Michael Olunga scored a hat-trick to help his Spanish side Girona thrash Las Palmas 6-0 in the Spanish Laliga match match played on Saturday.
On loan from Chinese Super League side Guizhou Zhicheng last year, Olunga scored three goals in a span of 22 minutes after coming in the 48th minute to aid Girona to a win and a ninth place in the table.
The Kenyan International became the first Girona player to net a hat-trick in Spain’s top division and the first Kenyan to score in Laliga.
He also provided the assist for the fifth goal after dispossessing a defender and making a weighted pass onto the path of the onrushing Portu who calmly scored.
Cristhian Stuani’s penalty midway through the first half was all that separated the teams at the interval, but Girona went to town after the break as Las Palmas crumbled to a 14th defeat in 19 league matches this term. Borja Garcia and Cristian Portu were Girona’s other scorers.
In the afternoon game, Villarreal piled the pressure on under-fire Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane as they snatched a 1-0 win over the struggling La Liga champions at the Bernabeu.
Real reached the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey – where they will face Leganes – in midweek, but started the day 16 points behind rivals Barcelona in the league.
And that massive gap remained intact after a sublime finish from Pablo Fornals finished off an 87th-minute counter-attack from the Yellow Submarine, who had goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to thank for a number of vital saves.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid were indebted to goalkeeper Jan Oblak as they closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to six points with a narrow 1-0 win at Eibar.
The visitors scored what would prove to be the only goal of the game in the 27th minute when Antoine Griezmann cut the ball from the right towards Kevin Gameiro, who slotted past the on-rushing Marko Dmitrovic from close range.
Eibar, who were looking to break into the top six, went close to an equaliser just after the hour when Joan Jordan’s header forced a brilliant save from Oblak.
The Slovenian was again alert with 11 minutes left to stop a header from Paulo Oliveira after a corner.
The instrumental Oblak again showed fine reactions to keep out a low effort from Takashi Inui.
Eibar substitute Kike and Sergio Enrich both put late chances just wide as Atletico closed out victory which puts them 10 points ahead of Real, albeit having played a match more.
In Saturday’s late kick-off, Valencia won 2-1 at Deportivo La Coruna to move eight points clear of Real Madrid.
Deportivo, battling at the other end of the table, almost took an early lead when Celso Borges’ header hit the crossbar before Costa Rican then nodded another good chance over.
It proved a costly miss as Valencia, who handed a debut to new signing Francis Coquelin from Arsenal, took the lead on 37 minutes following a blunder by Deportivo goalkeeper Ruben.
Goncalo Guedes tried his luck with an angled effort from 20 yards, which squirmed under the ‘keeper at the near post and rolled into the net.
Rodrigo added a second on 64 minutes with a deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Florin Andone headed in a late consolation for the home side with three minutes left – and there was still time for Adrian to fire over the crossbar as Valencia held out.