Braces from Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nacho helped Real Madrid snap their three-match winless skid in LaLiga with a 7-1 victory over Deportivo on Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.
When Adrian Lopez gave the visitors from Galicia an early lead, it looked like it would be another long day for Los Blancos, but a Nacho strike right after the half-hour mark set Real on their way. Bale scored on either side of half-time, followed by a Luka Modric goal. Ronaldo then tacked on his brace late on before Nacho would book-end the performance with a goal.
Zinedine Zidane’s team played some their best football since last month’s 5-0 waxing of Sevilla at home and appear to have broken the slump that affected them since the Club World Cup.
Marcelo was back to his rampaging best on the left wing and provided the assists on the Nacho goal and the first Bale score. The latter two also enjoyed excellent outings. Nacho took his two goals well and was a presence all over the pitch, including a goal-line clearance after a gaffe from Casemiro, while Bale looked like the same player that was on display at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Ronaldo’s two goals will also surely provide a confidence boost for a player who has not been up to his usual high goal-scoring standards in LaLiga play this season.
The big surprise in Zidane’s starting XI was the inclusion of Borja Mayoral ahead of the recently fit Karim Benzema, meaning Isco had to take a seat on the bench.
Deportivo were keen to strike at Real early on the counter-attack, particularly through Florian Andone down the left flank. And it was through Andone that Deportivo were able to open the scoring midway through the half. The Romanian flicked on a header into the path of Lucas, who played an inch-perfect cross for Adrian Lopez to hammer home at the far post for a 1-0 lead.
Real began to play with more urgency after the Depor goal, and Cristiano Ronaldo looked set to equalise when he headed back across goal off a patented Marcelo cross from the left, but Ruben stretched to tip the ball away.
The Real pressure did not wane though, and again Marcelo was in the middle of things as he surged forward and played a cut-back ball to Nacho, who one-timed it in past Ruben to draw the hosts level at 1-1.
There was the sense that a second Real goal would come before half-time, and Bale dutifully complied, showing why his left foot is one of the best in the game, as he collected a Marcelo cross and curled in a shot in spectacular fashion to give Real a 2-1 lead.
Real were playing with a confidence that hadn’t been seen in a month, and moments after being denied by Ruben on a point-blank header, Bale took the resulting corner kick and powered home a header that Ruben had no chance of stopping to extend the advantage to 3-1.
With the two-goal cushion, Real could play to their liking and soon enough it was 4-1 when Modric rifled in a right-footer after being set up by Ronaldo on a clever back-heel.
An error from Casemiro almost gifted an easy Deportivo goal and Florian looked to have scored his second of the day with Keylor Navas beat, however an alert Nacho swooped in and cleared off the line.
The only thing missing from Real’s day was a Ronaldo goal and the Portuguese’s moment would finally come in the final quarter-hour when he finished Casemiro’s cross at the back post to complete the 5-1 scoreline.
Ronaldo was hungry for more, and he added his second for a 6-1 lead with a strong header that came at a cost. Right after making contact, Ronaldo’s face collided with the boot of Deportivo defender Schar, making blood gush from the Portuguese’s face.
Two defenders then hooked up to complete the 7-1 scoreline, as Raphael Varane flicked a header toward the back post toward Nacho, who spun and fired in his second of the day.
Real return to action in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday at home versus Leganes.
– Match facts:
7.- Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric (Kovacic, min. 76); Bale (Lucas Vazquez, min. 82), Cristiano, Borja Mayoral (Benzema, min. 64)
1.- Deportivo: Ruben; Juanfran, Schar, One, Luisinho; Guilherme, Borges (Colak, min. 54), Mosquera (Edu Exposito, min. 49); Lucas, Adrian, Andone (Carles Gil, min. 79).
Goals: 0-1, min. 23: Adrian Lopez; 1-1, min. 32: Nacho; 2-1, min. 42: Bale; 3-1, min. 59: Bale; 4-1, min. 68: Modric; 5-1, min. 78: Ronaldo; 6-1, min. 84: Ronaldo; 7-1, min. 88: Nacho
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan (Andalusian).
Yellow Cards: Andone (Min. 38) for Deportivo, Lucas Perez (Min. 56) for Deportivo
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu