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Ronaldo hits record 23rd hat-trick for Real Madrid

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes Real Madrid won't part with Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes Real Madrid won't part with Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes Real Madrid won't part with Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured

Cristiano Ronaldo (inset) scored a record-breaking 23rd Primera Division hat-trick as Real Madrid equalled the Spanish record of 18 successive victories by beating Celta Vigo 3-0 on a memorable night at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo opened the scoring with a controversially awarded penalty that he won himself in the 36th minute before netting twice more in the second half as he moved onto 200 La Liga goals for Madrid - having only joined the Spanish giants in 2009.

The Portugal superstar's treble saw him go clear of Telmo Zarra and Alfredo di Stefano for the most Primera Division hat-tricks, while also taking him to 23 goals in just 14 league games this season.

The victory also saw Madrid move a step closer to another berth in the record books.

Having last weekend broken their club record of 16 successive wins, the European champions have now equalled the all-time record by a Spanish team of 18 straight wins, set by Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona side in 2005 and 2006.

Atletico Madrid made light work of a trip to Elche, beating Fran Escriba's struggling side 2-0 to record their fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

Nineteen-year-old defender Jose Maria Gimenez netted an impressive first goal to put the visitors in front after 16 minutes, and Mario Mandzukic then doubled the advantage early in the second half.

Sergi Darder's first-half strike was enough for Malaga as Deportivo La Coruna's winless run continued with a 1-0 defeat at Riazor.

Depo came into the match in the bottom three after five matches without a win and, although they may feel unfortunate not to get a share of the spoils, they simply were not clinical enough in front of goal.

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