Cristiano Ronaldo has become the record goalscorer in Madrid derbies, having netted his 18th goal in the fixture.
Atletico Madrid approached Saturday’s crunch clash with Real Madrid in a somewhat desperate situation, as they say six points adrift of their rivals.
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 17 goals in Madrid derbies. No player in history has more than him! pic.twitter.com/GBEdnyAi72
— New World WoW (@WorldNewsWow) November 19, 2016
The home side were also hoping for a fitting send-off for the Vicente Calderon, as they aimed for a win in their final derby before next summer’s stadium move.
However, Ronaldo left Atletico’s title credentials in tatters by striking a hat-trick – the 39th of his career.
The Real Madrid superstar opened the scoring in the first half with a deflected free-kick, before winning a penalty against Stefan Savic after the interval.
Ronaldo converted that spot-kick to double the visitors’ lead, and finished off a Gareth Bale counter-attack to complete his treble.
As he sought out the television camera, a unique celebration from the 31-year-old followed.
Those historic goals took his tally in the capital derby to 18, meaning he is the all-time top scorer in the fierce local rivalry.
The strikes before his 84th-minute substitution also took Ronaldo’s Liga season total to eight, matching leaders Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Los Blancos have now strengthened their grip at the top of the Liga table, leading fourth-placed Atletico by nine points.
Second-placed Barcelona, meanwhile, are now four points behind following their 0-0 draw with Malaga on Saturday afternoon, while Sevilla trail by six.