Ronaldo scores five as Real Madrid destroy Granada 9-1
Cristiano Ronaldo scored an eight-minute hat-trick in a five-goal individual haul as Real Madrid thrashed Primera Division strugglers Granada 9-1 at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Gareth Bale went some way to silencing his critics with a 25th-minute opener after rounding the keeper before Ronaldo took centre stage and propelled Real to a 4-0 half-time lead with strikes in the 30th, 36th and 38th minutes.
A second-half flurry of three goals in four minutes then saw Karim Benzema add Real's fifth in the 52nd minute before Ronaldo headed in his fourth of the match soon after. Benzema then slotted his second and the host's seventh in the 56th minute.
Robert Ibanez pulled one back for Granada in the 74th but it proved to be only a small consolation for the visitors, especially as a calamitous own goal by Diego Mainz leaked an eighth at the other end before the irrepressible Ronaldo claimed his fifth in the 90th minute.
The result saw Carlo Ancelotti's side close the gap on league leaders Barcelona to a point, before Luis Enrique's side beat Celta Vigo 1-0, while Granada remained entrenched in the bottom three, three points from safety.
In stark contrast to Real Madrid's free-flowing goals fest, Barcelona made hard work of their riposte and had to rely on a late headed goal from Jeremy Mathieu to restore their four-point lead in the standings.
Celta Vigo finished the game with 10 men after Fabian Orellana was shown a straight red card for throwing a piece of turf at Sergio Busquets in the 88th minute.
Red-hot Valencia were frustrated in their bid to reclaim third spot back off Atletico Madrid as they were held to a goalless draw by local rivals Villarreal.
Los Che, looking for a seventh win in eight matches, created the better of what few chances were on show at the Mestalla but could not find a way past visiting keeper Sergio Asenjo.
Elsewhere, Getafe moved seven points clear of the relegation zone by beating fellow strugglers Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 at home.
Alexis Ruano and Sergio Escudero both scored their first goals of the season to give Pablo Franco's side a two-goal lead at half-time, but the Galicians produced a much better performance after the break and had several chances to score before substitute Toche pulled a goal back in the 78th minute.