• La Liga

Ronaldo hat-trick sounds warning to Man United

ESPN staff
February 9, 2013 « Mancini: City have 10% chance of keeping title | Chartbeat test »
Cristiano Ronaldo loves playing Sevilla © Getty Images
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Cristiano Ronaldo fired an ominous warning to former club Manchester United with a hat-trick as Real Madrid warmed up for their Champions League showdown against the Red Devils with a one-sided 4-1 victory over Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

Matches against Sevilla have proved rich pickings for Ronaldo and it was no different on Saturday as he followed up Karim Benzema's 18th-minute opener with goals in the 26th, 46th and 59th minutes.

That took his tally of hat-tricks for the Spanish giants to an incredible 20 before he was replaced in the 63rd minute as Jose Mourinho opted to wrap his trump card in cotton wool ahead of Wednesday's visit of United in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash.

Soon after Ronaldo's departure Madrid were reduced to 10 men when striker Gonzalo Higuain was sent off but Sevilla also finished with a man less after losing Hedwiges Maduro to a red card with nine minutes left.

Sevilla did net a late consolation through Manu del Moral but it mattered little as Mourinho's men, who surprisingly lost to Granada last week, trimmed the gap to leaders Barcelona back to 13 points and to second placed Atletico Madrid to four points - they both play on Sunday.

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