Real Madrid moved joint top of La Liga yesterday after a 5-0 demolition of rock bottom Real Betis. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will see an ominous shadow looming as they prepare for their matches today.
Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off his magnificent week with the opener, a fantastic power strike, but the greatest smile of the night was on the face of Gareth Bale. On 25 minutes he curled a perfect free kick past an unmoving Stephan Anderson in the Betis goal – his first goal in two months and his tenth for Madrid. The best is yet to come from Bale but he is showing signs of improvement.
Madrid continued to press and looked capable of scoring at every attempt. The third came just before half time, Modric provided a perfect pass for Karim Benzema to score his 100th goal in a Real Madrid shirt.
Los Blancos were in no mood to take their foot off the gas. Angel di Maria added a fourth on 62 minutes with a 35 yard thumper before Arsenal target Alvaro Morata, blossoming with every game, notched Madrid’s fifth in the final minute.
It was a consummate performance from Madrid, full of pace and threat – the scoreline could have been even more emphatic. Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema were a potent threat but the player pulling the strings was Luka Modric who earns my Man Of The Match award.
The result marked a personal milestone for Carlo Ancelotti – the 500th win of his managerial career. For new Betis coach Juan Garrido it was a game to forget – the home fans were in an angry mood, and chanted the name of former coach Pepe Mel (now at West Bromwich Albion) throughout the ninety minutes.