Ronaldo nets hat-trick for Real Madrid to keep Barcelona at arm's length

Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo hit another hat-trick as they thumped Atletico Madrid 4-1 in last night's derby.

Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo hit another hat-trick as they thumped Atletico Madrid 4-1 in last night's derby.

Ronaldo scored his seventh hat-trick of the season as Real went four points clear of second-place Barcelona.

The Portuguese's swerving 30-yard free-kick that gave the visitors the lead on 25 minutes was a rare moment of quality in a disjointed first half.

Things livened up after the break when Radamel Falcao headed in from Adrian Lopez's cross, but Real responded positively and after wasting a host of opportunities they retook the lead when Ronaldo dipped another stunning effort over Thibaut Courtois 22 minutes from time.

The former Manchester United man then rounded off his hat-trick with a penalty on 82 minutes and Jose Maria Callejon added a fourth five minutes later.

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