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Rediff.com  » Sports » La Liga: Ronaldo treble as Real hit eight, Atletico held

La Liga: Ronaldo treble as Real hit eight, Atletico held

September 21, 2014 10:21 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates with his teammate James Rodriguez

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates with his teammate James Rodriguez after scoring his team's sixth goal during the La Liga match against RC Deportivo La Coruna. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 27th career hat-trick and Gareth Bale struck twice as Real Madrid bounced back in style from consecutive defeats with a thumping 8-2 La Liga win at Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Champions Atletico Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Celta Vigo, who took the lead through an audacious backheel by Pablo Hernandez and fought back from 2-1 down to earn a deserved point.

Portugal captain Ronaldo, the World Player of the Year, put Real ahead with a 29th-minute header at the Riazor before new signing James Rodriguez evoked memories of his dazzling performances for Colombia at this year's World Cup with a stunning strike in the 36th.

The Golden Boot winner at the finals in Brazil with six goals, Rodriguez picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and whipped a curling left-foot effort into the far corner past Depor goalkeeper German Lux.

Lux gifted Real, who were looking to avoid a third consecutive La Liga defeat, a slapstick third shortly before halftime when he became stranded outside his area and let in Ronaldo to score his second.

Haris Medunjanin pulled a goal back for Depor from the penalty spot in the 50th minute after the referee ruled Sergio Ramos had handled before Bale squeezed a low shot in off the far post in the 66th.

The Wales winger, who has been in fine form in the opening weeks of the season, scored his second 16 minutes from time when he ran on to a pass from substitute Isco and clipped the ball over Lux into the far corner.

Ronaldo, Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF is brought down by Juan Dominguez, left, and Modibo Diakite of RC Deportivo of RC Deportivo La Coruna during the La Liga match. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Ronaldo completed his hat-trick four minutes later, Jose Verdu headed a second for Depor in the 84th and Javier Hernandez came off the bench to score a fine quickfire double as the home side, promoted at the end of last season, crumbled.

The Mexican striker's first goal in the 88th minute was a powerful left-foot strike which flew into the top corner and his second was deflected into the net in the second minute of added time to complete the rout.

It was the first time Real had scored eight goals in an away match in La Liga and just the tonic the European champions needed after defeats by Real Sociedad and Atletico. They climbed to sixth in the table on six points from four games.

Atletico fell behind against Celta after 19 minutes when Hernandez nonchalantly stuck out his foot to divert a cross into the net from what looked like an impossible position.

Miranda swept the ball home at the near post to equalise and Atletico then went ahead before halftime thanks to a towering header from defender Diego Godin.

Nolito converted a 53rd-minute penalty to bring Celta level and they resisted a spell of intense pressure from Atletico in the dying minutes to hang on for a point.

Granada continued their fine start with a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao to move up to third on eight points from four games, the same record as second-placed Atletico.

Those two sides are one point behind leaders Barcelona who visit Levante on Sunday.

Espanyol's Uruguayan striker Christian Stuani struck with a header two minutes from time to put them 2-1 ahead against Malaga in the late game but Duda's stoppage-time free kick earned the visitors a draw that left Espanyol second-bottom.

Source:
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