Cristiano Ronaldo nets four goals past Elche


Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals as Real Madrid eased to a 5-1 win over Elche in La Liga on Tuesday. Only three days after netting his 24th hat-trick for the club in their 8-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna, Ronaldo went one better at the Bernabeu. Real appear to have got their campaign back on track in a glut of goals and, although Edu Albacar gave Elche a surprise lead, Gareth Bale quickly equalised before Ronaldo stole the show. Coach Carlo Ancelotti gave a debut in goal to Costa Rica star Keylor Navas in place of Iker Casillas but his first meaningful action was to pick the ball out of the net. Ronaldo was unlucky to concede a penalty after catching Pedro Mosquera in the act of clearing the ball and Albacar found the top corner with 15 minutes gone. Real were a little fortunate not to find themselves facing a second spot-kick a couple of minutes later when Marcelo fouled Garry Rodrigues a fraction outside the box. But the hosts could breathe easier again when Bale exploited poor goalkeeping from Manu Herrera to head in the equaliser from James Rodriguez's cross in the 20th minute. Eight minutes later Ronaldo netted from the spot after what appeared another soft decision – referee Carlos Clos Gomez deciding Mosquera had felled Marcelo. And in the 32nd minute it was 3-1, Ronaldo heading in Marcelo's cross. The second half was played at a much more sedate pace until 10 minutes from time when Mario Pasalic was ruled to have brought down Ronaldo. Contact appeared minimal but Ronaldo had no hesitation in completing his hat-trick and, after Toni Kroos had hit the bar, the Portuguese superstar ran onto Bale's precise through ball to add a fifth in injury time.