Liga - Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Real Madrid destroy Real Sociedad

La Liga, Bernabeu - Real Madrid 5 (Ronaldo 12, 26 pen, 76, Benzema 18, Khedira 36), Real Sociedad 1 (Griezmann 61)

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Liga - Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Real Madrid destroy Real Sociedad
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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad (Reuters)

Cristiano Ronaldo struck his 23rd hat-trick for Real Madrid as Real Sociedad were blown away at the Bernabeu.

Four goals in 24 first-half minutes did the majority of the damage, and the opener took just 12 minutes to arrive. Ronaldo had already cracked a shot against the visitors' bar, but he made no mistake when found in acres of space by Karim Benzema on the right hand side of the area - shooting across Claudio Bravo to spark a capitulation from Jagoba Arrasate's side.

Benzema himself netted the second just six minutes later, Ronaldo returning the compliment with a centre from the left that was converted clinically. Ronaldo then converted a penalty, awarded rather harshly for handball by Markel Bergara, Sociedad struggling to cope with their hosts' pace and power down the flanks.

The impressive Sami Khedira added the fourth nine minutes before half time, finishing well from Bale's first-time pass. The Welshman could have had a goal or two of his own in a first half completely dominated by Carlo Ancelotti's side.

The visitors improved after the interval, and in-form Frenchman Antoine Griezmann pulle don back on 61 minutes with a superb lofted finish from Carlos Vela's through ball. The same combination almost created another, Griezmann nudging just wide this time with only Diego Lopez to beat.

It was Ronaldo who had the final say, though, bending in a trademark free-kick from 25 yards 14 minutes from time. Alvaro Morata could have added to Sociedad's misery towards the end, missing from Ronaldo's centre, but nothing could detract from another irrepressible display by Real's Portuguese star.

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KEY MOMENTS:

8' CHANCE: Ronaldo dips a wicked, swerving 25-yarder from the left corner of the box, and it pings off the top of the bar

12' GOAL (Real Madrid 1-0 Real Sociedad) Karim Benzema crosses to Ronaldo, who controls and fires home

18' GOAL (Real Madrid 2-0 Real Sociedad)  Ronaldo feeds Benzema this time, and the Frenchman makes no mistake.

27' GOAL (Real Madrid 3-0 Real Sociedad) Ronaldo from the spot. Straight down the middle, but that did look like a harsh award. Bergara was sliding in to stop his cross/shot, the ball went beneath him and struck his arm. Hardly intentional and hardly much time to adopt a different body shape

36' GOAL (Real Madrid 4-0 Real Sociedad) . It's Khedira. Carvajal takes the ball forward and passes to Bale, whose neat first-time ball finds the German. His finish is emphatic, and he deserves it for the positions he's been taking up

62' GOAL (Real Madrid 4-1 Real Sociedad) That's a lovely goal from Griezmann. Vela plays the Frenchman through with a perfect left-footed ball, and his lofted finish is one that you'd associate more with the ex-Arsenal man

70' CHANCE: So close for Griezmann! He latches onto another fine Vela ball and touches the ball beyond Lopez - but it sneaks just wide

76' GOAL (Real Madrid 5-1 Real Sociedad) Ronaldo grabs his hat trick, curling in a superb 25-yarder in a position that is pretty much the equivalent of a penalty to him. Brilliant

88' CHANCE Terrible miss from Morata! The substitute shoots wide with the goal gaping after Ronaldo's cutback.

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Key stats

Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 23 hat tricks for Real Madrid

Real Madrid have now scored 18 times in their last four home meetings with Real Sociedad - in games that have yielded a total of 23 goals.

Antoine Griezmann has scored right goals in his last ten appearances for Real Sociedad.

Real Madrid have now scored 35 times in 13 La Liga games this season, putting them top of the goalscoring charts, and have netted 12 in their last two home fixtures.

Talking point: Have Real Madrid rediscovered their joie de vivre? They still look a little porous at the back, but they've scored at will in the last couple of weeks and their attacking players look increasingly comfortable with one another. No side in Europe can match their power and verve down the flanks, in particular, when they're in this kind of mood.

Man of the match:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - Three goals and an assist make this award almost obligatory, and the Portuguese was virtually unplayable for a 20-minute period before half time. Honourable mentions should go to Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso, though - both were outstanding before the break and set a tempo that Sociedad simply could not handle.

Player ratings:

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez 7, Carvajal 7, Pepe 6, Varane 6, Arbeloa 7, Khedira 8, Alonso 8, Modric 7, Bale 7, Ronaldo 9, Benzema 8. Subs: Illarramendi 6, Isco 7, Morata 6

Real Sociedad: Bravo 6, C Martinez 5, Gonzalez 5, I Martinez 5, Angel 6, Elustondo 5, Bergara 6, Xabi Prieto 5, Vela 7, Griezmann 7, Seferovic 5. Subs: Zurutuza 7, De la Bella 6, Ansotegi 6.

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