La Liga - Ronaldo grabs three in Zaragoza rout
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid cruised to a 6-0 victory over Real Zaragoza at the Estadio La Romareda.
Xabi Alonso notched Madrid’s third with a rocket from 25 yards and Ronaldo scored his second of the match just seven minutes later. Kaka then rifled the ball into the far corner after a jinking run before Ronaldo sealed his hat-trick with a tap-in to complete the demolition.
As expected, the visitors dominated from the start and looked to break down Zaragoza’s two banks of five. The task proved easier than it may have seemed as Madrid constantly created chances with intricate passing moves and individual moments of brilliance.
Ozil was the first to test the hosts’ keeper after latching onto a through ball before bearing down on goal. The German lacked conviction though, as he tamely toe-poked at goal from 18 yards. Roberto was out well to block the ball.
Karim Benzema then went very close as Madrid looked for an opener. The Frenchman skipped into the penalty area and fired towards the front post with his weaker left foot. The former Benfica keeper was again down smartly to his right to palm the ball away for a corner.
The breakthrough finally came seven minutes later as Benzema nicked the ball on the half way line to drive forward. The ball was shifted across to Ozil, who faked a number of passes to pick out Ronaldo’s darting run inside the penalty area. The Portuguese striker flicked the ball past the advancing keeper to set Madrid on their way
It was 2-0 after 28 minutes. Goal scorer turned part-creator as he surged into the penalty area before feeding the ball out wide to Ramos who crossed from the byline. Ronaldo shaped up for an overhead kick but pulled out as the ball dropped to the feet of Marcelo.
The Brazilian left back steadied himself before calmly sliding the ball into the right side of the net.
Madrid continued to improve in the second half as they added a further four goals. The hosts were completely devoid of creativity when going forward and resorted to efforts from distance.
Ronaldo went close after three second-half minutes with a neat run and fierce shot that flew narrowly wide.
Benzema and Di Maria were then guilty of lazy finishing as they were gifted chances from the Zaragoza backline.
Benzema should have scored when through one-on-one but could only shoot into the body of Roberto moments before Di Maria fired wide from seven yards with only the keeper to beat.
Paulo Da Silva did have a couple of chances for the hosts courtesy of some decent set plays, but headed wide, volleyed over and was also penalised for climbing when there was very little in it.
The first of the four second-half goals came after 64 minutes when Di Maria’s attempted volley from 15 yards cannoned off the legs of Javier Paredes into the path of Alonso on the edge of the penalty area. The former Liverpool man advanced towards the ball before sending a fierce effort into the bottom right-hand corner, leaving Roberto no chance.
The visitors were four goals clear just seven minutes later as they showed what a fantastic counter-attacking side they are. Ronaldo took the ball out of his own half and reached the edge of the Zaragoza box, squaring to Benzema. The forward then picked out Di Maria down the right who whipped the ball across the six yard box for the Madrid number seven to tap into an open net.
Substitute Jose Callejon should have scored with 10 minutes to go but dwelled on the ball deep inside the penalty area which allowed Roberto to close down the angle and make the stop.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho then introduced Kaka and the Brazilian made an instant impact, cutting in from the left, shaping past his man to smash the ball into the far corner.
With three minutes of normal time to play, Ronaldo grabbed his third of the game and his 14th in Madrid’s last five Liga matches.
The impressive Fabio Coentrao slipped Kaka in down the right with an excellent through ball, which allowed the Brazilian to shoot at goal. Roberto, who put in a man of the match performance for his side, despite conceding six, was only able to push the ball into the path of Madrid’s star man who converted from two yards.
With the win, Madrid go top and send out a real message to bitter rivals Barcelona, who being their Liga campaign against Villarreal on Monday night.