Ronaldo scores hat trick but Real Madrid come up short for title
A hat trick from Cristiano Ronaldo in a 4-1 win at Espanyol on Sunday night could not keep Real Madrid in the Primera Division title race.
Madrid's win was rendered meaningless by Barcelona's victory at Atletico Madrid which saw the Catalan club crowned champions with one game of the season to go.
Coming at the end of a week in which Madrid crashed out of the Champions League, watching their bitter rivals was another bitter, if unsurprising, blow.
Ronaldo did his bit, three more goals taking his league tally for the season to 45, but the task was out of their hands.
Christian Stuani briefly levelled for Espanyol following some awful Madrid defending, while Marcelo was also on target for Carlo Ancelotti's men.
Ronaldo put his side in front in the 58th minute, breaking into the area and firing a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Francisco Casilla.
The visitors shot themselves in the foot 14 minutes later to concede an equaliser.
Keeper Keylor Navas dallied on the ball in the area and was barged off it by Abraham. Madrid's defenders could not recover and the ball made its way to Stuani to tap home.
Marcelo fired his side back in front six minutes later, playing a neat one-two before lashing in from 12 yards.
Ronaldo got his second, powerfully side-footing home from Javier Hernandez's pass four minutes later, to wrap up the points.
And he completed his treble at the death with a back-post header, but there was no cause for celebration for the victors.