Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 50th hat-trick of his career as Real Madrid emerged 6-3 victors in a pulsating encounter with Girona on Sunday.
A nine-goal thriller was served up in the Spanish capital, with Ronaldo extending his incredible run to 18 strikes in his last nine games, although Cristhian Stuani added two more to his seasonal tally.
Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale were missing from the Madrid XI against Girona, who condemned Los Blancos to a shock 2-1 defeat during the two sides' first-ever meeting back in October.
However, Ronaldo made sure there was no repeat performance, taking just 11 minutes to tuck away Toni Kroos’ pinpoint cutback.
Madrid were pegged back before half-time through Stuani, who magnificently glanced home a cross for his 16th goal of the season – equalling the number he scored in two seasons with Middlesbrough.
Nonetheless, Ronaldo restored his side’s lead almost immediately after the restart, smashing Karim Benzema’s layoff in off the crossbar.
The Portuguese then went from scorer to provider, teeing up Lucas Vazquez for Madrid’s fourth, although Stuani helped himself to another header, making it even more criminal that Boro used the Uruguayan on the right wing.
Ronaldo was on hand to finish off the rebound to Benzema’s saved shot, before Bale came off the bench to wrap up a through ball from fellow substitute Modric.
That was followed by the Catalans pulling back their third goal, Juanpe climbing highest to beat Keylor Navas from a corner, but Ronaldo would have the final say as he slid home Kroos' low cross.
Real Madrid 6-3 Girona
Ronaldo 11, 47, 64, 90, Vazquez 59, Bale 86 (RM) Stuani 29, 67, Juanpe 88 (G)
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Vazquez, Kovacic (Modric 71), Kroos, Asensio (Bale 70); Benzema (Isco 83), Ronaldo
Girona: Bono; Ramalho, Bernardo, Juanpe; Maffeo (Aday 83), Pons, Granell, Mojica; Portu, Stuani (Olunga 87), Borja (Lozano 69)
Referee: Gil Manzano