Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo struck a superb hat-trick in last night's victory over Villarreal.

Ronaldo also set up another for Kaka as Real Madrid twice fought back from deficits to defeat Villarreal 4-2 in an entertaining encounter at the Bernabeu.

Villarreal led through goals from Cani and Marco Ruben during a hugely impressive first-half display, but they were pegged back each time by strikes from Ronaldo.

The second half belonged almost entirely to Madrid and Ronaldo gave the home side the lead they deserved with his third of the match 10 minutes from time, and two minutes later he provided the pass for the fit-again Kaka to score his first goal of the season.

The Brazil international has only just returned from a knee operation.

The victory means Madrid, who beat Villarreal 6-2 in last season's corresponding fixture, have now won 17 successive competitive matches at home and move back to within two points of leaders Barcelona.

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