Image: Source

Cristiano Ronaldo needed only 14 minutes to score his third hat trick of the season, leading Real Madrid to a 4-0 win over Malaga, moving to the top spot, where they feel natural, while Lionel Messi couldn’t convert an injury time penalty as Barcelona slipped to a 0-0 draw with Sevilla at home.

Ronaldo’s scoring drought? Over. He scored his first goal in the 23rd minute, his third in the 38th. Three games without any goals (all wins, all with four goals by Real) are enough for the top scorer in Spain last year, and in quick ruthless 14 minutes he’s up to 10 already. Two Hours later, in the Nou Camp, the player who can’t be separated from any Ronaldo discussion, failed.

It’s only one game, but in the race between these two giants, every dropped point counts, especially at home. Barcelona couldn’t win at home for the first time this season, getting a chance deep into injury time with a penalty kick that Lionel Messi couldn’t put into the net. Javi Varas had a huge game in general, stopping everything Barcelona threw at him.

For Real Madrid, earlier, the job was easy and done in less than 40 minutes. They let Malaga feel a little more comfortable and get some plays going, but it didn’t help the NuevoRiche risk them, really risk them at any point. Any chance of toppling Real will have to wait, at least one more season. Malaga look like a legitimate contender for a European spot, but far from a team that can challenge for a La Liga title.

Barcelona have now drawn their third match in eight, not something the Catalans are used to. Real Madrid are a point ahead, looking more in more convincing form, with Ronaldo scoring or without. Funny thing is Levante can actually claim the top spot if they win their game in hand.

But for Ronaldo, it was some sort deceleration, no doubt. The man didn’t seem that eager to score against Lyon, despite the talks. I guess anyone who wrote that there’s something wrong with him got him pumped up. Real Madrid are just in great shape right now, and the Portuguese phenom is not forcing it, this time paying off with personal statistics, which mean a lot to no.7, whether he likes to admit to or not.