Karim Benzema emulated Cristiano Ronaldo as his seven-minute hat-trick ushered Real Madrid to a 6-0 win over Real Valladolid.
The French striker, who is second behind Ronaldo in Los Blancos’ all-time goalscoring charts, added another impressive three to his collection in the convincing win at the Bernabeu.
The champions, second, sit 12 points behind leaders Barcelona after the Catalans beat Elche on Saturday, with 11 games remaining each.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side warmed up for their Copa del Rey semi-final clash on Wednesday with their arch-rivals in style by dismantling the helpless visitors, 16th and a point above the drop zone.
Rodrygo opened the scoring early on, before Benzema’s hat-trick, including a spectacular acrobatic effort, with Marco Asensio netting the fifth in the second half and Lucas Vazquez adding another late on.
Rodrygo had another goal ruled out for handball by Vinicius Junior, who set up two of Benzema’s strikes, as Madrid ran riot in the spring sunshine at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Rodrygo slotted home the opener 22 minutes after being teed up by Asensio to open the floodgates.
Vinicius’s cross allowed Benzema to net the second after 29 minutes, and four minutes later, the Brazilian fed his French strike partner again and the forward curled home from the edge of the box.
Benzema completed his hat-trick after 36 minutes when Rodrygo crossed and he pulled off an impressive overhead effort from inside the six-yard box for his 14th goal of the season in La Liga.
The 35-year old overtook Getafe’s Enes Unal to become the division’s second top goalscorer, behind Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski on 17.
Madrid slowed down in the second half, with Belgian winger Eden Hazard making his first league appearance since September as a substitute for Benzema.
After Rodrygo set up Asensio to blast home from inside the area, Hazard teed up Lucas Vazquez to round off the rout in toppage time.
Vinicius was also given a rest ahead of the Clasico clash midweek, as Madrid sharpened their teeth.
But the win was all about Benzema, who is now level with Ronaldo for goals with Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti with the pair both scoring 112 times under the Italian’s guidance.
However, the record goal scorer under Ancelotti is former AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, who has 161 strikes to his name.