Sat | May 27, 2017

Ronaldo hits five, Messi lifts Barca

Published:Sunday | September 13, 2015 | 9:00 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP):

Cristiano Ronaldo netted five goals to become Real Madrid's all-time leading scorer in the Spanish league, while Lionel Messi scored as a substitute to give Barcelona a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid yesterday.

Ronaldo recorded his second career five-goal game to lead Madrid's 6-0 rout at Espanyol, taking his tally to 231 goals in 203 matches and eclipsing Raul Gonzalez's mark of 228 goals in 550 games.

In the clash between the last two champions, Fernando Torres put Atletico ahead in the 51st minute, only for Neymar to equalise from a free-kick four minutes later.

Messi was on the bench following the recent birth of his second son. But he went on for the final half hour and immediately changed the match, scoring the 77th-minute winner from Luis Suarez's pass.

"When we have the best player with us, we all play better," Neymar said.

Barcelona moved to the top of the standings with the defending champion's third win in as many rounds. Madrid were two points behind and Atletico three behind.

At both games, players wore T-shirts before the match in support of aid efforts to help the thousands of refugees arriving in Europe.

Valencia win

Elsewhere, Paco Alcacer headed in Valencia's injury-time winner for 1-0 at Sporting Gijon, their first win in three league matches.

Held scoreless in the first two rounds of the season, Ronaldo exploded with a blistering hat-trick by the 20th minute, scoring from passes by Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in between a penalty kick.

Ronaldo set up Karim Benzema to make it 4-0 before half-time and scored again in the 61st and 81st to record his 32nd game with three or more goals for Madrid.

Ronaldo's latest scoring feat also moved the Ballon d'Or holder into fourth place on the Spanish League all-time scoring list. Messi holds the record with 285.