MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick as Real Madrid kept on the trail of leaders Barcelona with a 5-1 rout of Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
The visitors took a shock lead after 15 minutes through Riki but Madrid quickly bounced back with Ronaldo hitting his first from the penalty spot after Angel Di Maria was felled.
It was Di Maria himself who put his team ahead and then Ronaldo got his second shortly before the break.
With Madrid controlling the game Pepe headed home and Ronaldo scored another penalty in the second half to complete the rout and remain eight points behind Barcelona who beat Sevilla 3-2 on Saturday.
While Barca have won all six of their opening games, Madrid made a stuttering start but will now go into next weekend's El Clasico with back-to-back wins and Ronaldo hitting form.
Coach Jose Mourinho chose to rest Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa and, in a new-look midfield, Sami Khedira was joined by Luka Modric in the centre, who up until Sunday had played further forward