Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nacho Hernandez all netted twice against a helpless Deportivo side in the champions’ biggest victory La Liga of the season.
Real cruised to a 7-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu with 4 different names getting on the score sheet. Deportivo took a shock lead early in the game through Adrian Lopez after the champions were caught off-guard. But after taking the lead, Real got into top gear and the visitors never stood a chance after that.
9 minutes after the Lopez’s opener, Nacho brought his side back level after some slick play with Marcelo. The scores were 1-1 with 32 minutes played and in the subsequent 56 minutes, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Nacho again, scored 6 more goals to register Real Madrid’s biggest La Liga victory of the season.
As things stand, Real Madrid are still in fourth place with 35 points to their name. They are 5 points behind Valencia and only a point ahead of Villarreal. Deportivo on the other hand, now find themselves at 18th place, with 2 points away from safety with 16 points to their name.
Keylor Navas: 7
Had two saves to make, could do little for Adrian Lopez’s goal. With 7 goals going in on the other end, it can’t be said that he kept his side in the game. But a decent performance nevertheless.
Dani Carvajal: 7
Like most of his team, seemed reinvigorated after conceding the goal. Wasn’t outdone for the rest of the evening and kept going forward as much as possible. Couldn’t involve himself directly in any of the goals, had an industrious evening nevertheless.
Nacho Fernandez: 9
Easily his best game of the season. Not conceding would have made it the perfect performance for the Spaniard and he certainly came close with his 2 goals. He started the move for the first and showed his poachers instinct with a wonderful turn and finish late in the game for his second. Will certainly give Zidane to think about when Sergio Ramos returns to fitness.
Raphael Varane: 7.5
The Frenchman had an easy game on the night. Was partly at fault for the first goal, but got his act together soon after and was a rock in the heart of defence. Even provided an assist for Nacho’s brilliant second goal late in the game.
The Brazilian gave Deportivo’s left sided players a torrid time the entire evening. It was Marcelo’s best game of the season, he exploited the space well, made a number of threatening run, kept unleashing a barrage of crosses and linked up very well with his teammates.
Was partly at fault for Adrian Lopez’s opener, but made up for that by setting up Nacho’s equalizer with some wonderful linkup play and Gareth Bale’s first goal with a wonderfully lofted ball into the box.
Toni Kroos: 7.5
The former Bayern Munich midfielder ran the show from the middle of the park and kept his side ticking. The game’s most prolific passer, the German was instrumental in initiating attacks and even set up Gareth Bale’s second from a corner.
The Brazilian put in a solid performance in the middle of the park. Was guilty of missing an easy header from close range, but helped set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s first of the night. He distributed the ball well, was decent in the air and made a number of key tackles. A very good day at the office for the 25-year-old.
Luka Modric: 8
Scored his first league goal of the season with a superb strike from distance. Kept things moving in the middle of the park and it was a typically classy performance from the former Tottenham Hotspur. Deportivo’s midfield were no match for him. A comfortable night for the Croatian.
Gareth Bale: 9.5
Easily his finest performance of the season. The Welshman didn’t put a foot wrong over the course of the game and Deportivo seemed as if they would be punished nearly every time he was on the ball. He scored two wonderful goals, including one left foot curler from a difficult angle.
This takes his tally to 9 for the season, in a mere 17 games. Both shots he attempted found themselves in the back of the net, he completed 3 out of his 4 take-ons and kept delivering cross after cross for his teammates. Too early to say that he’s back to his best and will obviously need some more time before he’s able to do this against better opposition. However, some of the swagger seems to have returned, and was subbed off to a rousing standing ovation in the 82nd minute.
Borja Mayoral: 5
Will not get on Zidane’s good books with a performance like this. Chances will come few and far between when one has the likes of Benzema, Ronaldo and Bale to call upon to lead the line and Mayoral must make more of the time he gets on the field if he wishes to make a career for himself at the Bernabeu.
Was taken off for Karim Benzema after 64 minutes as Zidane looked to add a bit more bite to his attack. Was guilty of missing 3 easy chances. Kept the center-backs occupied as much as he could and did clock in some miles, but all that running and industry means little without the end product.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8
The Portuguese superstar finally opened his account for the new calendar year with these two goals. However, they came in between a few squandered chances and took a lot of persisting, even some blood. This double takes his tally in the Liga to 6 goals for the season and 18 overall.
Would have received a higher rating, after all, he did provide a cool assist for Modric’s goal and netted twice himself. However, he missed far too many chances for his usual standards and his goals came at a time when the game was well and truly over.
There was no celebration for either of his goals. The first one was celebrated with his teammates while after his second, he lay on the pitch after colliding with the foot of a Deportivo defender. There seemed to be more relief than happiness at finally breaking his duck and it would suffice to say that the confident Cristiano of seasons past is still at large.
Karim Benzema: N/A
Mateo Kovacic: N/A
Lucas Vazquez: 7.5
Came on in the 82nd minute and wouldn’t have warranted a rating had it not been for his assist he provided for Cristiano Ronaldo’s second of the night mere seconds later. Didn’t let the fact that Deportivo were already bested and humbled stop him from trying to cause more trouble on the wings.