Deportivo 2-6 Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane's changed side move level with Barcelona
By James Dale
Last Updated: 27/04/17 12:06am
Real Madrid remain level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga after a thrilling 6-2 win away at Deportivo.
Isco scored and starred in the absence of Real's BBC, as Zinedine Zidane left Cristiano Ronaldo out of the matchday squad.
Alvaro Morata, in for the benched Karim Benzema, put Real ahead inside a minute and James Rodriguez made it two, but they needed Lucas Vazquez to restore the two-goal advantage just before half-time after Andone pulled one back.
James (67) and Isco (77) put Real in control in the second half, before Joselu's consolation (84), but Casemiro came on to make it 6-2 in the 87th minute and ensure Real remain behind Barcelona only on goal difference.
Sleeping Alejandro Arribas may have still been counting Zidane's nine changes to the side that lost to Barcelona as the Deportivo defender was startled awake after just 53 seconds by Morata, unmarked, firing Real into the lead following Isco's pass.
Real continued to batter Deportivo's goal, with Marco Asensio first testing goalkeeper German Lux, then the woodwork, while the brilliant Isco also clipped the outside of the post with a curling shot from distance.
James, finally, made it two after only 14 minutes when he finished off a neat exchange of passes with Lucaz Vazquez after Mateo Kovacic won possession for Real and set up a counter-attack.
Moments after Lux came to the rescue to deny Morata his second, and Real's third, a swift Deportivo response caught Zidane's side off guard and saw Andone pull one back after Gael Kakuta's misplaced shot fell to his feet.
Stand-in Real 'keeper Kiko Casilla almost made it 2-2 just before half-time when his flapped clearance bounced off Sidnei and wide, before excellent work from Isco allowed Marcelo to break and find Vazquez, again unmarked, to restore Real's two-goal cushion at 3-1.
Deportivo made three changes inside the first 10 minutes of the second half but Real picked up the tempo after the break, with Asensio's teasing run deserved a better finish from Vazquez on 59 minutes.
But James capitalised on continued poor defending from Deportivo to slot in Morata's rebounded shot and make it 4-1 in the 67th minute, before Isco grabbed a deserved goal when he fired in at the back post 10 minutes later.
Former Real Madrid striker Joselu, on loan from Stoke, headed Deportivo's second consolation with six minutes remaining after good work from Andone to cross.
But Joselu's efforts were in vain as substitute Casemiro rounded off the scoring with a low shot that squeezed into the bottom corner late on to give Real an emphatic win and leave Deportivo a nervy six points clear of the relegation zone.