Jan 31, 2016 at 7.30pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Benzema (7'), Ronaldo (12' pen., 45', 82'), Rodriguez (16'), Duarte (86' og.)
Casemiro (84')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Perez (11'), Diop (37'), Sylla Diallo (42'), Lopez (42'), Gonzalez (77')

Result: Cristiano Ronaldo scores hat-trick in Real Madrid rout

Real Madrid return to winning ways in La Liga with a thumping 6-0 victory over out-of-form Espanyol at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Real Madrid have moved to within four points of La Liga leaders Barcelona courtesy of a 6-0 win over an out-of-form Espanyol side at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Espanyol have now lost 14 of their last 17 league games against Real Madrid and conceded 23 goals in their last six with Los Blancos, who scored three times in the opening 16 minutes on home soil.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on January 31, 2016© Getty Images

Espanyol entered the match desperately short of options in the final third of the field, with Marco Asensio and Burgui both unavailable to face their parent club, Felipe Caicedo injured and Gerard Moreno out through suspension.

Real Madrid had an opportunity to take the lead inside the first minute when James Rodriguez set up Marcelo inside the Espanyol box, but the Brazilian left-back fired his effort over the crossbar.

Less than two minutes later, Espanyol goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis, who was making his debut after joining on loan from Watford, got down to make a smart save from Cristiano Ronaldo's low drive.

Real Madrid continued to dominate and took the lead in the seventh minute when Karim Benzema headed a James cross into the back of the net from close range.

The hosts were 2-0 ahead just five minutes later when Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot after the Portuguese had been brought to the ground by Enzo Roco. Espanyol just could not cope and they then conceded a third in the 16th minute when James's strike hit Pape Diop before landing in the back of the net.

James Rodriguez and Luka Modric celebrate during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on January 31, 2016© Getty Images

Espanyol's first chance of note came in the 19th minute when Hernan Perez met a bouncing ball outside the box, but his effort was always rising over the crossbar.

Real Madrid continued to dominate the possession in the period that followed, although chances were few and far between after such a strong start from Zinedine Zidane's side.

In the final minute of the half, Salva Sevilla had a super chance to register for Espanyol, but the silver-haired midfielder could not beat Keylor Navas from close range and Real Madrid went straight down the other end and scored - Ronaldo evading two defenders before whipping the ball into the far corner.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on January 31, 2016© Getty Images

Roco had an excellent chance to put Espanyol on the scoreboard moments into the second period, but the centre-back could only head a Victor Sanchez free kick wide of the post.

Juan Fuentes then called Navas into action as Espanyol started to commit more players in the final third, before Isco curled one wide of the post down the other end.

Benzema might have scored his second of the night just past the hour after Ronaldo found his teammate with a searching cross, but the French international could only head straight at Arlauskis.

Karim Benzema, who got the keys to my bimmer, celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on January 31, 2016© AFP

Ronaldo hit a wonderful free kick 20 minutes from time which looked to be heading for the top corner, but his effort landed on the top of the goal as Espanyol kept the score to 4-0.

Espanyol remained a threat, meanwhile, and Navas again had to be quick to keep out Abraham from close range, before Sergio Ramos deflected a Mamadou Sylla Diallo strike over the crossbar.

Real Madrid had their fifth in the 83rd minute, however, when Ronaldo headed a Jese Rodriguez cross home from close range to complete his hat-trick. There was time for it to get worse for the visitors though - Oscar Duarte turning a Jese cross past his own goalkeeper for six late on.

Espanyol, who have dropped to 15th and are just two points outside of the relegation zone, have now lost their last eight away games in the league, which is their worst run since 2002.

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior gestures during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs UD Las Palmas at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 26, 2015
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