Ronaldo hat trick lifts Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo netted another hat trick in Real Madrid's 5-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, as the Portugal forward extended his scoring run to nine goals in his past four games.
Ronaldo's latest bundle of goals took him three past Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa as the leading scorer in La Liga with 16 through 13 rounds. Ronaldo also tops the Champions League with eight goals.
Madrid's win pulled it to within two points of Atletico and three points behind league leader Barcelona before they have matches on Sunday.
Ronaldo opened the scoring, adding another goal from the penalty spot and a third with a well-placed free kick.
Karim Benzema also kept up his good form by scoring while Gareth Bale set up Sami Khedira for a goal.
Ronaldo has eight multi-goal performances, including three hat tricks, in 17 matches for Madrid this season.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao rallied past Levante 2-1 to provisionally move even on points with Villarreal in fourth place.
The hosts trailed to David Barral's 33rd-minute strike but came good inside the final 20 minutes as first Mikel Rico popped up to level before Aritz Aduriz nodded in the winner six minutes from the end.
Bilbao's win was the fifth time in as many games at their new San Mames Stadium that the Basque club has come from behind to stay undefeated at home.
Rayo Vallecano won 2-0 at Celta Vigo through goals from Jonathan Viera and Joaquin Larrivey to escape last place and push Real Betis down into the cellar overnight.
Rayo kept Celta winless at home in seven matches at Balaidos Stadium this season.
Elche earned a 1-1 draw at Getafe to remain unbeaten in their last four away matches.
Pedro Leon Sanchez netted his fourth goal of the season midway through the first half before Elche struck back through Richmond Boakye to claim just their second point from the last four matches.