Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 50th career hat trick, then went on to add a fourth goal as Real Madrid beat Girona 6-3 in La Liga on Sunday.
The Portugal star continued his remarkable scoring streak to take his league tally to 22 goals for the season in another commanding performance at the Bernabeu.
Girona, who beat Real earlier this season, caused them plenty of problems again with Cristhian Stuani scoring twice and Juanpe also on target.
But there was no stopping Ronaldo, who has now hit an incredible 17 goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions, while Lucas Vasquez and Gareth Bale also found the net for the hosts.
Ronaldo started the season with just four goals through his first 14 La Liga games, but not has 18 in his last nine in the league.
The Portuguese star has scored 44 hat tricks for Real Madrid to go with one for Manchester United and five for his country. He is already the all-time leader in La Liga hat tricks with 34 — six more than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
He has now scored four goals in a game eight times for Madrid and once for Portugal. He increased his total career tally to 645 goals for club and country.
Ronaldo went close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute with a trademark free kick which Girona goalkeeper Bono had to tip over the crossbar.
Moments later Karim Benzema teed up Lucas Vazquez but the winger placed his shot too close to Bono.
The breakthrough came in the 11th minute from Ronaldo, who swept a cut-back from Toni Kroos across Bono and into the corner.
Girona were inches from equalising when Johan Mojica raced down the left and hung up an inviting cross which Portu headed just wide.
Vazquez had the ball in the net in the 22nd minute after latching on to Kroos’ clever reverse pass but he was flagged offside.
Instead it was Girona celebrating six minutes later after Dani Carvajal gave away a needless free kick near the corner.
Alex Granell swung in the cross and Stuani gave Carvajal the slip before burying a bullet header.
The second half got off to a fine start for Real when Ronaldo beat the offside trap to collect Benzema’s perfectly weighted pass and dispatch it off the underside of the crossbar.
Just before the hour mark Ronaldo unselfishly passed up the chance of a hat-trick to roll the ball across goal for Vazquez to apply the finish.
He did not have to wait long for his treble, though, following up after Karim Benzema’s effort was blocked to lash in the fourth.
Stuani headed a second as Real momentarily switched off at the back, but substitute Bale hit the fifth before Juanpe nodded in a third for Girona.
But Ronaldo had the last word when he tucked away a Kroos pass in stoppage time to cap a stunning individual display.
Key Opta stats:
– Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than any other player from the top five European leagues in 2018 in all competitions (21).
– Girona are the only team to have scored three headed goals in a LaLiga game against Real Madrid since at least 2003-04.
– Karim Benzema has provided more assists than any other Real Madrid player in LaLiga this season (eight).
– The Frenchman has assisted Ronaldo for 41 goals in all competitions, at least 14 more than any other team-mate.