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.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

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.