MADRID – Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals in the second half, then limped off as Real Madrid routed Malaga 7-0 Thursday night to close within seven points of Barcelona in the Spanish league.
After goals by Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Marcelo built a 3-0 lead by halftime, Ronaldo scored in the 51st minute and Benzema made it 5-0. Ronaldo converted a penalty kick and then scored in the 77th, appearing to get hurt on the goal.
Ronaldo has four three-goal games this season and one four-goal game. He tied Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the league lead with 27 goals and has 37 overall.
Barcelona (23-1-2) has 71 points followed by Real Madrid (20-2-4) with 64. Real Madrid is 21-0 at home this season in all competitions.
In the day's other game, Almeria rallied to tie Racing Santander 1-1.