La Liga: Ronaldo scores 5 as Real Madrid hammer Espanyol 6-0
Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal scored five goals for the side for the second time as the team routed Espanyol 6-0 in the La Liga on Saturday.football Updated: Sep 13, 2015 21:57 IST
Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal scored five goals for the side for the second time as the team routed Espanyol 6-0 in the La Liga on Saturday.
Held scoreless in the first two rounds, Ronaldo exploded with a blistering hat trick in the seventh, 17th and 20th minute before setting up Karim Benzema to make it 4-0 before halftime in Barcelona. The Portugal forward added two more goals in the second half against the hosts' demoralised defense.
Ronaldo scored five goals for the first time in a 9-1 win over Granada on April 5. On top of this, he has also scored four goals in a single match on three occasions for Madrid. Ronaldo's latest scoring feat moved the Ballon d'Or holder into fourth place on the Spanish league's all-time scoring list. His total of 231 goals takes him past Madrid greats Alfredo di Stefano (227) and Raul Gonzalez (228). Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds the record with 285.
"In this case the numbers speak for themselves," said Madrid coach Rafael Benitez. "I hope that Cristiano continues to score goals for both his benefit and ours. He could have scored even more today."
Madrid bettered its 5-0 crushing of Real Betis from the last round -- to go with a scoreless draw at Sporting Gijon in the season opener -- before Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid later in a clash between the last two league champions. Madrid starts its Champions League campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Ronaldo's first goal was set up by a long pass from Luka Modric, who spotted his run into the gap on the left flank. Ronaldo did the rest by slotting a right-footed shot inside the far post. Gareth Bale set up three of Ronaldo's goals, starting with a spot kick after the Welshman was fouled by Alvaro Gonzalez in the area. Ronaldo fired in the penalty past outstretched goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
Bale then crossed for Ronaldo, who outmuscled Gonzalez and grabbed his third goal that put the result beyond doubt. Bale also played a part in Benzema's goal in the 28th. Ronaldo received Bale's through ball and sent it across the goal for Benzema to tap home. Benzema almost grabbed a second goal with a strike that hit the post two minutes before halftime.
Ronaldo was all alone to turn in Bale's pass in the 61st and take his fifth from substitute Lucas Vazquez's assist in the 81st.
Both teams wore T-shirts with the slogan 'Solidarity for the Refugees' before the match in support of aid efforts to help refugees arriving in Europe.
Valencia also visit Sporting Gijon later, while Real Sociedad is at Betis.
First Published: Sep 12, 2015 22:53 IST