Real Madrid opened their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second-half treble for the home side as the 2014 winners got their UEFA Champions League campaign off to an emphatic start. With this milestone, the Portugal forward took his tally to 80 Champions League goals, three clear of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi at the top of the scoring charts. Ronaldo has scored eight goals in his last two games.
Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 30th minute, while Shakhtar had midfielder Taras Stepanenko sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes after the interval. Los Blancos were rewarded a penalty even though Ronaldo’s goal-bound shot came off the back of Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna. The Portugal international made no mistake as he stepped up to the mark, putting his side 2-0 up.
Ronaldo scored his second when he converted another spot kick in the 63rd minute after defender Marcio Azevedo’s clear handball. The 30-year-old capped off a wonderful evening for the home side when he headed his third of the night 10 minutes from time.
The Spanish giants have kept a clean sheet for a fourth straight game in all competitions, including three La Liga matches. The main cause of concern for Madrid was forward Gareth Bale had to go off the field due to injury after 32 minutes. The Wales international was holding his calf before being replaced by Mateo Kovacic.
“I feel so proud and happy to score eight goals in two games but that is not my goal – my aim is to be good all season and for the team to succeed, which is the most important for me, and win trophies,” said Ronaldo, who scored second consecutive hat-trick. IMAGE/Getty Images