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Ronaldo hat-trick as Madrid warm up for PSG with big win

AFP  |  Madrid 

bagged a hat-trick as Real warmed up for their showdown with Paris Saint-Germain with a big 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad in Zinedine Zidane's side have not scaled their usual heights this season and this was still not perfect, but they do look to be finding some form just in time for a potentially season-defining tie with the French side. They blew Real Sociedad apart in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu, taking the lead inside a minute through and finding themselves four goals to the good by the interval. got Real's other goal yesterday, as they made it three wins and a draw from their last four games, with 18 goals scored in that time. The defensive lapses that allowed the visitors to pull two goals back late on will be a concern for Zidane, though. are still a huge 16 points behind unbeaten league leaders Barcelona, but they are now back up to third above Valencia, who play Levante today. With the visit of PSG in mind, Zidane rested both Gareth Bale and Casemiro to hand starts to and Lucas Vazquez. The latter has played more games for under Zidane than anyone else and he opened the scoring after just 49 seconds, heading home a cross. Without their leading scorer due to injury, and with a dreadful past record at the Bernabeu, the visitors quickly crumbled. Asensio and Marcelo combined superbly to set up to make it 2-0 before the half-hour mark, and Kroos made it three with a trademark strike on his right foot from the edge of the area. then headed home a Luka Modric corner, and it could have been more than 4-0 at half-time, too, with Karim Benzema and both hitting the post from close range. They could not keep up the same intensity after the restart, however.

Instead, Juanmi headed against the post for the Basque side, who pulled one back on 74 minutes as substitute was given space to slot past Keylor Navas. then completed his hat-trick, pouncing to finish after had spilled a shot from Bale, on as a substitute. It was Ronaldo's 11th league goal of the season, with seven coming in the last four games. Asier Illarramendi, the former midfielder, then made it 5-2 from close range. - Griezmann goal lifts Atletico - ================================= The quickest goal yesterday was not scored by Real, but by Antoine Griezmann, who needed only 39 seconds to find the net in Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win at bottom side that left them just six points off top spot. The French striker fired home his eighth league goal of the campaign from inside the box after a Saul Niguez shot was deflected into his path. It was Atletico's eighth victory by a 1-0 margin in La Liga this season and put some pressure back on Barcelona, although they can again move nine points clear at the top by beating Getafe at the today. "We knew it was going to be difficult, but these are the kind of games we enjoy playing," Griezmann told beIN "Now we need to keep fighting and trying to win all the games we have left, and then we'll see," added the Frenchman. Villarreal lost more ground in their quest for a top-four finish as they lost 2-1 at home to improving Alaves. Ivan Ramis scored in stoppage-time to give surprise package Eibar a 1-0 victory at Leganes that leaves them sixth.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 09:55 IST
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