Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna. Spanish La Liga.
Sunday 21 January 2018 19:30, UK
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nacho all scored twice as Real Madrid returned to winning ways in La Liga with a 7-1 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna.
Zinedine Zidane's side had not won in their last three league games and Adrian Lopez's shock opener (23) heightened the tension at the Bernabeu on Sunday, but Nacho equalised (32) before Bale struck either side of half-time to put Real in command.
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Luka Modric curled in a fine fourth (68) and Ronaldo struck twice (78, 84) before Nacho scored a late seventh (89) to lift Real above Villarreal and into fourth but still 16 points behind leaders Barcelona who face Real Betis later on Sunday.
Real started the game outside the Champions League places and the home supporters were stunned in the 23rd minute when Adrian Lopez tapped Deportivo ahead against the run of play. Florin Andone beat Dani Carvajal to a header and Lucas Perez delivered a low pass across the area which was slammed into an empty net.
Real Madrid: Navas (6), Carvajal (8), Varane (7), Nacho (8), Marcelo (7), Casemiro (6), Kroos (6), Modric (9), Mayoral (7), Ronaldo (7), Bale (8)
Subs: Benzema (7), Kovacic (6), Lucas (n/a)
Deportivo: Ruben (7), Juanfran (6), Luisinho (6), Schar (6), Aldo (6), Mosquera (6), Guilherme (6), Celso Borges (6), Lucas (7), Andone (7), Adrian (7)
Subs: Edu (6), Colak (6), Gil (n/a)
Man of the match: Luka Modric
But Nacho equalised on 32 minutes, receiving a quick corner and exchanging passes with Marcelo before guiding a side-footed shot past Ruben.
Real were ahead 10 minutes later when Bale brilliantly curled into the top corner from the left edge of the penalty area. However, Ronaldo, who went down appealing for a penalty under a challenge from Luisinho in the build-up, was clearly in an offside position as the ball whizzed past him into the goal.
Karim Benzema, who had not featured for Real Madrid since the Clasico on December 23, was available again but started on the bench. Borja Mayoral replaced Isco in attack, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Ruben produced a sensational save to keep out Casemiro's header in the 58th minute but from Toni Kroos' resulting corner Bale rose to head in from close range and make it 3-1.
Modric opened his goalscoring account for the season 10 minutes later when he collected Ronaldo's back heel and curled a brilliant shot past Ruben from the edge of the area.
Ronaldo then got in on the act, steering in a close-range volley from Casemiro's cross on 78 minutes and bravely heading in a second from Lucas Vazquez's ball, taking a kick to the face which left blood pouring from a large cut.
Ronaldo checked his appearance on a mobile phone as he left the field, but there was still time for a seventh as Raphael Varane flicked on a Toni Kroos corner and Nacho struck past Ruben to leave Deportivo in the relegation places and emphatically end Real's winless run.
Bale and Ronaldo will take the headlines - and the Welshman's all-action performance would normally have earned him the Man of the Match award - but a classy display from Modric in central midfield was the key to this victory.
The Croatian was at the heart of Real's attacks and Zidane's team always looked more effective playing through him rather than getting the ball wide.
A fine 68th-minute goal - his first of the season - capped an excellent display and he deserved his standing ovation when he was substituted a few minutes later.
Real travel to Leganes on Wednesday evening for the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final before a tough trip to Valencia in La Liga next Saturday. Deportivo's next match is against Levante, live on Sky Sports Football at midday next Saturday.