Cristiano Ronaldo shut his critics with a treble as he guided Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid in the season’s first Madrid derby to open up a four-point gap at the top after rivals Barcelona could only manage a draw against Malaga.
The Portuguese international had been under the scanner this season for his worst start to a league season with the Whites but managed to cut himself some slack by single-handedly driving his side past a distorted Rojiblancos side.
As for the hosts, it was a disappointing final derby at the Vicente Calderon as Simeone’s men were totally outclassed and outperformed. Let’s discuss some of the major talking points from the game.
#1 Who says Ronaldo is finished?
Up until this match, Cristiano Ronaldo had accrued only 5 domestic goals in 8 appearances, his poorest return in 7 seasons at Madrid. The naysayers had started to write him off as Ol’ Father Time was catching up with him. But with a hat-trick last night, (his 39th for Los Blancos) he proved he’s not finished yet.
After being denied on the line by Oblak, the 31-year old struck a free-kick that took a slight deflection off Rafael Varane into the back of the net, before doubling his tally from the spot post interval. Shortly after, Ronaldo got his third of the night from a lightning counter-attack, taking him past Alfredo di Stefano as the all-time top scorer of the Madrid derby.
The Real Madrid ace has definitely struggled in front of the goal this season, but mind you, that’s just temporary. He’s still got it in him!