The first goal of his hat trick might be doused with controversy, but Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo legitimately lit Celta Vigo up in the second half for a 3-0 La Liga victory Saturday at the Bernabeu.
The hat trick pushes Ronaldo’s total number of domestic goals to 24 this term, and Madrid’s total to 51, 20 more than the closest squad in rival Barcelona.
But the Portuguese star began his onslaught with a questionable play in the the 35th minute. On a fast break, Ronaldo streaked to the net and appeared to get a step on Celta Vigo defender Jonny, and though he did place his hands on Ronaldo replay shows Jonny did not force him to the ground in the penalty area.
Along a yellow card to Jonny, the referee awarded Ronaldo the penalty, which he struck cleanly to the bottom right corner of the net a minute later for the 1-0 lead.
Ronaldo’wrapped up his final two scores in the 65th and 81st minutes, as Madrid pelted Celta Vigo with 11 shots on target. It was still valiant effort from keeper Sergio Alvarez, who recorded eight saves on the day.
In the 65th Ronaldo rebounded Marcelo’s blocked shot inside the box and struck another right-footed ball to the bottom right corner for an insurance goal.
And 16 minutes later Ronaldo broke Celta Vigo with his left foot this time, converting Marcelo’s assist into the hat trick.
Madrid have now won 18 consecutive matches in all competitions and look nearly unbeatable at the moment. However unrealistic it might have been, Celta Vigo had the opportunity to claim fifth place on the table from Villareal with the three points from a victory, but instead remain in eighth.