Ronaldo scores five times as Madrid hammers Granada

Madrid, Spain ( - Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals as Real Madrid rolled to a 9-1 thrashing of Granada on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale fired Madrid in front in the 25th minute before Ronaldo scored three times in the span of eight first-half minutes to put the hosts in front 4-0 at the break.

The onslaught continued after halftime as Karim Benzema scored twice and Ronaldo added a fourth goal of his own in the span of four minutes to make it 7-0 just 56 minutes into the contest.

Robert Ibanez pulled a goal back for Granada in the 74th, but an own goal from Diego Mainz and a fifth tally from Ronaldo capped the scoring.

The win keeps Madrid within four points of leaders Barcelona, which used a goal in the 73rd minute from Jeremy Mathieu to edge Celta Vigo, 1-0.

Granada remains in 19th place and three points from safety following the defeat.

Madrid wasted a few early chances in the match before Bale put his team in front in the 25th as he held off a defender and rounded the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the empty net.

Ronaldo then took center stage with a three-goal barrage in the span of eight minutes.

His first goal was set up by James Rodriguez before he netted a second goal by smashing home a rebound past goalkeeper Oier Olazabal.

Olazabal could do little to keep out Ronaldo's third goal as the Portugal international ripped a shot into the top corner of the net from 20 yards.

Benzema got in on the action after the break as he scored at the back post following a corner kick, while Ronaldo headed home a cross from Bale for a 6-0 Madrid lead.

Just a few minutes later the lead swelled to 7-0 when Benzema scored from a tight angle, with Ibanez spoiling the clean sheet before Granada yielded two more goals.

Valencia failed to regain third place in the league after being held to a 0-0 draw by Villarreal, while Getafe got first-half goals from Alexis and Sergio Escudero en route to a 2-1 victory against Deportivo.