Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty kick but scored three times to restore his touch and ensure Real Madrid increased its lead of the Spanish league on Saturday.
Ronaldo could have scored a fourth in Madrid’s 4-1 win at Alaves if not for goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco, who saved his spot kick.
Ronaldo’s first multi-goal performance of the season for his club was key to the comeback win away from home. And it came just when voices in the Spanish capital were wondering if Ronaldo’s 31 years were finally catching up with him.
Ronado got his hat trick following his worst start to a season since his debut campaign at Madrid in 2009. Before Saturday, he had scored only four times in nine matches, twice in La Liga and twice in the Champions League. To make matters worse, Barcelona rival Lionel Messi has struck 14 times in this campaign.
An early goal by Deyverson gave the home fans hope that Alaves could add a win over Madrid to its impressive list of victims for the newly promoted club, which include a shock victory at Barcelona and a draw at Atletico Madrid.
Deyverson opened in the seventh minute at Mendizorroza Stadium after Alaves’ Theo Hernandez won possession from Danilo. The right back raced down the flank before putting in a cross that goalkeeper Keylor Navas let slip through to Deyverson, who steered in his shot.
But Ronaldo leveled the score 10 minutes later from the penalty spot after Deyverson appeared to use his arm inside the area to block Gareth Bale’s free kick. Ronaldo sent Pacheco the other way before firing home.
Ronaldo put Madrid in front with a vicious strike that deflected off a defender before looping over an outstretched Pacheco.
With Madrid hurt by an injury to defender Pepe that forced him to be substituted, Alaves didn’t roll over, and Navas had to deny Victor Camarasa and Deyverson to protect the visitors’ advantage.
After Pacheco blocked Ronaldo’s spot kick, Madrid substitute Alvaro Morata chipped Pacheco on the break in the 84th. Ronaldo rounded off his treble from close range in the 88th.
Madrid’s win extended its lead over second-place Sevilla to three points following the Andalusian club’s stumble.