Ronaldo hat-trick sinks Sociedad as Real Madrid flex their muscles

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 7,552

Pin Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real cruised to victory over Sociedad. AFP
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real cruised to victory over Sociedad. AFP

Ronaldo hat-trick sinks Sociedad as Real Madrid flex their muscles

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 7,552

A hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo and goals from Lucas Vazquez and Toni Kroos helped Real Madrid to a resounding 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Saturday, with Jon Bautista and Asier Illarramendi getting consolations for the visitors.

Real Madrid went into the game without Gareth Bale, Nacho and Casemiro in their starting lineup, all of whom were rested ahead of the visit of PSG in midweek.

Despite their inconsistent recent form, ‘Los Blancos’ were red hot this time out scoring four goals by half-time as they blew away their opponents.

Such was their start to the game that the hosts took the lead after just 48 seconds. Cristiano Ronaldo showed good footwork down the right to find space to cross for Lucas Vazquez who did the rest by guiding a header past Geronimo Rulli in the visiting goal.

It was the perfect start and Zinedine Zidane’s side went for the throat from there on out.

Karim Benzema saw an effort come back off the post but as the game approached the half-hour mark the Spanish champions took complete control.

With 27 minutes gone Ronaldo doubled the lead, steering home Marcelo’s cutback from the left.

In the 10 minutes that followed Real were camped in their opponents’ box. First, Benzema saw an effort deflected behind for a corner after Ronaldo had rounded Rulli, before the Portuguese rattled the post immediately after.

That was merely a sighter though as Madrid scored two quickfire goals.

Toni Kroos showed his technique to curl home first time from the edge of the box after being fed by Vazquez, before turning provider as Ronaldo rose highest to nod home the German’s corner to put Real Madrid four goals to the good.

As half-time approached it could have been five, but for the intervention of defender who managed to block Marco Asensio’s effort away when the youngster had the goal at his mercy.

With that, Real were made to do with a four-goal lead at the break and the second half was understandably played at a snail’s pace, as Real looked to save their legs for the PSG clash.

Real Sociedad went about restoring some pride in the second half and went close when Juanmi met a corner from the left but his effort clipped the post on the way behind.

- Late surge of goals - 

Despite large portions of the second half yielding little action, there was still time in the game for three goals in the last 16 minutes.

The Basques did manage to get on the scoresheet in the end, with substitute Jon Bautista finding space in behind before slotting past Keylor Navas at his near post.

That only seems to anger Madrid though, who quickly restored their four-goal cushion. Sub Gareth Bale's effort was parried straight into the path of Ronaldo by Rulli and the 33-year-old kept his cool to round the Argentine and tap into the empty net.

With just seven minutes to go though Sociedad reduced the arrears once again as former Real Madrid man Asier Illarramendi was left unmarked to sweep home from six yards.

The home side had further chances late on as both Ronaldo and Benzema squandered gilt-edged opportunities, but it was a comfortable win regardless for Zidane and co.

The win means Madrid move into third place in La Liga ahead of Valencia, with 'Los Che' not playing until Sunday.

Attention will now turn to Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash with French giants PSG.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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