Bale hits hat-trick in Madrid romp

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SummaryGareth Bale took his tally to eight goals in his last seven games with a hat-trick as Real Madrid shrugged off the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Valladolid 4-0.

the break and Bale

made it three just after the hour mark when he steered home

Marcelo's cross on his weaker right foot.

And the 24-year-old was left with the easiest of finishes

to round off a perfect hat-trick when he turned home Marcelo's low cross with his left foot.

Earlier, Atletico moved level on points with Barcelona at

the top of the table after goals from Koke and Diego Costa

gave them a hard-fought 2-0 win at Elche.

After a first-half devoid of clear-cut scoring

opportunities, Atletico took the lead on 63 minutes when Koke

bundled home from close range when Manuel Herrera could only parry Raul Garcia's shot from distance.

Costa had endured a quiet afternoon by his standards but

he doubled the advantage 11 minutes later as he raced onto

Adrian Lopez's through ball before slotting home his 18th goal

of the season.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone had recalled six first-team

regulars rested for Tuesday's 1-1 draw away to Zenit St

Petersburg in the Europa League.

However, he recognised that it wasn't until the introduction of Garcia and Adrian in the second-half that Atletico began to take control.

"It is a very important victory against a very difficult

opponent," he said.

"We started well in the first-half but then Elche had two

or three dangerous counter-attacks.

"At half-time we talked and saw that we needed to use the

wings more. The introduction of Raul Garcia and Adrian gave usthe creativity we needed in the tightest moments of the game."

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