Spain

Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla

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Ronaldo: Classy treble

Ronaldo: Classy treble

Cristiano Ronaldo fired a hat-trick to get Real Madrid back to winning ways as they thrashed Sevilla 4-1 on Saturday, with both sides finishing the game with 10 men.

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Karim Benzema opened the scoring after 18 minutes before Ronaldo took over, netting in the 26th, 46th and 59th minutes to put the Galacticos in a commanding position.

Soon after Higuain was sent for an early shower following a second bookable offence, but any hopes Sevilla had of using their numerical advantage to stage a stunning comeback soon disappeared though as Hedwiges Maduro picked up a second yellow card and subsequent red, with only Manu del Moral's late goal proving any sort of consolation.

The result left Jose Mourinho's men third in the standings,13 points points behind leaders Barcelona, who play Getafe on Sunday, while Sevilla remain mid-table with 29 points.

Madrid didn't start the game particularly well but found themselves ahead after a bizarre goal from Benzema.

Ronaldo fired the ball across the face of goal and Fernando Navarro inadvertently spun the ball out to Benzema, who rolled it over the line from what seemed an offside position.

There may have been a touch of good fortune about their opener, but there was no mistaking the quality of Real's second goal, Ronaldo skipping past two challenges before firing a stunning effort into the bottom corner of the Sevilla goal.

Ronaldo came close to grabbing his second goal of the evening just before the half time break when he fired over the bar from a tight angle, but he made amends for that missed effort just minutes after the restart, taking advantage of some shocking defending from Federico Fazio before slamming a clinical shot into the bottom corner.

Sevilla tried to put up a fight to pull a goal back, Gary Medel thumping a free kick straight into the wall, but it was Ronaldo's night and he made sure of that after 60 minutes, tapping home from close range after a pinpoint cross from Gonzalo Higuain.

Ronaldo was subbed five minutes after his third goal, to great applause from the Real Madrid faithful, but things turned sour momentarily just moments later as Higuain was sent off for a foul on Coke.

Sevilla struggled to capitalise upon their numerical advantage, with Alvaro Negredo firing wide of the target from close range, and moments later they also found themselves down to ten men, Maduro handed his marching orders for a foul on Michael Essien.

Despite that setback, Sevilla ended the match brightly, Manu del Moral bombing into the box before sending the ball into the bottom corner to grab a consolation goal.

The result may not do much for Madrid's chances of catching up with Barcelona, but it may have boosted their confidence ahead of this week's Champions League tie against United.

Posted: 09/02/13 21:19

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