Ronaldo treble fires Real Madrid to victory

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick as Real Madrid kept on the trail of leaders Barcelona with a 5-1 rout of Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

The visitors took a shock lead after 15 minutes through Riki but Madrid quickly bounced back with Ronaldo hitting his first from the penalty spot after Angel Di Maria was felled.

Real Madrid ace Ronaldo celebrates a goal against Deportivo on Sunday. Pic/AFP

It was Di Maria himself who put his team ahead and then Ronaldo got his second shortly before the break.

With Madrid controlling the game Pepe headed home and Ronaldo scored another penalty in the second half to complete the rout and remain eight points behind Barcelona who beat Sevilla 3-2 on Saturday.

Messi wary of Real threat ahead of Clasico
Barcelona superstar striker Leo Messi yesterday warned of Real Madrid’s rapid counter-attacking threat as the archrivals prepare for a Sunday showdown.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona, who lead the first division with eight points over sixth-placed Real, will face their rivals at the Camp Nou stadium on Sunday. “Madrid kill you in the counter-attack,” Messi said in an interview with daily El Pais.

“They have very fast forwards and the connection between defence and attack takes five seconds and then it’s a goal.”

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