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Gareth Bale hat trick leads Real

Gareth Bale scored three goals and set up a fourth to make sure Real Madrid didn't miss injured star Cristiano Ronaldo as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.

Gareth Bale heads home the first of his hat trick against Valladolid.
Gareth Bale heads home the first of his hat trick against Valladolid.

• Train: Bernabeu gives Bale OK

With Ronaldo out nursing a hamstring for a second straight game, Bale took up the scoring duties in the 32nd minute. Bale found himself in perfect position to nod in a rebound of Angel Di Maria's curling effort that goalie Diego Marino parried directly to the Wales winger.

He then found Karim Benzema with a pinpoint cross to make it 2-0 four minutes later.

Bale was again aided by a poor clearance for Madrid's third in the in the 64th minute. This time it was defender Jesus Rueda, who knocked Marcelo's cross back for Bale to fire home.

But Bale wasn't finished and he started and finished off a late counterattack by charging forward to tap in Marcelo's low cross.

Bale has seven goals in league play, leaving him third for Madrid behind Benzema's eight and Ronaldo's 17, which lead the league.

Madrid's fourth league win in a row following their loss at Barcelona lifted them three points from the defending champions and Atletico Madrid

Atletico won 2-0 at Elche on goals by Diego Costa and Koke.

With Elche hanging tough, Atletico coach Diego Simeone sent on Raul Garcia and Adrian Lopez and the changes paid off to earn Atletico's 17th win in all competitions to go with four draws and just one loss.

Atletico broke through seconds after Garcia replaced David Villa. Koke pounced on a rebound from Garcia's shot that Manuel Herrera saved but failed to clear, leaving the Elche goalkeeper strewn on the turf with defender Alberto Botia and Diego Costa after they collided.

Diego Costa secured the three points in the 74th by scoring from Lopez's perfectly placed chipped pass.

Celta Vigo came back to beat Almeria 3-1 for their first home victory at Balaidos Stadium in eight attempts this season under first-year manager Luis Enrique.

After Suso opened for Almeria, Fabian Orellano scored one goal and set up another to lead the fightback.

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