CRISTIANO Ronaldo scored yet another hat trick in another big win for Real Madrid, which seems to have found its stride after a slow start to the season.
Ronaldo extended his scoring streak to eight consecutive games as his three goals led Real Madrid to a 5-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday in the Spanish league.
It was Ronaldo's second treble to go with one four-goal game already this season and gave the Ballon d'Or holder a league-leading 13 goals in six appearances, more than the entire team goal totals of 16 of the league's 20 sides. It was also his 22nd hat trick in the Spanish league, equaling the record held by Alfredo Di Stefano and Telmo Zarra.
Karim Benzema added two goals as Madrid's speedy forwards picked apart a Bilbao side that proved brittle at the back and is now winless in its last seven games.
Madrid rose past Atletico Madrid into fourth place, four points behind leader Barcelona. Valencia is in second place in front of Sevilla in third after it beat visitors Deportivo La Coruna 4-1.
Also, Villarreal dealt Celta Vigo its first loss of the season with a 3-1 road win, while Espanyol downed Real Sociedad, 2-0, at home in its most solid performance under new coach Sergio Gonzalez.