Ronaldo scores hat-trick as Madrid thrash Sociedad

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Real Sociedad travelled to Madrid with the fourth worst defensive record in the Liga Santander and they fell behind after less than a minute as Lucas Vazquez, who was in the side for the rested Gareth Bale, opened the scoring.

Brazil playmaker Neymar fired home the game's only goal midway through the second half and twice hit the woodwork as Unai Emery's side registered their 14th win in their last 15 games in all competitions.

Finally, Zidane took the opportunity to recognize a brilliant performance by Marcelo, who assisted Ronaldo for the first of his three goals. "He lives and breathes goals", he said. PSG will be facing off against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions league on Wednesday.

Without their leading scorer Willian Jose due to injury, and with a terrible past record at the Bernabeu, the visitors quickly crumbled.

Toni Kroos added a third before Ronaldo headed in Luka Modric's corner.

They could not keep up the same intensity after the restart, however.

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It was Neymar's eighth goal in his last four league appearances and lifts him to within one of prolific team-mate Edinson Cavani.

Real Sociedad: Geronimo Rulli 5, Aritz Elustondo 5, Alvaro Odriozola 6, Raul Navas 5, Alberto de la Bella 6, Asier Illarramendi 7, Sergio Canales 6, David Zurutuza 5, Mikel Oyarzabal 6, Juanmi 6, Xabi Prieto 6.

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal backed Karim Benzema to find form after the forward was again jeered by fans on Saturday.

"We knew it was going to be hard, but these are the kind of games we enjoy playing", Griezmann told beIN Sports.

"We know that he always wants to score and generate chances", Zidane said of the 33-year-old.

Villarreal lost more ground in their quest for a top-four finish as they lost 2-1 at home to improving Alaves.

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