Real romp home after Ronaldo's hat-trick

Portuguese striker hits his 13th goal in sixth La Liga match this season as Athletic Bilbao are thrashed by Real Madrid.

    Ronaldo now has 22 hat-tricks in La Liga, a joint record [REUTERS]
    Ronaldo now has 22 hat-tricks in La Liga, a joint record [REUTERS]

    Cristiano Ronaldo took his tally for the La Liga season to a phenomenal 13 goals in six appearances with his third treble of the campaign as Real Madrid romped to a 5-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao.

    A rampant Ronaldo, who equalled the La Liga record of 22 hat-tricks jointly held by Alfredo Di Stefano and Telmo Zarra, nodded Real in front from Gareth Bale's lofted centre in the third minute at the Bernabeu.

    Karim Benzema made it 2-0 four minutes before halftime when he headed home at a corner and Bale sped clear to set up Ronaldo for his second 10 minutes into the second half.

    The Portuguese World Player of the Year unselfishly squared for Benzema to make it 4-0 in the 69th and completed his treble two minutes from time when the ball bounced off his body into the net.

    Only a series of superb stops by Gorka Iraizoz in the Bilbao goal prevented a total embarrassment for the struggling Basque side as Real provided more evidence they have put an early-season stumble firmly behind them.

    The victory lifted Real above Atletico Madrid into fourth place on 15 points following the champions' 3-1 reverse at Valencia on Saturday.

    Barcelona lead on 19 points and became the first team to avoid conceding in their opening seven La Liga games thanks to Saturday's 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecano.

    Valencia are second on 17 points and Sevilla a point further back in third after they thrashed promoted Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 earlier on Sunday helped by a brace from Cameroon midfielder Stephane Mbia.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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