Santiago Bernabeu, La Liga - Real Madrid 5 (Nacho 3', Ronaldo 23', 31', Kroos 38', Achraf 42') Sevilla 0
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or award in style by scoring twice as Real Madrid thumped Sevilla 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The European champions scored all five goals in the first half with Nacho getting the ball rolling after only two minutes. From then on, Zinedine Zidane’s side showed their strength, catching Sevilla out time and time again with fast and furious counter attacking play in the final third.
Officially the world's greatest player with his haul of five paraded before the match, Ronaldo beat the offside trap to score his first of the afternoon on 23 minutes before converting a penalty on 31 minutes. Toni Kroos made it four on 38 minutes with young Moroccan full back Achraf Hakimi netting a fifth three minutes before half-time.
Sevilla will be relieved to get out of the Spanish capital having lost only five. Madrid move a point above Atletico into third place alongside Valencia, but remain five behind Barcelona, who have played one game less before they visit Villarreal on Sunday.
TALKING POINT - Was this the moment Real Madrid’s season turned?
The 2017/18 season has been difficult for Real Madrid, at least domestically. A defeat to Sevilla could have left them trailing Barcelona by a staggering 14 points by the time of the Clasico on December 23. Instead, they put down a marker, with Zidane opting for more of a counter-attacking style. That’s what his team does best, so will this prove to be a turning point in their season?
MAN OF THE MATCH - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Despite winning a fifth Ballon d’Or during the week, finishing off a Champions League group stage campaign that saw him score nine times in six games, Ronaldo has struggled for goals in La Liga so far this season. But this was the Portuguese forward back to his best. He bagged a brace, but was also key to the fast and furious nature of Real Madrid’s performance, even tracking back to help out defensively.
Real Madrid: Navas 5, Nacho 7, Marcelo 7, Vallejo 5, Achraf 8, Modric 7, Asensio 8, Kroos 7, Lucas 7, Ronaldo 9, Benzema 6. Subs: Llorente 5, Isco 6, Ceballos 5.
Sevilla: Rico 5, Mercado 5, Carole 4, Kjaer 4, Lenglet 5, Pizarro 5, Banega 5, Vazquez 6, Navas 5, Muriel 6, Nolito 4. Subs: Geis 5, Sarabia 5, Krohn-Dehli 5.
3’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla: What a defensive mix up from Sevilla! Kjaer managed to head the corner kick back into the danger area and Nacho was on hand to stab home the finish high into the roof of the net.
23’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla: Ronaldo gets his goal! Asensio plays the ball through to the Portuguese forward, who gets it under control with the perfect touch and finishes low past Rico. Great finish! Great goal!
30’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! Navas is penalised for a handball against Marcelo and the hosts will have the chance to score a third from the spot.
31’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Sevilla: And there's the third goal for Real Madrid! It wasn't the best penalty kick from Ronaldo, but the ball squeezes underneath Rico and he has his second of the game.
38’ GOAL! Real Madrid 4-0 Sevilla: They have a FOURTH! Ronaldo started the move by winning the ball in midfield, with Vazquez playing a low cross for Kroos to finish from close range. This game is finished. Just call it full time now.
42’ GOAL! Real Madrid 5-0 Sevilla: This is INCREDIBLE! Real Madrid are 5-0 up before half time! Benzema and Ronaldo linked up to release Achraf down the right side and he sends a finish into the far corner of the net.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have hit the woodwork more times (eight between them) than goals they have scored in La Liga so far this season.
Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in 15 games against Sevilla in La Liga, more than against any other team.