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.