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Ronaldo nets 33rd Real Madrid hat-trick

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid opened their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 victory over 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk in Tuesday's Group A showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 30th minute, while Shakhtar had midfielder Taras Stepanenko sent off for a second yellow card five minutes after the re-start.

Cristiano Ronaldo knows where the goal is. Credit: PA

Real, helped by a dubious penalty, doubled their lead through Ronaldo five minutes later and the Portugal international scored his second when he converted another spot-kick in the 63rd minute after Marcio Azevedo's clear handball.

Ronaldo capped off a wonderful evening for the home side when he headed his third of the night 10 minutes from time.

Ronaldo breaks Real Madrid La Liga record

Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals and became Real Madrid's all-time top scorer in the Primera Division as he inspired Los Blancos to a thumping 6-0 win at Espanyol.

The Portugal forward's impressive haul saw him move ahead of Alfredo di Stefano and Raul in one afternoon to amass a total of 229 goals in 203 matches - one ahead of Raul, who needed 550 games to reach his tally.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored just the five goals/ Credit: Reuters

Ronaldo, who had failed to score in either of Madrid's opening league games, needed just seven minutes to open his account against Espanyol, having bagged a treble here last season. He promptly scored again from the penalty spot and then completed his hat-trick on 20 minutes with the help of a cross from Gareth Bale.

Karim Benzema added a fourth before the break, and then in the second half Bale again laid on the pass for Ronaldo to strike for the fourth time and make Real Madrid history. But he was still not done, converting again from inside the area on 80 minutes.


Striker Benzema refutes Arsenal move claims

Karim Benzema has denied reports he came close to leaving Real Madrid for Arsenal this summer.

The French forward was strongly linked with a move to the Gunners but he remained in Madrid for the start of his seventh campaign with Real.

Karim Benzema is not leaving. Credit: PA

When asked about the rumours that he would join Arsenal, Benzema said to French TV show Telefoot: "Not at all.

"I'm not going to repeat myself every time.

"I'm at the best club in the world and I'm going to continue to work every year.

"I'm happy where I am."

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