Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick and Karim Benzema chimed in with two goals as Real Madrid CF crushed second-from-bottom Málaga CF 7-0, moving back to within seven points of Liga leaders FC Barcelona.
Ronaldo's fourth competitive hat-trick of the season was completed with a 77th-minute finish from a Sergio Canales ball, but while that goal took him level with Barcelona's Lionel Messi on 27 Liga goals for the season, the 26-year-old was not able to celebrate, being taken off due to injury. That may be a concern for José Mourinho ahead of his side's UEFA Champions League round of 16 decider at home against Olympique Lyonnais on 16 March, with the scores level at 1-1.
Madrid were 3-0 up by half-time against Málaga; Karim Benzema volleyed Xabi Alonso's cross past Willy Caballero on 27 minutes, and Marcelo teed up Ángel Di María for the second before darting in from the left to score the third just before the break. Mesut Özil then laid on Ronaldo's first, Benzema headed his second of the night, and Ronaldo crashed home a penalty following Manolo's dismissal for a second bookable offence, completing his treble soon afterwards.
The sole consolation for Málaga was that the only team below them in the Liga, UD Almería, failed to take three points, striking back to earn a 1-1 draw against Real Racing Club.
AFC Ajax will meet FC Twente in the Dutch Cup final in Rotterdam on 8 May after overcoming second-tier RKC Waalwijk 5-1 in tonight's concluding semi-final. Lorenzo Ebecilio put Ajax ahead, and while a headed Daley Blind own goal levelled the scores, Mounir El Hamdaoui restored the UEFA Europa League contenders' lead before the break. Siem de Jong and Demy de Zeeuw hit two more after the break and Miralem Sulejmani missed a penalty before De Jong completed the rout. Marc Janko scored the only goal of the other semi-final on Wednesday as Twente got the better of FC Utrecht.
In the evening's other games, UEFA Champions League contenders FC Shakhtar Donetsk scored six minutes into added time to secure a 1-0 win at FC Sevastopol in the first Ukrainian league fixture of 2011, with Luiz Adriano the man on target. Goals from Artem Dzyuba and Pavel Yakovlev, meanwhile, gave FC Spartak Moskva a 2-0 Russian Cup round of 16 win at FC Sibir Novosibirsk.
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|Last updated: 28/06/2011 14:49 CET|
Del Horno 77
|Venue: San Sebastian|