Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first ever hat-trick for Real Madrid to move onto 25 goals of the season as Real came from behind to win 4-1 at Real Mallorca to move a point behind Barcelona and ensure the title race goes down to the wire.
Ronaldo followed up his decisive late winner against Osasuna on Sunday with a timely treble to keep his side firmly in title race with two games to go.
Aritz Aduriz had put Champions League hopefuls Mallorca into a 16th minute lead but Ronaldo took advantage of a defensive mix-up to equalise ten minutes later and struck again on 57 minutes.
A fine mazy run and finish on 72 minutes capped his first Real hat-trick and his haul of 25 goals is all the more impressive when one considers he was out injured for two months.
A Gonzalo Higuain chip completed the scoring on 81 minutes and the Argentine has 26 goals for the season, five behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi on 31.
The results: Spanish La Liga: Real Zaragoza 1 (Colunga 78-pen) bt Espanyol 0, Atletico Madrid 3 (Juanito 43, Jurado 66, Forlan 73) bt Valladolid 1 (Sesma 77), Racing Santander 1 (Tchite 60) lost to Sevilla 5 (Negredo 2, 88, Kanoute 21-pen, Navas 46, Capel 48), Osasuna 3 (Camunas 11, Pandiani 24, Juanfran 32) bt Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Riki 16), Athletic Bilbao 1 (Toquero 4) drew with Malaga 1 (Duda 19), Real Mallorca 1 (Aduriz 16) lost to Real Madrid 4 (Ronaldo 26, 57, 72, Higuain 81) . — AFP