| Real Madridís Ronaldo shoots past Alavesí Antonio Karmona during their Spanish League match at Vitoriaís Mendizorroza Stadium Saturday. (Reuters)
Madrid: Ronaldoís brilliant hattrick helped Real Madrid to a 5-1 away win over a demoralised Alaves and took the team top of the Spanish first division league Saturday.
Raul weighed in with two trademark opportunist strikes to put the pressure on Real Sociedad who will have to win their match at Valladolid to recover the top spot.
Alaves began in ambitious mood and pushed forward deep into the Real Madrid half in search of an early goal. But they left too many gaps at the back and Real were able to take advantage when Raul launched a lightning break on 12 minutes.
The striker slipped the ball to Ronaldo who mesmerised the Alaves defence with three quick step-overs before drilling into the far corner past Richard Dutruel with his left foot.
But just as Aalaves started to regroup, Real struck again. Dutruel failed to gather a cross from Oscar Minambres and Raul pounced on the loose ball to hit home from close ten minutes before the break.
Alaves threatened to claw their way back into the game but they received a hammer blow when the Raul-Ronaldo combination sprang into action once again midway through the second half.
Ronaldo outpaced the defence as he latched onto Raulís pass, then left a bemused former Barcelona teammate Abelardo flat on his back before finishing off by slotting home under Dutruel.
Ronaldo raced away unopposed to complete his first hattrick since joining Real with another perfect finish to bring his total for the season to 13.
Modena hold Parma
Struggling Modena picked up a useful point when they came back for a 1-1 draw in their derby match with Parma in Serie A on Saturday.
Parmaís Brazilian striker Adriano opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a brilliant individual goal, dribbling past two defenders, holding off a challenge and firing home a powerful left-foot drive.
But seventh-placed Parmaís lead lasted for just two minutes, Modena drawing level with a neat side-footed finish from Massimo Scoponi. Modena went closest to adding a second when Roberto Cevoliís header from an Omar Milanetto corner rebounded off the crossbar.
Brescia were held to a goalless draw at home to Bologna after their Brazilian defender Fabio Bilica was sent off just before the interval. (Agencies)