Madrid: Real Madrid were able to leave their crisis behind them as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a four goals in a convincing 7-1 win at home to Celta Vigo.
Zinedine Zdane’s side put an indifferent first half behind them to score six times in 45 second half minutes as they steam-rolled a rival which simply disappeared as a unit in the second half, reports Xinhua.
With his side conditioned by injuries to players such as Luka Modric and Karim Benzema ad next week’s Champions League tie at home to Roma, Zidane began the game with Casimiro, Lucas Vazquez and young striker Borja Majoral all starting along with Mateo Kovacic.
Celta should have taken the lead in the 13th minute when Iago Aspes wasted a fine double chance, heading against the crossbar when he should have scored and then seeing the rebound well saved by Keylor Navas.
Ronaldo then called Celta’s young goalkeeper Ruben Blanco into action with a powerful left foot shot, before Isco saw him pull off an even better save after a tight turn in the Celta penalty area.
On the whole there were few chances in the first half until Pepe opened the scoring from a corner after Ruben had parried over a Casimiro header in the 41st minute.
Ronaldo had not had a particularly good game, but five minutes after the break he scored the sort of goal he is known for as he received the ball 30 yards out and thundered a dipping swerving shot past Ruben who was perhaps a yard too far off his line.
Suddenly it was all Real Madrid and Ronaldo made it 3-0 in the 57th minute with a free kick which dipped over the wall to leave Ruben again helpless.
Two minutes later the Celta keeper was able to make a save as Ronaldo fired in another free kick, which was parried onto the crossbar and it looked as if Aspes had given Celta a minor lifeline when he scored a smart solo goal on the hour, but a smart team move from Madrid straight afterwards saw Isco tee up Ronaldo to score a tap in, before he netted his fourth with a header from a corner
Jese made it 6-1 after Celta gave the ball right away from the kick off and Gareth Bale capped his return from injury with a run and left foot shot to make it 7-1.