Saturday, November 8, 2014 10:54 pm
Real Madrid returned to the top of La Liga courtesy of a 5-1 demolition of local rivals Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Barcelona had gone top of the league earlier on thanks to a comeback 2-1 win at Almeria but another dominant performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men restored the capital club’s advantage on the table.
Ancelotti dropped Isco for Gareth Bale who has recently recovered from injury and the Welsh winger vindicated his inclusion in the starting line-up by breaking the deadlock after only nine minutes.
Vallecano tried to respond but Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas denied Leo Baptistao midway through the half, with Baptistao heading just wide of goal on the half-hour mark.
The less glamorous Madrid side was made to rue the missed chances as Sergio Ramos doubled Real’s lead five minutes before the interval, scoring with his thigh off a James Rodriguez cornerkick.
The two-goal lead was halved three minutes later as Baptistao pounced on a poor back-pass from James Rodriguez before squaring to Albert Bueno for an easy finish.
But any hopes of an unlikely comeback was dashed nine minutes into the second half through Toni Kroos who met a poked pass from Cristiano Ronaldo with a sublime first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Ronaldo was the provider again when Karim Benzema tapped in Real’s fourth just before the hour mark, with the Portuguese ace eventually getting on the scoresheet late on when his effort squirmed under the Vallecano goalkeeper into goal.
The result is Real’s eighth successive win in the league and 13th in all competitions, scoring 22 goals and conceding just two in its last five league matches.