Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals season as Real Madrid defeated Espanyol 6-0 in the Cornella El Prat stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Portuguese striker needed just 20 minutes to score his hat-trick and ease worries about poor early season form as his side cruised to a comfortable win against a rival which rarely threatened, Xinhua reported.
Only seven minutes were on the clock when he latched onto a ball over the top of the Espanyol defence from Luka Modric before running into space and slotting the ball in at the far post past Espanyol goalkeeper Pau.
The second came from the penalty spot ten minutes later after Gareth Bale’s pace in the penalty area drew a rash challenge from Alvaro and Ronaldo stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Bale was at the heart of Ronaldo’s third of the game in the 20th minute. The Welshman received the ball in his favourite left channel and curled a cross behind the Espanyol cross for the Real Madrid number 7 to score from close range.
Ronaldo then turned provider as Karim Bemzema made it 4-0 in the 28th minute. Bale and Ronaldo exchanged passes and Ronaldo slid the ball across the Espanyol goal for Benzema to score a tap in.
Benzema hit the woodwork before half-time with a shot which rattled the post and bounced back into Pau’s grateful arms.
With the points in the bag, Rafael Benitez had the luxury of being able to rest players in the second half and Mateo Kovacic replaced Modric with 35 minutes remaining.
Bale set up Ronaldo for another tap in to make it 5-0 in the 62nd minute before Lucas Vazquez replaced Benzema. Rafael Varene also got a run out, but only after Kaylor Navas had produced a great save from Gerard Moreno and Salva Sevilla hit the rebound wide when it seemed easier to score.
All that was left was Ronaldo to net his fifth of the game after good work from Lucas to prove rumours of his demise were very much unfounded.