Ronaldo hattrick keeps Real on Barca’s heels
Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first ever hattrick for Real Madrid to move onto 25 goals of the season as Real came from behind to win 4-1 at Real Mallorca to move a point behind Barcelona and ensure the title race goes down to the wire.
“I have to thank my team-mates for helping me to settle and score so many goals,” said Ronaldo. “There was a bit of pressure with Barcelona winning but we scored three in the second half to win the match.
“We hope Barcelona drop points at Sevilla and all we can do is beat (Athletic) Bilbao at home. We hope and really want to be champions.”
Aritz Aduriz had put Champions League hopefuls Mallorca into a 16th-minute lead but Ronaldo took advantage of a defensive mix-up to equalise ten minutes later and struck again on 57 minutes.
A fine mazy run and finish on 72 minutes capped his first Real hat-trick and his haul of 25 goals is all the more impressive when one considers he was out injured for two months.
A Gonzalo Higuain chip completed the scoring on 81 minutes and the Argentine has 26 goals for the season, five behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi on 31.
With two games left, Barca hold a one-point lead over Real and have a tough trip to Sevilla on Saturday while Madrid are at home to Athletic Bilbao.