: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to make it an incredible 36 league goals in the current campaign as Real Madrid defeated local rival Getafe 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Thus it prevented Barcelona from winning the league title for atleast one more day.
If Real had failed to win, Barcelona would have been crowned champion without playing, but Pep Guardiola's side needs a point from its final three matches, with Wednesday's match at Levante the first opportunity to collect a third successive league crown.
The league may seem lost, but Ronaldo has his own agenda to become the league's top-scorer and followed up his quadruple against Sevilla last time out with a hat-trick.
The Portuguese star is now in the box seat to win the ‘Pichichi' crown for the league's top-scorer, with his 36-goal haul taking him five goals ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
Real took the lead on 23 minutes with Mesut Ozil bending in a superb cross with the outside of his left foot and Ronaldo leapt highest to power in a header.
German international Ozil set another up for Ronaldo on 57 minutes, cutting the ball back for the former Manchester United man to stroke home into an empty net.
Karim Benzema came on and less than 60 seconds after his arrival the French forward scored his 13th league goal on 77 minutes.
Ronaldo then converted a 90th minute penalty for his hat-trick with a cheeky chip down the middle to deceive the goalkeeper.
It sealed a 15th home win of the season for Real and moved it five points behind Barcelona, but the champion needs just a draw to retain the title due to its superior head-to-head record over Madrid.
The results: Deportivo La Coruna 2 (Adrian 22, Castillo 71-og) bt Athletic Bilbao 1 (Toquero 3); Malaga 2 (Baptista 9, Eliseu 67) bt Sporting Gijon 0; Racing Santander 2 (Kennedy 37, Rosenberg 47) bt Atletico Madrid 1 (Suarez 10); Real Madrid 4 (Ronaldo 23, 57, 90-pen, Benzema 76) bt Getafe 0 . — Agencies