard strike which Oier can’t save despite getting two hands to the ball
>> Marcelo’s cross from the left finds Gareth Bale, who squares it to Ronaldo, who heads into the empty net
>> After Bale is brought down outside the box, Modric lifts the free-kick to the left side of the post where Ronaldo heads it home for his fifth
Number of minutes Ronaldo took to score his first four goals against Granada
Number of hat-tricks Ronaldo has scored for Real Madrid in the La Liga
Number of hat-tricks Ron has scored this season