Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd La Liga hat-trick, equalling the current record held by Alfredo Di Stefano and Telmo Zarra, as Real Madrid demolished Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid wasted no time, taking just two minutes to get the first goal of the game. A cross from Gareth Bale found its way to Ronaldo, who headed home. Ronaldo has started the season in great form and the header was his 11th La Liga goal already this season.
Madrid had to wait until late on in the first half to grab their second. It eventually came in the 41st minute, when Luka Modric’s corner found front-man Karim Benzema. The Frenchmen leaped the highest and managed direct the ball on target with his head, making it 2-0 as the teams went in for half time.
Just ten minutes into the second half, Gareth Bale used his blistering pace to get away from the Bilbao defence on the right wing. The Welsh winger played the ball across the box, leaving Ronaldo with a simple finish to make it 3-0.
Despite constantly making the headlines for the goals he scores, Ronaldo turned provider for Madrid’s fourth. In the 69th minute Ronaldo ran onto a through ball from Luka Modric, as he arrived in the box he unselfishly squared the ball to Benzema, who put it away for his second. Madrid were tearing the Bilbao defence to pieces.
Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with just two minutes of normal time remaining, with a goal that he didn’t really know much about. From a short corner, Isco played a delicately placed chip into the box, which found its way onto Pepe’s boot before bouncing against Ronaldo into the back of the net. Definitely one of his easier goals, but a goal nonetheless.
The Ballon d’or winner has now scored thirteen goal in just six games this season. He has also scored in every home game for Real Madrid since late September 2013.
The win sees Real Madrid move up to fourth place in the La Liga table, just four points behind current leaders Barcelona. In contrast, Bilbao sit joint bottom with Cordoba and Deportivo on just four points.
It’s surely only a matter of time before Ronaldo breaks the hat-trick record.