Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Ronaldo hat-trick lifts Real Madrid 10 points clear in Spain

Cristiano Ronado celebrates on his way to a hat-trick in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Story highlights

  • Real Madrid beat Levante 4-2 in La Liga clash
  • Cristiano Ronaldo grabs his sixth hat-trick of season
  • Victory lifts them 10 points clear of champions Barcelona
  • Valencia consolidate third with 4-0 win over Sporting Gijon

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed his sixth hat-trick this season as Real Madrid went 10 points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in Spain with a 4-2 home win over fourth-placed Levante.

Sunday's victory left Real in the driving seat to win the La Liga title following champions Barca's 3-2 defeat at Osasuna on Saturday.

Portugal star Ronaldo took his league tally to 27 goals this season with another superb display, but Gustavo Cabral gave Levante a surprise early lead in the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, leveled from the penalty spot following a handball by Vicente Iborra, who was also sent off for his second yellow card.

Ronaldo headed home a Gonzalo Higuain cross after 49 minutes and then completed his 13th hat-trick for Real with a thunderous drive that took him past legendary Hungarian forward Ferenc Puskas and into second place behind Alfredo di Stefano's total of 22 trebles for the club.

Brave Levante pulled one back through Arouna Kone's header, but France forward Karim Benzema sealed three points for Jose Mourinho's men with a fourth after 65 minutes.

    Mourinho cautioned against thinking the title is already won despite opening such a big gap over Barca.

    "The mathematics tell us that to consider this league won, it's necessary to get another 39 points, that's 13 wins," he told AFP.

    Earlier, third-placed Valencia moved eight points clear of the chasing pack with a 4-0 victory over struggling Sporting Gijon, ending a run of five league matches without a win.

    Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring in the 34th minute, and his 73rd-minute effort was deflected in for an own-goal by Alberto Botia.

    Substitute Jonas Goncalves scored twice in injury time as Valencia moved to within eight points of Barcelona, while Gijon remained second from bottom.

      Football Focus

    • After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.