Ronaldo nets fantastic five as Real rout Granada
Cristiano Ronaldo hit his quickest ever hat-trick and also scored the first five-goal haul of his career as Real Madrid destroyed Granada 9-1 yesterday, but there was no change at the top of La Liga as leaders Barcelona edged a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo.
Portugal captain Ronaldo struck three times in eight minutes in the first half and added two headers after the break on a festive, sun-drenched afternoon at the Bernabeu to help fire Real to their biggest victory in almost half a century.
Ronaldo's five goals took his tally in La Liga this season to 36, four ahead of Barca forward Lionel Messi, who was unable to get on the scoresheet in Galicia, where Jeremy Mathieu headed the winner in the 73rd minute.
Barca restored their four-point lead despite failing to sparkle at Celta, who missed several good chances in the first half.
Mathieu, who scored the opener in the 'Clasico', grabbed the decisive goal when he leapt to nod a Xavi free kick in off the crossbar at the far post.
Meanwhile, Juventus continued their march towards a fourth straight Serie A title with a 2-0 win over Empoli.
Carlos Tevez opened the scoring shortly before the interval and Roberto Pereyra added a second in stoppage-time as the Turin giants maintained their 14-point lead at the top with nine games to go.
In Germany, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored the vital goal in a tense 1-0 victory over his former club Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
The win left Bayern 10 points clear at the top of the table despite a string of high-profile absentees.
Polish forward Lewandowski, who joined the Bavarian giants this season, shrugged off a hostile welcome on his league return to the Signal Iduna Park, heading in the winner on the rebound in the Bundesliga's showpiece.
The win lifts Bayern to 67 points while Dortmund remain 10th.
Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 after defender Ricardo Rodriguez scored twice, with Borussia Moenchengladbach a further seven points behind in third after crushing Hoffenheim 4-1.