Ronaldo hits four as Real put six past Girona

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The visitors had forward Vitolo sent off moments later for pushing Villarreal forward Nicola Sansone.

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo netted the 50th hat-trick of his remarkable career as the Los Blancos beat Girona to move up to third in La Liga on Sunday.

The Catalans were rampant in the first half and could have taken a heavier lead into the break as Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork twice and his compatriot Paulinho struck a post. The first leg of that match is in Italy on April 3.

And we reckon the same can be said about his season.

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His first arrived in the 11th minute, a clinical left-footed finish from Toni Kroos' ball, but Girona pegged the champions back shortly before the half-hour as Cristhian Stuani headed home from a free-kick. No one is going to be compared with me; no one is going to be Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Marca, Ronaldo made a bet with his Real teammates four months ago that he would beat Messi to the Pichichi trophy, which is awarded to La Liga's top goalscorer every season.

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are on the bench for Real Madrid's La Liga encounter with Girona at the Bernabeu on Sunday but Sergio Ramos is not in the matchday squad. "I'm not happy with the three goals conceded and that has to be improved, we have to work on it". And with the vast majority of Cristiano's 22 goals coming since the turn of the year, the deficit has been gradually closing and now catching the little Argentinian looks a real possibility.

The Girona goalkeeper tipped Ronaldo's fizzing free-kick over and then denied Vazquez following fine set-up play from Karim Benzema. "We scored some spectacular goals today which was down to the whole team".

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