[QODLink]
Football
Ronaldo hat-trick inspires Real
A Cristiano Ronaldo treble gives Real Madrid a thumping 6-2 victory at Sevilla in Spain's Primera Division.
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2011 23:59
Ronaldo smashed his treble to propel Real back to the top of the Primera Division with a three-point advantage over bitter rivals Barca [GETTY]

Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick as Real Madrid brushed off Pepe's 44th-minute dismissal to secure a crushing 6-2 victory at Sevilla and move back above Barcelona to the top of the Primera Division on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho's side surrendered first place last weekend when they lost 3-1 at home to Barca in the opening 'Clasico' of the campaign but they go into the Christmas break with a three-point advantage over their great rivals after 16 matches.

Spanish and European champions Barca have been in action at the Club World Cup in Japan this week and meet Brazilian side Santos in the final on Sunday.

In form

Primera Division top scorer Ronaldo, whistled by his own fans and criticised by Spanish media after a poor performance in the 'Clasico', took his league tally this season to 20 goals, three more than Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

Results & fixtures

Saturday December 17

Mallorca 1-2 Getafe
Gijon 1-2 Espanyol
Bilbao 2-1 Zaragoza
Sevilla 2-6 Real Madrid

Sunday December 18

Atletico Madrid v Real Betis
Granada v Levante
Osasuna v Villarreal
Santander v Sociedad
Valencia v Malaga

Real were cruising at 3-0 in the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium after the Portuguese forward struck either side of a Jose Callejon effort before centre back Pepe was shown a second yellow card when he caught Alvaro Negredo with a flailing arm.

Real captain Iker Casillas had earlier produced two brilliant saves to deny Manu Del Moral and Piotr Trochowski and Del Moral squandered Sevilla's best effort when he somehow failed to score in front of an open goal with Real leading 1-0.

Real were forced to defend for long periods at the start of the second half but Sevilla were caught out in the 66th minute when Di Maria sped clear and stroked the ball past Javi Varas for the visitors' fourth.

Jesus Navas pulled one back for the home side in the 69th, Del Moral was shown a straight red card five minutes later for hacking down Alvaro Arbeloa and Ronaldo completed his treble with a penalty four minutes from time after a foul on Karim Benzema.

Substitute Hamit Altintop tapped in Real's sixth three minutes later before Sevilla striker Negredo rounded Casillas to make it 6-2 in the second minute of added time.

Sevilla stay fifth but will be overtaken by Malaga if the ambitious Qatar-owned club avoid defeat at third-placed Valencia on Sunday.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.