GOAL MACHINE: Ronaldo scores hatrick in Real Madrid win

Real Madrid have missed out on the La Liga title despite beating Espanyol 4-2 at the Estadio Cornella-El Prat.

A hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo guided Los Merengues to a win in Catalunya, but Barcelona’s win against Atletico Madrid means that the Blaugrana are crowned champions.

Espanyol started with attacking intent Keylor Navas having to sprint off his line to clear from Felipe Caicedo’s path.

However, Real squandered the best chances of the first half 12 minutes in when Daniel Carvajal curled in the direction of an unmarked Ronaldo, who managed to divert his header wide of the left-hand post from only a few yards out.

Victor Sanchez kept Los Blancos on their toes as he latched onto Caicedo pass on the left side of the area, but his shot was turned behind by the despairing challenge of Carvajal.

Real tried to find a goal before half time, but Ronaldo’s shot, blocked by Alvaro after an incisive pass from Gareth Bale was as close as they came.

The hosts almost scored within second of the restart when Caicedo pass looked to be too much for Sergio Garcia, only for the midfielder to coolly turn away from Carvajal before his shot whizz past Navas’s post.

On 53 minutes, Karim Benzema saw his shot tipped onto the post by Francisco Casilla, although the Frenchman had strayed into an offside position.

However, Madrid finally took the lead on 59 minutes when Benzema threaded a pass into the path of Ronaldo and the winger untilised the space in front of him before smashing a low shot past Casilla.

Espanyol managed to equalise with 18 minutes left after an error from Navas gifted Christian Stuani with the chance to score, which he duly did.

Real managed to retake the lead when Marcelo’s rocket of a shot left Casilla beaten and gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side hope of forcing the title battle in the final day.

Ronaldo scored his second of the game when Javier Hernandez’s shot was saved, but broke into the Portuguese international’s path to score.

The Real talisman completed his hat-trick in stoppage time with a close-range header, but it proved to be in vain as Barca held on a narrow victory at the Vicente Calderon to win the championship.

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