Suarez nets hat trick as Barca rally; Ronaldo brace lifts Real Madrid

Benzema and Bale both staked claims for this honour - as did youngster Lucas Vazquez - but it was the other member of Madrid's "BBC" strikeforce, Ronaldo, who will take the plaudits.

The victory means Zinedine Zidane's defending champions have now accumulated 18 points from their last seven league games - during which they have scored 30 goals - to turn the heat up on second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Alaves have also turned a corner after an abysmal start to the season saw them lose nine of their first 10 games, with new coach Abelardo Fernandez leading the Basque side to four wins from their last six to move 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

There were many standout performers for Real Madrid as they dismantled Alaves, but Lucas Vazquez was the main man for the hosts. Good goal from Real Madrid. Keylor Navas returned in goal in place of Kiko Casilla, while Sergio Ramos was replaced by Nacho.

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Alaves' Munir El Haddadi will miss the match for the same reason, while the visitors are also likely to be without long-term absentee Hector Hernandez and Burgui following his abductor muscle tear in January, per Transfermarkt. Alexis Ruano came in for Ibai Gomez while Hernan Perez replaced Tomas Pina. Benzema teed up Ronaldo with a neat backheel, and the Portuguese turned and fired the ball past goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

The Frenchman then set up Bale for number two before Vazquez's cross for Ronaldo and that late penalty, just reward for Benzema's contribution as the BBC found their form in impressive style. Theo comes so close to scoring his first goal as a Real Madrid player. "I like him a lot and he has to keep on working".

But there is some controversy over one particular goal from back in 2010, and whether it should really be given to the 33-year-old.

Real Madrid will be looking to cut the gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona, when they face off against Deportivo Alaves at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

  • Lawrence Cooper