Real Madrid 5-0 Deportivo la Coruna: Gareth Bale scores hat-trick in Zinedine Zidane's first game
By David Bowers
Last Updated: 10/01/16 11:02am
Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick to take him past 50 goals for Real Madrid as they thrashed Deportivo la Coruna 5-0 in Zinedine Zidane's first game in charge.
Karim Benzema scored Real's opening goal with a smart six-yard finish, before Bale headed past German Lux to double their lead after just 22 minutes.
The Welshman then scored his second of the evening with a fine left-footed finish in the second half, before completing his treble with a powerful header just after the hour mark.
Benzema then doubled his tally with a stoppage-time strike, smashing an unstoppable effort past Lux to secure all three points for Zidane's side.
With 15 minutes on the clock, a Real corner was cleared to Sergio Ramos, who volleyed the ball towards Benzema and the Frenchman calmly tucked it away to open the scoring - despite calls of offside from the Deportivo defence.
Just seven minutes after Benzema's opener, Real full-back Dani Carvajal picked up the ball on the right flank and delivered an excellent cross onto the head of Bale, who nodded it past a sprawling Lux.
Depor had chances of their own throughout the opening period, with Lucas Perez spurning a number of chances - notably an 11th-minute effort which was superbly saved by Keylor Navas.
Real looked threatening offensively, however, and could have scored a third before the break when Bale found an onrushing Cristiano Ronaldo in the area, whose header cannoned off the left post.
Former Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was brought on at the break, but he was powerless to avoid Bale's second of the evening after the Welshman expertly diverted Cristiano Ronaldo's cross into the bottom-right corner.
In front of a boisterous Bernabeu crowd, the Welsh winger netted his third of the game with a bullet header that flew past Lux - his 12th league goal of the season and 51st overall for Real.
Despite trailing by four goals, Deportivo continued to attack and were almost rewarded for their endeavour - but Pepe's last-ditch tackle prevented a certain Perez goal from five yards.
To complete a miserable evening for Depor, Real substitute Jese broke forward and squared the ball to an unmarked Ronaldo and despite being dispossessed, the ball fell to Benzema who fired the ball off the crossbar to secure the win.
The result is the biggest win for a debutant Real manager since Manuel Fleitas Solich's 7-1 win over Real Betis in 1959, and it moves Los Blancos to within two points of league leaders Barcelona.