Cristiano Ronaldo scores hat trick

Updated: January 9, 2011, 7:55 PM ET
Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Real Madrid twice came from behind to win 4-2 against Villarreal on Sunday, keeping the team within two points of Spanish league leader Barcelona.

The Portugal forward made it 1-1 by sidefooting home Mesut Oezil's pass in the ninth minute, two minutes after Villarreal midfielder Cani had flicked the ball over goalkeeper Iker Casillas to open the scoring.

Villarreal's slick passing game troubled Madrid, and Bruno Soriano's exquisite 18th-minute pass put Ruben Castro through alone on goal to lob Casillas for a 2-1 lead.

However, Ronaldo headed in Xabi Alonso's swerving free kick inside the crowded Villarreal area just before the break to tie it again.

Ronaldo scrambled to recover a loose ball in the 79th right after blowing an excellent chance in front of goal. He then swiveled before tucking a low shot past goalkeeper Diego Lopez inside the near post for a league-leading 22nd goal.

Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido was sent off by the referee for protesting against the goal.

Second-half substitute Kaka redirected Ronaldo's pass past Lopez for his first goal of the season three minutes later, causing his pumped-up coach Jose Mourinho to urge the Santiago Bernabeu stadium crowd on from the sidelines.

On Saturday, defending champion Barcelona beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 to move to 49 points from 18 games.

Earlier, Espanyol snapped a three-game losing run and dropped Zaragoza into last place with a 4-0 win.

Diego Castro scored during injury time for Sporting, which drew 1-1 at Racing Santander to extend its winless run to 11 games.

Osasuna and Getafe drew 0-0 while Mallorca made up for its midweek Copa del Rey exit to Almeria with a 4-1 victory over the same opponent.

Getafe joined Atletico Madrid in sixth place, while Osasuna hasn't won in six rounds.

Valencia won 1-0 at Levante, while Atletico Madrid is at Hercules on Monday.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an injury-time equalizer for Serie A leader AC Milan to draw 4-4 with Udinese in a wild match at the San Siro on Sunday.

Milan fell behind 3-1 following two goals from Udinese's Antonio Di Natale, who raised his league-leading total to 13, but an own goal from Mehdi Benatia and Alexandre Pato's second goal in the 82nd minute drew Milan level at 3-3.

Argentine forward German Denis put Udinese back in front in the 84th, and Ibrahimovic equalized in the third minute of added time after collecting a pass inside the area from Antonio Cassano, who has now set up two goals in his first two matches with Milan.

Five-time defending champion Inter Milan also struggled before winning 2-1 at Catania.

Alejandro Gomez gave the Sicilian club the lead in the 71st before Esteban Cambiasso hit back in the 75th and 79th minutes to hand new Inter coach Leonardo his second consecutive win since replacing Rafa Benitez.

On a day in which all of the top teams looked in trouble at some point, Lazio lost 2-1 at home to Lecce and Brazil defender Juan made two costly errors as Sampdoria rallied to beat 10-man AS Roma 2-1.

Milan has a four-point lead over second-place Napoli, which beat visiting Juventus 3-0 as Edinson Cavani scored three goals. Lazio is in third, another two points back.


Freddie Ljungberg made a winning start to his Celtic career on Sunday with the Glasgow club advancing to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a 2-0 win at Berwick.

The 33-year-old former Sweden midfielder recovered from a virus to play 64 minutes.

"It was difficult for him to have an impact on the game because it was quite congested in there," Celtic manager Neil Lennon said.

But Lennon added that "the longer he trains and plays, there will be more opportunities for him to show what he can do."

Daniel Majstorovic and Scott Brown scored for Celtic.

In Sunday's other fourth-round match, Motherwell routed Dundee 4-0.


Olympiakos beat Kerkyra 2-0 Sunday to keep its five-point lead in the Greek league over defending champion Panathinaikos.

Thanassis Tsigas scored an own-goal in the 55th minute and Kevin Mirallas added the second in the 70th.

Olympiakos has 42 points from 17 games, while Panathinaikos is on 37.

In other games Sunday, AEK beat host Panserraikos 3-1 and PAOK defeated visiting Asteras 1-0. Also, Xanthi upset host Panionios 2-0, Iraklis beat Atromitos 1-0 and Ergotelis and Volos played to a scoreless draw.

AEK and PAOK are joint third with 27.

On Saturday, Panathinaikos beat Aris 1-0 and Kavala defeated Larissa 1-0.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press