Thursday Kickoff: Ronaldo scores hat-trick in seven-goal thrashing; Man City may replace Hart; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Ronaldo scores hat-trick in seven-goal thrashing; Man City may replace Hart; and more

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Thursday Kickoff: Ronaldo scores hat-trick in seven-goal thrashing; Man City may replace Hart; and more

CristianoRonaldoRealMadrid1-Sevilla2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Cristiano Ronaldo moved into fifth-place on the Real Madrid all-time scoring list on Wednesday evening as his club thrashed Sevilla, 7-3.

The Portuguese international scored a hat-trick in the massive win for Madrid, which saw Gareth Bale also produce a breakout performance with two goals and two assists. Ronaldo scored a penalty kick goal in the first half and then scored twice more in the second half to put the game away after Sevilla had battled back to cut a three-goal deficit to one goal at halftime.

Ronaldo’s goals give him 11 in as many games in La Liga, tying him with Atletico Madrid striker and recent Spanish National Team pledge, Diego Costa. Since moving to Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo has scored 158 goals, two more than legendary forward Ferenc Puskas and six goals behind former Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

MAN CITY MAY REPLACE HART IN GOAL

England’s No. 1 goalkeeper could be facing a longer than expected spell on the sidelines.

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart was replaced with Costel Pantilimon for Man City’s League Cup tie on Wednesday and the Romanian goalkeeper produced a clean sheet in the Sky Blues’ 2-0 victory at Newcastle after extra time.

Hart has produced a series of errors for his club in recent weeks and following the match, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini hinted that Pantilimon could start between the posts when the club takes on Norwich City on Saturday.

This season, Hart has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Man City, though his error at the end of Man City’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea last Monday could be the last time he sees the pitch for a while.

UEFA PUNISHES CSKA MOSCOW WITH STADIUM CLOSURE

CSKA Moscow’s next UEFA Champions League game will be played with a partial closure in the stadium.

The Russian club was investigated after their 2-1 loss to Manchester City earlier in October after Man City midfielder Yaya Toure said that he was subjected to racist abuse from the partisan crowd. After an investigation by UEFA, the European governing body decided to enforce a partial closure for CSKA’s next UCL home game on November 27 against Bayern Munich.

If CSKA are found guilty of racism again, the next step will be a full stadium closure.

EL TRI DEFEAT FINLAND IN FRIENDLY MATCH

In Mexico’s only preparation match ahead of their crucial playoff-round World Cup qualifying games against New Zealand in November, El Tri pulled off a 4-2 victory against Finland at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

Goals from Rafa Marquez, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Peña, and Jesus Escoboza were enough to dispatch the plucky Finns but a goal by Jarkko Hurme and an own goal by Juan Carlos Valenzuela won’t make Mexico feel as good about their defense as they had hoped.

Though they’ve been playing mostly in a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 formation, Mexico debuted their 5-3-2 formation under new coach Miguel Herrera, but even against a short-handed Finland side, the performance reportedly left plenty of questions about the team’s understanding of the system.

QUICK KICKS

Following 10 days on the mend from an ankle injury, Bayern Munich defender Dante has returned to full training ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hoffenheim. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund is likely to make the transfer of Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid to Dortmund permanent in January for a fee of €7 million. (REPORT)

Thiago Motta has rejected any claims of him wanting to leave Paris Saint-Germain, saying he is focused on the season at hand. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Ronaldo passing Sanchez in the goals scored chart in November? Do you believe UEFA did enough with their partial closure? Do you see Hart being replaced for the next Man City match?

Share your thoughts below.

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