Gareth Bale, Nacho Fernandez 9/10 as Real Madrid thrash Deportivo
Real Madrid ran out 7-1 winners against Deportivo in the Bernabeu to return to winning ways in La Liga with Nacho (twice), Gareth Bale (twice), Cristiano Ronaldo (twice) and Luka Modric on the score sheet. Adrian Lopez had put the visitors ahead after 22 minutes, but Zinedine Zidane's side recovered and racked up their biggest win of the domestic season in some style in the second half.
Real had gone 228 minutes without scoring at home in La Liga before Sunday, and this was the first time Zidane's side had come back from a goal down to win in La Liga in 2017-18. There were excellent individual performances among a solid team effort: four scorers and six assist providers indicates a complete game in all areas of the pitch.
Depor's goal put the full stop on a calamity of errors with three of Zidane's back line committing individual mistakes. Ronaldo bagged two goals to end his personal drought but should have had the same number before he finally found the net. The visitors made life easy for Real in the second half, the home side gratefully accepting the gift of a goleada from the division's second-worst defence.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Zidane resisted the temptation to play the "BBC" and handed Borja Mayoral only his second start of the season instead, allowing him to revert to a 4-3-3 in the league for the first time since September. His side managed a season-high total of 13 shots on goal and snapped into almost double the number of tackles as their opposition.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Keylor Navas, 7 -- Had little to do for the most part but made an excellent stop to deny Lucas Perez late on and could do nothing about Adrian's goal after his defence had switched off.
DF Dani Carvajal, 7 -- Brushed off the ball for Depor's opening goal, the right-back nevertheless shut down his flank fairly well and was involved in plenty of Madrid's attacking moves.
DF Nacho, 9 -- The "back-up" has now played more this season than Raphael Varane and after Sunday has more league goals than Karim Benzema. An almost-perfect performance at the back was capped with a brace at the other end and he even found time for a goal-line clearance in the second half.
DF Raphael Varane, 7 -- Quick and alert to everything Depor tried, he allowed Perez to get goal side of him when Real conceded but made amends by racing across to cover Florin Andone's goal-bound run in a generally assured performance.
DF Marcelo, 8 -- Chipping in two assists during a much-improved display, Marcelo had the measure of Perez on his flank and was instrumental in many of Madrid's attacks while also chipping in with seven tackles. Only Casemiro managed more.
MF Casemiro, 8 -- An excellent covering tackle on Andone in the first half with his defence up-field set the tone for a commanding and measured performance. On three occasions Casemiro could have conceded a penalty or a free-kick in a dangerous area and on each he made a clean tackle, with eight overall, more than any player on the pitch. Only one mistake, from which Andone should have scored, blotted the Brazil international's book.
MF Toni Kroos, 6 -- Strangely did not take the opportunity to boss a struggling midfield in the second half and some of his deliveries were below-par. Got on the assist sheet from the corner flag but was pretty quiet otherwise.
MF Luka Modric, 7 -- Scored an absolute gem from the edge of the area for his first league goal of the season and although he was a little loose in possession, he kept things ticking over and made a few driving runs to scatter the Depor defence.
FW Gareth Bale, 9 -- Off to a huge ovation after bagging his fifth and sixth league goals to become the side's top scorer in the domestic competition, Bale was the best of Real's attackers and a constant source of panic among the visiting back four, even if he did dally too long on a couple of balls.
FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 6 -- A nice assist for Modric was his only recompense after 75 minutes of another frustrating afternoon during which he missed a couple of sitters before popping up with a double at the end, one a side-footed effort that was not as easy as it looked and a beautiful diving header, which also ended his game as he took an accidental (but nasty) boot in the face while scoring.
FW Borja Mayoral, 4 -- Another failed audition for the role of centre-forward, Mayoral had one decent effort blocked by Fabian Schar but was barely involved for the most part and hooked just after the hour mark.
FW Karim Benzema, 5 -- On for Mayoral to a chorus of whistles, the striker did little to endear himself to the Bernabeu on his return from injury.
MF Mateo Kovacic, NR -- On for Modric, gave Real fresh impetus in midfield as he bustled about looking for the ball.
FW Lucas Vazquez, NR -- On for Bale, provided a glorious ball for Ronaldo's second.
Rob Train covers Real Madrid and the Spanish national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Cafc13Rob.