Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show with a four-goal haul as Real Madrid walloped Racing Santander 6-1 at home to restore their one-point La Liga lead.The winger struck twice in each half, with his fourth goal coming from a 55th-minute penalty, with Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil also netting.”I am really happy because I have never scored four goals,” said Ronaldo.Earlier, a Lionel Messi brace helped Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 2-0 as they temporarily assumed top spot.
Messi’s double, however, was eclipsed at the Bernabeu at the end of a week when Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney had been linked with a January transfer window reunion with Portuguese winger Ronaldo.
Rooney, of course, ultimately signed a new five-year contract but there is little doubt that Ronaldo is finally returning to the form that earned him the Fifa World Player of the Year award when playing alongside the England striker at Old Trafford in 2008.
Saturday’s goals take Ronaldo’s season tally to nine in the league, and 10 in all competitions after he scored in the 2-0 Champions League defeat of AC Milan on Tuesday.
Real’s resounding victory, which follows 6-1 and 4-1 wins over Deportivo La Coruna and Malaga, means Jose Mourinho’s side remain unbeaten in the league and have garnered a maximum 12 points from four home matches.
“Some of my team-mates were better than me but like the coach [Mourinho] says there is no reason to be euphoric,” added Ronaldo, who has scored eight goals in his last three games.
“There is a long way to go in the league although being top is important.”
After putting the home side in front in the 10th minute, Argentine striker Higuain turned provider five minutes later, crossing low as Ronaldo made no mistake with a simple tap-in.
Despite appearing to be offside, Ronaldo struck from close-range in the 26th minute, and he hit his hat-trick two minutes after the restart after latching on to an Angel Di Maria pass.
And when Argentine midfielder Di Maria was adjudged to have been fouled in the area in the 55th minute, Ronaldo obliged by despatching the spot-kick for his fourth.
German international Ozil completed the Real’s scoring before Papakouli Diop netted a deflected consolation for the hapless visitors, who are down to 16th in the table