NEWS
Saturday February 10 2018
Ronaldo hat-trick routs La Real

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 43rd hat-trick in Spanish football as Real Madrid dispatched Real Sociedad 5-2 in their Champions League warmup.

See how the action unfolded at the Santiago Bernabeu with our liveblog!

Four goals in 37 minutes fired Madrid out of sight, with La Real already in damage-limitation territory and Ronaldo grabbing his third late on, although Jon Bautista and Asier Illarramendi against his former club punished two poor pieces of Blancos defending.

Madrid rested Gareth Bale and Casemiro and switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the visit of La Real, who were without top goalscorer Willian Jose.

Los Blancos held a dominant record against the Basques, winning 14 of their previous 18 meetings, among them a 3-0 victory at Anoeta back in September.

That continued with not even a minute on the clock, when Lucas Vazquez met Cristiano Ronaldo's cross and looped a header over Gero Rulli.

They doubled their lead barely midway through the first half as Marco Asensio turned magnificently to release Marcelo on the overlap, the Brazilian's cutback then being finished off by Ronaldo.

Just three minutes later, Toni Kroos was found unmarked on the edge of the Basques' box, the German proceeding to curl home an unstoppable effort, before Ronaldo climbed highest to make it 4-0.

Madrid could've gone in with an even-bigger advantage, but Karim Benzema's close-range finish was blocked last ditch and Ronaldo knocked a cross on to the post.

With Los Merengues ahead by a considerable distance, the tempo dropped just as much in the second half, although La Real substitute Bautista did manage to pull one back, poking a finish past Keylor Navas after he sprung the hosts' offside trap.

Ronaldo went on to restore Madrid's four-goal lead, three of which were his, as he swept up the rebound from Bale's spilled shot, but Illarramendi slid home from a corner to cap off a memorable return to the Bernabeu.

Despite conceding twice, Zinedine Zidane's troops should've scored two more before the evening was out, but Ronaldo couldn't guide his free header on target, while Benzema ballooned a one-on-one with Rulli seconds before the final whistle.

Paris Saint-Germain are next team to visit the Bernabeu as Madrid's Champions League last-16 tie with them kicks off on Wednesday.

Real Madrid 5-2 Real Sociedad

Vazquez 1, Ronaldo 27, 37, 80, Kroos 37 (RM) Bautista 74, Illarramendi 83 (RS)

Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Vazquez (Isco 63), Modric (Kovacic 63), Kroos, Asensio (Bale 73); Benzema, Ronaldo

Real Sociedad: Rulli; Odriozola, Aritz, Raul Navas, De la Bella; Prieto, Illarramendi, Zurutuza (Zubeldia 60); Canales (Bautista 60), Juanmi (Guridi 83), Oyarzabal

Referee: Hernandez Hernandez

Football Italia website