After resting lots of big names for Real Madrid's huge 7-1 midweek win at third-tier side Leonesa, Zinedine Zidane fielded his strongest available line-up for the La Liga trip to Alaves.
Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo all returned to the starting XI, and it was the latter who rescued Los Blancos with a hat-trick after they went 1-0 down inside seven minutes from a controversially awarded Deyverson penalty.
Cristiano got Real back on terms ten minutes later by sending 'keeper Fernando Pacheco the wrong way from the spot and, as you can see further down the page, the Portugal captain gave his side the lead in some style before going on to complete his hat-trick in the 88th minute.
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After latching onto a pass from Benzema, the 31-year-old forward took a couple of touches to get the ball out from under his feet and then produced a thunderous strike.
Ronaldo's effort, from nearly 25 yards out, took a slight deflection off an Alaves defender but still managed to find its way into the bottom corner.
Cristiano missed the entire pre-season and early weeks of the campaign due to the serious knee injury he picked up during the Euro 2016 final, and he has struggled in recent weeks to match the incredibly high level which he has set for himself over many years.
However, his hat-trick at Alaves means Real's all-time top goalscorer has now registered five goals and two assists from his seven league appearances this term and the 2-1 win means Zidane's men have a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Ronaldo missed a penalty with 11 minutes to go, but his first goal at the Mendizorrotza Stadium was the 350th league goal of his glittering club career with Real, Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon, in just his 464th match.
Can Cristiano get back to his very best for Madrid? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!
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