Real Madrid made light work of bottom of La Liga Leganes as they roared to a 5-0 win in front of their home fans.
They were 3-0 up inside 25 minutes, Karim Benzema the architect of the first two, starting the move which saw Rodrygo open the scoring, laying on a perfect cross for the youngster. He then terrorised the defence with deft footwork before centering to Toni Kroos who flicked home.
Eden Hazard then won a penalty and even though Juan Soriano pushed away Sergio Ramos’ tame effort, the goalkeeper was harshly adjudged to have stepped off his line and the veteran tucked his retaken effort inside the opposite post.
It was a cruise for the hosts who added a fourth in the second half when substitute Luka Modric earned their second penalty, tucked away by the brilliant Benzema. Luka Jovic had the final say when he nodded in a fifth.
Here are three talking points from the win.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
One of the many frustrating things for Real fans this season must be the lackadaisical way they start games. Of the 19 goals Los Blancos had bagged in 12 games prior to their meeting with the bottom side on Wednesday night, nine had been scored in the first half.
But two of those had arrived in first-half stoppage time and just three had come earlier than the 24 minutes it took the home side to put the basement boys to bed in the capital.
Yes, it was a side struggling at the foot of the table, so Madridistas need not get too excited, but they surely must be encouraged by the sublime freedom with which their attackers moved the ball. We must remember that the season is still flickering into life – we are only just past the first quarter. Plenty of big teams across Europe are spluttering and struggling and they’re nowhere near the tops of their respective tables, unlike Real.
Even with the absences Zinedine Zidane has had of late, his side really should have too much for the likes of Mallorca and Valladolid whom they have struggled against.
But they are starting to click. And if they continue to do that early on in games, opponents are in trouble.
STEPPING OUT OF RONALDO SHADOW
Gareth Bale’s double in the 2018 Champions League final reassured Real fans that the club was in safe hands despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending exit.
Except, it all kind of fell apart for both the Welshman and Los Blancos last season – player and club enduring one of their worst campaigns ever. Bale has belatedly flickered into life one season on, but the real shining light at the Bernabeu is Benzema. He was one of the few players to emerge from 2018/19 with any credit, and he has started this term in devastating form to showcase his true class.
He put on a perfect forward’s performance against Leganes, dropping deep to link play, running at defenders and stretching the La Liga strugglers in the channels too. He dished up two fantastic assists – the opening goal was all his work – he even managed to cap his night with a thoroughly deserved goal.
His 30 goals last term was his highest in seven seasons, and his second most ever in the bright white shirt, dazzling in an otherwise dark campaign for his side. At 31 he is still in his prime years and is delivering consistently pristine performances.
PUTTING POSTPONED EL CLASICO ASIDE
A dampener was put on the La Liga fixture list – indeed the European football calendar – last weekend when the maiden El Clasico of the season was postponed until the festive period.
But the delivery of a December 18 re-arrangement will not feel like much of an early Christmas present for supporters on either side of the Real and Barcelona divide, or even football fans in general, who had been psyching themselves up for one of the beautiful game’s most beautiful fixtures.
But, the focus and the concentration coming into their meeting with bottom of the table Leganes had the potential to put a banana skin in the path of Zidane’s side, who had been busy preparing for a barn burner with their bitter rivals.
As already alluded to, Real have been notorious slow starters this season. But they went about their business with consummate professionalism and ease – strolling to a win that was equally as emphatic as the Blaugrana’s 5-1 win over Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou the previous evening.
A victory that sees them jump five places back into second, just a point behind their Clasico counterparts.
Know more about Sport360 Application