Cristiano Ronaldo netted another hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 5-1 La Liga win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, as the Portugal forward extended his scoring run to nine goals in his past four games.
Ronaldo’s latest bundle of goals took him three past Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa as the leading scorer in the Spanish soccer league with 16 through 13 rounds.
Ronaldo also tops the Champions League with eight goals.
“(Ronaldo) is playing on another level,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
“He scores with such incredible ease. It’s tough to find words to describe him.”
Madrid’s win boosted them to within two points of Atletico and three points behind league leader Barcelona before their matches on Sunday.
Ronaldo opened the scoring, adding another goal from the penalty spot and a third with a well-placed free kick.
Karim Benzema also kept up his good form by scoring while Gareth Bale set up Sami Khedira for a goal.
Ronaldo has eight multi-goal performances, including three hat-tricks, in 17 matches for Madrid this season.
He will hope to keep his streak going when Portugal plays Sweden in a two-leg playoff on November 15 and 19 with only the winner qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
“It will be a very important tie for us,” Ronaldo said.
“We want to be in the World Cup and we will try our hardest to get there.”
Sociedad never stood a chance at the Santiago Bernabeu against a Madrid side that kept their attack firing for a fourth straight game while finally shoring up a defence that had become penalty prone with five whistled against it in the previous three games.
“Too many times we were just looking on,” said Antoine Griezmann, who scored Sociedad’s consolation goal.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao rallied past Levante 2-1 to provisionally move even on points with Villarreal in fourth place.
Rayo Vallecano won 2-0 at Celta Vigo to escape last place and push Real Betis down into the cellar overnight.
Elche, meanwhile, earned a 1-1 draw at Getafe to remain unbeaten in their past four away matches.
On Sunday, Barcelona visits Betis while Atletico travels to Villarreal. Also, Espanyol hosts Sevilla and Valencia welcomes Valladolid.