In 32 La Liga games, Cristiano Ronaldo now has 40 goals. Three of those came on Wednesday night against Real Madrid's cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid in an absolutely spectacular performance. Until the closing minutes, Atleti were able to hang with their rivals in a very entertaining game, and the score isn't an accurate reflection of what happened during most of the game. Los Merengues were brilliant in the final half hour, however, and come away from the Vicente Calderon with a 4-1 win.
Ronaldo's opener came in the 25th minute on a free kick, and it was an absolute beauty. Thibaut Courtois had absolutely no chance to stop the 25-yard knuckleball of a shot, an absolutely brilliant goal even by Ronaldo's high standards. Incredibly, it would not be his best goal of the night.
Just 10 minutes after halftime, Falcao gave his team hope with a great headed goal -- his 21st goal of the season -- on a cross by Adrian. Madrid started to look like the better team after that goal, but they didn't retake the lead until the 68th minute, when Ronaldo hit a rocket of a shot over Courtois. His shot had considerably more power and came from open play, making it even more impressive than the first goal.
Real Madrid would seal the win with two late goals. Gonzalo Higuain drew a penalty, which was converted by Ronaldo for his hat trick, and Jose Maria Callejon followed that up with another goal four minutes later. Madrid are four points clear of rivals Barcelona and have one more league fixture before El Clasico.