Skip to main content

Ronaldo hat-trick lifts Real Madrid 10 points clear in Spain

updated 9:35 AM EST, Mon February 13, 2012
Cristiano Ronado celebrates on his way to a hat-trick in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Cristiano Ronado celebrates on his way to a hat-trick in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid beat Levante 4-2 in La Liga clash
  • Cristiano Ronaldo grabs his sixth hat-trick of season
  • Victory lifts them 10 points clear of champions Barcelona
  • Valencia consolidate third with 4-0 win over Sporting Gijon

(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed his sixth hat-trick this season as Real Madrid went 10 points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in Spain with a 4-2 home win over fourth-placed Levante.

Sunday's victory left Real in the driving seat to win the La Liga title following champions Barca's 3-2 defeat at Osasuna on Saturday.

Portugal star Ronaldo took his league tally to 27 goals this season with another superb display, but Gustavo Cabral gave Levante a surprise early lead in the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, leveled from the penalty spot following a handball by Vicente Iborra, who was also sent off for his second yellow card.

Ronaldo headed home a Gonzalo Higuain cross after 49 minutes and then completed his 13th hat-trick for Real with a thunderous drive that took him past legendary Hungarian forward Ferenc Puskas and into second place behind Alfredo di Stefano's total of 22 trebles for the club.

Brave Levante pulled one back through Arouna Kone's header, but France forward Karim Benzema sealed three points for Jose Mourinho's men with a fourth after 65 minutes.

Mourinho cautioned against thinking the title is already won despite opening such a big gap over Barca.

"The mathematics tell us that to consider this league won, it's necessary to get another 39 points, that's 13 wins," he told AFP.

Earlier, third-placed Valencia moved eight points clear of the chasing pack with a 4-0 victory over struggling Sporting Gijon, ending a run of five league matches without a win.

Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring in the 34th minute, and his 73rd-minute effort was deflected in for an own-goal by Alberto Botia.

Substitute Jonas Goncalves scored twice in injury time as Valencia moved to within eight points of Barcelona, while Gijon remained second from bottom.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT