Football: Ronaldo hits four in Real Madrid's thrilling win over Girona

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal during the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on March 18, 2018.
Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal during the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on March 18, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (REUTERS) - Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scorching scoring run by bagging four goals in Real Madrid's hugely entertaining 6-3 La Liga win over Girona on Sunday (March 18).

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a deadly first-time finish but former Middlesbrough forward Cristhian Stuani headed home from a corner to draw the Catalans level in the 29th minute.

The Portuguese restored his side's lead at the start of the second half by racing on to a through ball from Karim Benzema and hammering it in off the crossbar. He then laid on a pass for Lucas Vazquez to score Real's third.

Ronaldo gobbled up a rebounded shot from Benzema to complete his hat-trick in the 64th and make it 4-1, while substitute Gareth Bale added a fifth in the 86th after Stuani had struck again down the other end.

Girona's Juanpe then made it 5-3, only for Ronaldo to roar back in injury time and score his fourth goal of the game, his 17th in his last eight appearances in all competitions.

Ronaldo has now netted 22 times in the league this season, trailing Lionel Messi by just three goals. The Real Madrid striker leapfrogged Luiz Suarez on the top scorer's list, with the Barca forward missing his side's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday due to suspension.

Real are third in the Liga standings on 60 points, 15 behind runaway leaders Barcelona and four adrift of second-placed Atletico, who were beaten 2-1 at Villarreal on Sunday.