Real Madrid became the first team to hit doubles figures in a La Liga match in more than half a century, after demolishing Rayo Vallecano 10-2 at the Bernabeu on Sunday. Gareth Bale led the scoring with his first four-goal haul in a Real Madrid shirt, while Karim Benzema bagged a hat-trick and the final member of Los Blancos’ forward trio, Cristiano Ronaldo, grabbed a brace to ensure La Liga’s biggest win since Madrid beat Elche 11-2 in 1960.
It was Danilo who got the scoring started in just the third minute when charging forward from right-back to meet Bale’s layoff and shoot low through goalkeeper Joel. But then came a stunning turn of events as Rayo went ahead less than 10 minutes later. First defender Antonio Amaya rose highest in the area to head home a corner, and some more slack defending soon after allowed Jozabed to head Rayo into a shock lead.
But almost just as quickly as the match had turned in their favor it swung dramatically against them. It started to go wrong when Tito was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Toni Kroos and quickly got worse still. Bale grabbed his first goal of the afternoon, heading home a fine cross from Danilo, and before the 30-minute mark had been reached Madrid were in front and Rayo were down to nine men. Raul Baena earned his second yellow card after being adjudged to have held back Sergio Ramos from a free-kick swung into the box and Ronaldo converted from the spot. Before half-time the match was effectively ended as a contest when Bale ran onto James Rodriguez’s pass before drilling home a low shot.
The second half was all about how many goals Real Madrid would rack up. After Benzema grabbed his first and Ronaldo his second, Bale took center stage. First he completed his hat-trick by turning in Ronaldo’s cross, before he made it four after the ball came back to him off a defender when trying to find Ronaldo. There was still time for Benzema to boost his scoring statistics, feeding off assists from Croatian duo Modric and Mateo Kovacic late on.
The result keeps Real Madrid third in La Liga, but takes them to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Both, though, have a game in hand on Rafael Benitez’s side.