Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show against Villarreal on Sunday night with a spectacular hat-trick (23 goals in 18 matches) to steer Real Madrid to victory. The Whites found themselves down on two occasions but managed to come back twice to take three crucial points. Kaka was credited with the fourth goal in what was his Bernabeu debut coming off a long-term injury
|Kaka's goal celebration|
Khedira replaced Lass in the second half as Albiol moved into the right-back slot and Ramos took over in the center of the back line. Villarreal struggled without the ball at their feet and Benzema and Cristiano nearly put Real ahead on two occasions but were stymied by Diego Lopez. With 20 minutes on the clock, Kaka stepped in for Albiol in search of more answers in attack. Only nine minutes were needed before the Brazilian swung in a pass that Diego Lopez failed to trap. Following several deflections, Cristiano netted what would prove to be the winner with a left-footed strike. Villarreal claimed the Portuguese international was offside to no avail and the goal was considered valid.
There was still more action to be had and on 82’ Cristiano Ronaldo provided a perfect assist for Kaka, who notched his first goal of the season and Real Madrid’s fourth of the night. Football returns to the Bernabeu on Thursday for the first leg of the next Spanish Cup tie against Atletico Madrid.
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Goals: 0-1, m.7: Cani. 1-1, m.9: Cristiano Ronaldo. 1-2, m.17: Marco Ruben. 2-2, m.45: Cristiano Ronaldo. 3-2, m.79: Cristiano Ronaldo. 4-2, m.82: Kaká.