Cristiano Ronaldo scored a record-breaking 23rd Spanish La Liga hat-trick as Real Madrid equalled the Spanish record of 18 successive victories by beating Celta Vigo 3-0 on a memorable night at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo opened the scoring with a penalty that he won himself in the 36th minute before netting twice more in the second half as he moved onto 200 La Liga goals for Madrid – having only joined the Spanish giants in 2009.
The Portugal superstar’s treble saw him go clear of Telmo Zarra and Alfredo di Stefano for the most La Liga hat-tricks, while also taking him to 23 goals in just 14 league games this season. The victory also saw Madrid move a step closer to another berth in the record books. Having last weekend broken their club record of 16 successive wins, the European champions have now equalled the all-time record by a Spanish team of 18 straight wins, set by Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona side in 2005 and 2006.
Atletico Madrid made light work of a trip to Elche, beating Fran Escriba’s struggling side 2-0 to record their fifth consecutive win in all competitions. Nineteen-year-old defender Jose Maria Gimenez netted an impressive first goal to put the visitors in front after 16 minutes, and Mario Mandzukic then doubled the advantage early in the second half.
This was far from a vintage performance from the champions, who managed just four shots on goal over the 90 minutes at the Estadio Martinez Valero. However, they did not have to deal with many threats from an Elche side who have now failed to win any of their last five competitive games.
Sergi Darder’s first-half strike was enough for Malaga as Deportivo La Coruna’s winless run continued with a 1-0 defeat at Riazor. Depo came into the match in the bottom three after five matches without a win and, although they may feel unfortunate not to get a share of the spoils, they simply were not clinical enough in front of goal.
Elsewhere, Cordoba edged hosts Athletic Bilbao 1-0 courtesy of Nabil Ghilas’ strike.