Cristiano Ronaldo painted Madrid white on Saturday afternoon as Zinedine Zidane’s men played one of their best games of the season and outclassed visitors Sevilla with a stunning 5-0 win.
Golden man Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace for Los Blancos as Nacho, Toni Kroos and Achraf Hakimi all contributed to the scoring in the opening 45 minutes of the match.
The reigning La Liga champions have now distanced Sevilla in the league table and have the same points as second-placed Valencia, who will play on Sunday against Celta Vigo.
Ronaldo looked glowing even before the beginning of the match as he was cheered at Santiago Bernabeu when he showed off the newly-won fifth Ballon d’Or of his career.
Zidane had to make several changes in his defence ranks as Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro were all suspended and Raphael Varane picked up an injury early in the week.
But those players’ absence did not seem to affect Los Blancos in the opening moments as Real Madrid broke the deadlock after barely two minutes thanks to one of the men of the day, Nacho.
Seconds earlier Lucas Vazquez had tried to surprise goalkeeper Sergio Rico with a stunning powerful shot from the distance, but the Spaniard pulled away: the resulting corner kick became the assist for Nacho’s goal.
Real Madrid were the only ones to handle the ball at the beginning of the game as newly-returned Jesus Vallejo nearly made it 2-0 with a header in the small box that, however, ended wide above the bar.
Sevilla timidly tried to prove their worth and had their first occasion with Carole, who approached Keylor Navas’ net and kicked towards the farthest post; Real Madrid’s stopper pushed it away.
Ronaldo gave France Football just another proof that he deserves all those five Ballon d’Ors as he doubled the lead for the home side. The Portuguese superstar received just the perfect assist from Marco Asensio and escaped Sevilla defenders until he found the perfect position to kick the ball right inside the box.
As the clock hit the half-hour mark, it was Ronaldo again who was chanted by the Bernabeu as he scored his fourth La Liga goal of the season and first brace by converting a penalty that Marcelo had cleverly earned.
But the Portuguese’s brace almost became a hat trick when he missed just another wonderful chance to net: he looked like an acrobat as he launched a marvellous flying volley that was parred by Rico.
Few words can describe how lethal Real Madrid showed to be after Kroos bagged the team’s fourth goal in less than 40 minutes. The action leading up to it was incredible: the German picked up the ball from the middle of the pitch, ran all the way until the edge of the box, exchanged with Vazquez and shot past Rico with a fantastic first-time shot.
But Los Blancos couldn’t get enough of their sensational form and made it 5-0 before the end of the half as Achraf Hakim became the fourth goalscorer of the match. The 19-year-old became the first Moroccan player to score for Real Madrid in the club’s history.
Despite the humiliation, Sevilla returned from the break with their heads held high and made a few attempts to narrow the gap; Nolito had his first shot on target as he rolled the ball towards Navas, who, however, comfortably picked it up.
The heroics of the first half almost made the second part of the game look too ‘normal’ compared to the expectations as both sides looked less proactive and slower.
This resulted in twenty minutes of good defensive work from each team and sporadic, significant chances the most notable one coming from Benzema. Frenchman hit the woodwork with a header.
Muriel made a weak effort to score for the guests in the last ten minutes of the game, but his shot was too central and Navas had no problem in stopping.
It is fair to say that Los Blancos are fully back on track and are now scarier than ever. Compliments are in order for boss Zidane, who rearranged his team and made it return to glory in a way that no one expected.