Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez inspire Real Madrid to 5-0 win over Real Betis
A commanding performance from Real Madrid in their first home game of the season gave them a 5-0 win over Real Betis. James Rodriguez was the star performer for Los Galacticos, scoring 2 and assisting one as they pummeled the visitors on the way to a convincing win. Gareth Bale got himself a brace too, starting and ending the scoring while Karim Benzema scored his goal sandwiched between the Welshman and the Colombian to shape the final score.
Rafael Benitez came under immense pressure from all quarters last season after failing to win on opening day as Los Blancos were held to a scoreless draw by Sporting Gijon. As they headed back to the Bernabeu for their first home game of the season, nothing but a win would be acceptable to the demanding home support. The Spanish manager left James Rodriguez on the bench in the opener as the playmaker was lacking match fitness. Another miss from that game who returned to the starting XI was French striker Benzema.
Real got off to the perfect start as James Rodriguez curled in a superb cross for Gareth Bale to head home from virtually their very first attack of the game as they scored only in the 94th minute. While the goal was one that reflected Gareth Bale’s good movement playing behind the striker, James Rodriguez’s supply to create the opportunity was a thing of beauty.
The Colombian would then get himself on the scoresheet after only 39 minutes as Real Madrid won a freekick on their right flank. The 2014 Puskas award winner stood over the ball seemingly preparing to cross the ball, but Rodriguez had other plans. His shot was straight and true, it beat everyone to cannon off the far post and into the net. Gareth Bale did well to get out of the way of the ball as it ended up beating everyone else on the way to goal.
The only major chance Betis had in the whole of the first half was when the ball was pulled back to Ruben Castro and he had Real Madrid’s goal at his mercy but his moment of hesitation allowed their Costa RIcan keeper to pounce and claim the ball.
Real went into half-time 2 goals to the good and most people would say such a scoreline at the Bernabeu provides good ground to assume the game was over for Real Betis. Even those who didn’t think that, would change their minds within 2 minutes of the restart. The Welsh forward was involved once again as he hung up a perfect cross for Benzema to head home from close range and put his side 3-0 ahead.
In only 3 further minutes, the score was 4-0 and James Rodriguez once again the man to get it. as the ball pinged about around the Betis penalty area, it finally arrived at Toni Kroos’ feet and the German midfielder took a snapshot towards goal but it ended up at Rodriguez’s feet. The former Porto man flicked the ball up, perhaps unintentionally, with his first touch but there was absolutely no doubting his second touch as he swiveled mid-air to direct his bicycle kick to breach Betis’ goal again.
At this point there was little the demoralised visitors could do to swing the tie in their favour but they had a chance to pull one back in the 60th minute when they were awarded a penalty. The referee adjudged Rafael Varane’s tackle in the box to be a foul and pointed to the spot. But nothing seemed to go their way as Keylor Navas denied Ruben Castro from the spot to keep his clean sheet.
Then to add the cherry on top just before the game came to an end, in the penultimate minute Bale added a second to his tally for the night, scoring a scorcher from about 30 yards. His shot remained close to the ground always moving away from the keeper it smashed the inside of the post and went in to bring up 5 on Real’s scoreboard against their opponents who could barely dent the Spanish giants’ performance on the day.
The only doubt about Benitez;s side on the night was Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance. The Portuguese star had a number of chances but failed to convert, whether it was sheer bad luck or brave defending at times – such as when he had a shot cleared off the line – the night did not belong to him. The holder of the Pichichi is yet to open his account in 2 games but if the goal machine turns it on along with the rest of the squad, it will be a formidable sight to behold.