MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid equaled their biggest ever away win in La Liga with a 8-2 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Ronaldo opened the scoring with a fantastic header from Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross, but the Portuguese was upstaged by James Rodriguez and the Colombian doubled the visitors’ advantage with a sumptuous left-footed effort that curled into the top corner.
A goalkeeping howler from German Lux then allowed Ronaldo to fire into an empty net to make it 3-0 before the break, but Depor did manage to pull one back when Haris Medunjanin converted from the penalty spot after Sergio Ramos was adjudged to have handled.
However, Gareth Bale struck twice in the final 25 minutes before Ronaldo rounded off his hat-trick to ensure Real bounced back in style after suffering consecutive defeats to Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid in their last two league outings.
Toche headed home a late consolation for the hosts, but Javier Hernandez rounded off a fine day for Real when he volleyed home his first two goals for the club since joining on loan from Manchester United.
“The game was defined by the skill and quality we have up front and how clinical we were with the chances we had,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“We showed the quality we have. We have a phenomenon in Ronaldo and we have other players with great quality. They combined very well together and that was the best thing we can take from the game.”
The European champions had dismissed some of the early season pessimism at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 5-1 hammering of Basel in the Champions League in midweek, but badly needed a win to keep in touch with leaders Barcelona who have made a 100 percent start to life under new boss Luis Enrique.
And Ancelotti is still looking for an improvement in other areas of the pitch.
“We have to improve. Today we showed the quality everyone knows we have which is the capability to score in many different ways.
“We need to continue improving the balance and our consistency. After two defeats we have scored 13 goals and that is a good sign that we have responded well.”
Depor’s resistence was broken just before the half hour mark, though, as Ronaldo leaped to meet Arbeloa’s cross and directed a fine header into the far corner from 15 yards out.
Karim Benzema then forced Lux into another smart save moments later, but there was nothing the Argentine ‘keeper could do nine minutes before half-time when Rodriguez scored his first goal in La Liga with a curling effort that dipped in off the underside of the bar.
Lux was badly at fault for Real’s third goal, though, as he raced off his line to close down Benzema and despite bringing down the Frenchman, referee Pedro Jesus Perez Montero allowed play to continue so Ronaldo could double his tally for the afternoon by rolling the ball into an empty net.
Deportivo were given a glimmer of hope at the start of the second-half as Ramos was harshly penalised for handball and Medunjanin sent Iker Casillas the wrong way from the penalty spot.
However, Real put the game to bed 24 minutes from time when Marcelo played in Bale on the left side of the area and this time he finished via the far post to register his third goal of the season.
Bale produced another moment of quality to make it 5-1 as he flicked Isco’s through ball over Lux with ease before Ronaldo collected Rodriguez’s pass and powered the ball home with his left foot to complete his hat-trick 12 minutes from time.
Deportivo snatched a consolation six minutes from time as Toche headed home, but Real fittingly had the final word as Hernandez made his case for a start at home to Elche in midweek.
The Mexican international thumped a volley into the top corner two minutes from time before seeing his next effort loop of a stray Depor defender’s leg and over the hapless Lux.