|Real Madrid defeated Deportivo (5-1)|
By knowing the lineup, the changes made by Mourinho seemed somewhat extravagant. Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso stayed on the bench and their places were filled by Sergio Ramos and Modric. The Spanish defender returned as right back and the Croatian took the helm after several matches as playmaker. As all's well what ends well, Mourinho can say that the experiment worked. Sergio Ramos had a great performance and Modric resolved the doubts with an assistance, with exquisite care, that led to the goal from Di Maria, the second of the team.
Mourinho decided to put Modric in charge of the game accompanied by Khedira and Özil in a previously unused Real Madrid midfield combination. The Whites’ coach’s bet was totally justified, based on the result and the way that the Whites played. Nevertheless and although the Whites had the first chances of the match it was Deportivo who struck first. An undeserved reward for the visitors who pushed forward for their first and only chance. Exceptional individual play from Riki from the Real Madrid academy who beat Casillas in a one-on-one with a subtle chip in the 16th minute.
The home team’s local reaction was swift. In fact, the Whites only needed 22 minutes to turn around the score board. Mourinho changed the positions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Di María and both were involved in the first three Real Madrid goals. The Argentine had a chance for the first on 18 minutes in a one-on-one but it went over. Five minutes later he played a key role in the play that brought about the equaliser. “El Fideo” Di María came up against Manuel Pablo and went past him at speed and when he got into the area he was clearly tripped by the Galician’s defender. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in his third consecutive official match, scored the penalty in the 23rd minute. 1-1 and all to be played for.
Ten minutes later the Portuguese had another opportunity to score following a great pass from Khedira, but Aranzubia displayed his great reflexes and stopped the Portuguese’s powerful shot. Real Madrid kept trying and their commitment was rewarded in the 38th minute. An impressive Modric pass with the outside of his right foot left Di María in front of the goalkeeper. The Argentine’s shot hit the post but he was first to react to the rebound and scored the second with a header from the goal line. The Whites were not satisfied with that lead and before half-time scored a third, Cristiano Ronaldo’s second. The Portuguese took advantage of an Aranzubia deflection following a shot from Ramos and got in front of the whole of the visitors’ defence and put the ball in the net with his head in the 44th minute. Real Madrid took an unassailable lead in the match and were enjoying themselves on the field as were their fans with the three goals in 45 minutes.
Mourinho rewarded Kaká for his spectacular hat-trick in the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy and him on in place of Özil after the break. If in the first half, Deportivo only had one chance, in the second the Galicians were nowhere to be seen. It was 45 minutes dominance by the home team that showed that the team is still hungry for success. Xabi Alonso, who replaced Modric who was applauded as he left the field, and Benzema, who came on for Higuaín joined Real Madrid party. The Spanish international had the chance to score from outside of the box in his team’s first attempt with him on the pitch. The fluidity and elegance of the play deserved a better finish. Marcelo, Di María, Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo were involved and following two back-heel passes the ball got the man from Tolosa who found Aranzubia with his shot in the 58th minute.
It was the build-up to their fourth goal of the night. A free-kick taken by Xabi Alonso and then a Pepe header who got in front of the defence ended with the ball in the back of the net in the 66th minute. The first goal this season for the Portuguese international and the sixth player from his team to score. There was still time for the fifth and last, which was to complete the total for the most goals scored in a competitive match this season. Kaká, very active during the time that he was involved kept making a good impression and provoked a penalty following a hand ball from Evaldo in the 84th minute. Ronaldo converted it and scored his first hat-trick this season and closed out a match in which his team once again proved they are on a clear upward trend. The fourth consecutive victory was testament to that.
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Goals: 0-1, m. 16: Riki. 1-1, m.23: Cristiano Ronaldo (pen). 2-1, m.38: Di María. 3-1, m.44: Cristiano Ronaldo. 4-1, m.67: Pepe. 5-1, m.84: Cristiano Ronaldo (pen).