Real Madrid secured a superb 6-2 victory over Sevilla in their La Liga clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday evening, with both teams finishing the match with 10 men.
Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that he has scored at least one hat-trick in each of the first five months of the 2011-12 La Liga campaign, while further goals from Jose Callejon, Angel Di Maria and Hamit Altintop sealed the win against the Andalucians, who netted consolations through Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo.
Di Maria was at his probing best early on, creating a great opportunity that was spurned by Karim Benzema before providing Ronaldo with a similar chance that the Portuguese attacker finished expertly.
Iker Casillas was on hand to keep his side in the lead five minutes later, superbly pushing Manu Del Moral’s strike onto the post after the Sevilla attacker was afforded space on the left by Alvaro Arbeloa.
Manu Del Moral then somehow ailed to find the back of the net from a yard out after brilliant hold-up play from Negredo, but was saved his blushes by the linesman who wrongly flagged the attacker for offside.
Just as it seemed Sevilla were on the brink of grabbing an equaliser, Madrid went up the other end and grabbed a second. Callejon was the goalscorer, getting the faintest of touches to divert Di Maria’s exquisite over-the-top through ball past Javi Varas.
Ronaldo smashed an emphatic third past Varas from 30 yards just two minutes later after the Sevilla backline allowed him far too much time and space on the ball.
There was still time for yet more drama before the first half was complete, as Madrid’s Pepe was given his marching orders by Clos Gomez after appearing to catch Negredo in the face with his outstretched arm which resulted in his second yellow card.
Sevilla tried to force their way back into the game in the second half, with Gary Medel swinging a volley just wide on the hour mark after Ivan Rakitic had earlier had a shot saved.
Di Maria capped his impressive performance with a goal to make it 4-0, finishing calmly past Varas into the far corner after being played through by Benzema in a swift counter-attack.
Sevilla captain Jesus Navas reduced the deficit shortly after as the sprightly winger arrowing a fine strike past Casillas from the right-hand side of the area.
Any chance of a comeback was made all the more difficult when Sevilla too were reduced to 10 men when their striker Manu was shown a red card for a tackle from behind on Arbeloa.
Madrid seemed happy to play out the remainder of the game at a leisurely pace once Sevilla’s numerical advantage had been removed, yet still they had time for two more goals. First Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a well-struck penalty, before substitute Altintop rounded off the scoring by finishing off a well-worked team move.
Sevilla’s Negredo grabbed an emotional consolation goal against his former side late on, rounding Casillas before finishing into an empty net.
The 6-2 win sends Madrid back to the top of La Liga, while Sevilla remain in sixth place and well in the hunt for a Champions League qualification place.