BARCELONA, Spain — Cristiano Ronaldo erupted for his first five-goal game Sunday, ending all talk of a dry spell as he led a 9-1 demolition of Granada for Real Madrid to stay in touch with Spanish league leader Barcelona.
Ronaldo followed Gareth Bale’s opener by netting his first three goals in a stunning eight-minute span to decide the match before halftime at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Ballon d’Or holder added two more goals after the break — reaching 300 with Madrid — and Karim Benzema also netted a pair in one of the club’s most lopsided wins. Madrid hadn’t scored nine goals in a league match in 47 years. Its biggest league victory remains an 11-2 thrashing of Elche in 1960.
“Cristiano is a phenomenon,” Benzema said. “He is always on the lookout for goals and ways of helping the team.”
Madrid and the Spanish league said this was the first time Ronaldo had scored five goals in a match, and it came after a two-month stretch when the Portugal star had struggled to match his spectacular scoring rate in 2014.
Usually protective of his players, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Saturday that Ronaldo “had lowered his productivity” as Madrid surrendered the league lead.
Ronaldo responded in emphatic fashion by taking his tally to 47 goals in his 41st game of the season in all competitions.
Ronaldo’s outburst moved him ahead of Messi in their individual duel in the league scoring charts with 36 goals to the Barcelona forward’s 32.
It was Ronaldo’s 28th game with three or more goals for Madrid and increased his career tally with the club to 300 goals in 287 games. Only Alfredo Di Stefano with 308 goals in 396 games and Raul Gonzalez with 323 in 741 have more goals in Madrid’s history.
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